For those of you who have been following my posts up to this point, you'll notice that I'm following a completely different approach than I normally would. Today I'll be straying from the regular teachings of the Bible, and instead, speaking from the heart and my own experiences; maybe with a little bit of the scripture thrown in for support.
My Modern Family
If you want an example of what a modern christian family should look like, you need to look no further than my own. As far back as I can remember, my parents did their best to raise my brother and myself to the best of their ability, and to their credibility, they did a great job; we turned out great, for the most part, with the exception of some personality defects, shh don't tell them that! No but in all seriousness, I could not have asked for better parents growing up as a child, and I'll give you the reasons why:
Alright, let's break this up a little bit, what are three things that stick out to you on this list? Probably the same three things which actually appear on the list right? So let's start there, disciplining children, which is talked about in 1 Kings 1:6, Proverbs 13:24, and Ephesians 6:4.
- Teaching of moral values
- Teaching of good behavior
- Teaching of proper respect and manners
- Teaching of God and being a Christian
- Monitoring of influential exposure
- Quality time/relationship building
- Love and care
- Weekly church involvement
Discipline - Parents, specifically father's, are meant to discipline their children, and here's why. If a child is not taught discipline when they are younger, they will also have no discipline when they are older, this being self-discipline. If a parent fails to discipline their child as they grow up and show them what is wrong, they will do whatever they like when they're older. My parents lived by the motto "spare the rod, spoil the child", and let me tell you, after getting spanked with a paddle quite a few times, I was ready to start learning to do the right thing; you don't develop a tolerance for it, or a callused behind, it hurts each and every time. However, it must be done out of love for your child, if they're ever to grow into well behaved adults strict discipline must be there to hold them in line.
Now let's talk about teaching in the modern family, which is touched on in Deuteronomy 6:7 and Judges 2:10, a lot of the extra information I pull form these verses that you may not see comes from the footnotes in my version of the Bible; which is the New Living Translation Life Application Study Bible.
Teaching - I believe that one of the biggest fears parents have when their about to have a child, or have a young one already, is will they raise them correctly? However, for those who follow the teachings of the Bible and of God, this should not be a problem. One of the greatest mistakes parents make in life is leaving the teachings of God up to places of authority, such as Sunday School and private Christian Schools. However, God tells us that teaching children about faith comes from showing it to them from our everyday lives and in the family, which will be much more influential than that of a regular teacher. Children look up to their parents, think of how much more of an impact that they have on their childhood than someone they barely know. If they are taught from an early age and up what is right/wrong, moral/immoral, good/bad, godly/ungodly, they will be much more likely to live good Christian lives as adults.
As far as monitoring what your children are involved with, listen to, and watch, that is all a matter of what you find to be appropriate for their age and upbringing. For example, I was only allowed to listen to Christian music growing up, all of my television shows were strictly monitored, and I wasn't even allowed to join groups such as the boy scouts. At the time all of these things seemed a bit harsh to me, I was too young to know the difference between what I was old enough to be exposed to; things which may have influenced my personality, decisions and actions. Looking back now, however, I can tell why my parents made the decisions that they did; although I'm still not sure to this day why I wasn't allowed to be a part of the boy scouts, they teach a lot of great survival skills.
Have you ever seen a family that does everything together, they go out to the movies, eat their meals together, watch television shows, and can talk about anything? Why do you think that is? I guarantee that if you were to peel back the roof and walls of their home and watched them for an entire week, you would be able to discern why very quickly. They treat each other with love, they genuinely care about what goes on in their lives and how it affects them, and they have built up strong and lost lasting relationships, kind of like friends right? This is the kind of relationship that God desires with us, he wants to know us on an intimate and friendly level, on top of being our loving father figure. Do you honestly think that he would sacrifice his own Son, forgive us of all our sins, even those that follow salvation, and not want to know us on a more personal level? Of course not!
In regards to my parents, all of you emotional people should skip this paragraph who don't want to cry (Mom, and probably Dad too), I love them both very much. I don't say it to them very often, mostly because I'm not a very open individual when it comes to sharing my emotions, although both of my parents are. They raised me to be a strong Christian man, although it's taken me 23 years to finally discipline myself to really crack down and follow God and the teachings of the Bible, who loves everyone and to appreciate all that I have. I wouldn't be the person that I am today without the upbringing they gave me and the relationship that they built with me.
I'm unsure why, but my Dad seems to think that he wasn't much of a father, at least when compared to his own Dad; well, I have two things to say to that. One, by putting himself down when he knows he always did his best to be a good Christian example, a good father, and provider, he's also putting God down; for God is his creator. And two, which is the more important of the two, he couldn't be more wrong. When it comes to my Mom, she always seemed to be a bit nosy when it came to affairs with my friends, what I did, and everyday life. But I know she was just worried about the decisions I was making and how I was living my life, which is natural I suppose, and I also think she couldn't have done a better job.
The bottom line comes down to this, if you want to be like the average modern family, by all means, go ahead and live your lives however you want, with no sense of direction or guidance. But, if you want to be above average, extraordinary even, then put God at the center of your family and the upbringing of your children. For until you begin to follow him in obedience and with discipline, with devotion and commitment, then that's all you'll ever be, average.
I'd like to thank you all for stopping by to read my post, if you would like to tell me how you feel about what I said or leave me some feedback, feel free to do so below. Also feel free to share this post with your friends and family with our share buttons located at the top of each post, please also consider giving me a +1. If you would like to continue learning, please read my last post called God is Light!