The easiest way to raise a juvenile delinquent is to ignore what God has said on how we are to raise our children. My two oldest are soon going to be teenagers and I confess that I am afraid that I have not spent the time that I should have with them, not only in the every day affairs of life, but especially in walking through the things of God with them. I repent of this and aim to do all that I can to invest more in their lives. What is it that is so important that demands our attention away from our children? The cares of this world we will have always but our family we will not.
It is becoming a pressing reality to me that the things of this world have to fall by the wayside in order to stop the momentum of the down spiral of separation between us and our families. What ever the distractions are that pull me away from my family will no longer have power over me. These are the principles I commit to live by. We must ask ourselves what is really important in life? So what if he has a new car if you are not there to ride in it with him, so what if everybody at work is happy when your family is not, and so what if you have a big house if there is no one ever there to live in it!
The Shema (Hebrew for hear) is found in Deut. 6:4-9. ..."you shall teach them (God's word) diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up..." The Shema shows us that we are not to "make time" for our children but that they are to be the "objects of our time!" There is no such thing as not having anything in common, for we see that the common denominator is God and his word.
Do not be afraid of what they might think if you have not been searching out the things of God with your children; of what they might think if you spring the "God thing" on them. I can't help but to believe they will be Happy for attention regardless of the reason for spending time together. Lets give it a try.
We can help our children to know what it means to be obedient when they see we are trying to be obedient to God ourselves. We can help our children to know honor when they see us honor and respect our wives and husbands. Children do not have to have a lot of earthly possessions in this world to be happy. To have dignity is worth more than the new version of so and so game. To learn to know and love God is the most valuable gift we can give our children.
In conclusion, here is the single most difficult thing we should learn as parents, "Fathers (and mothers) do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4). In ancient times wives and children took a second seat to the men. In our culture women have equal rights but children are still treated poorly in many homes because of their inability to stand up for themselves as an adult would. Even with the DCF for support children are still in desperate need of living under Christian principles. How do fathers provoke children to wrath?
To impose too many restrictions on children will provoke them. To treat them without respect will provoke them into disrespecting others. To starve them of attention and affection is to provoke them to find it somewhere else. To treat them unfairly provokes them to wrath.
But to discipline them with love and bring them up in the admonition of love is to raise a good and happy child. To do anything less is to bring out the wrath of a child. A child of wrath is a child of destruction. Anger, despair, resentment, frustration, exasperation, and discouragement build up inside of them and destroys them spiritually. Their lives are then out of control and reckless.
"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Prov. 22:6).