by Richard Mansel, managing editor
Parenting becomes more important to me as I get older. I want my daughters to find happiness and good health in life. While I am unable to leave them wealth, there are four things that I, and all Christian parents, can leave behind for our children.
1. To be in Christ.
There is nothing more important than being in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). We must teach them by word and deed what it means to be a child of God and to develop their own faith and beliefs (Hebrews 11:6; Philippians 2:12).
2. To shun materialism.
They must learn simplicity and that true wealth does not come in material things. Their god should never be the next gadget or big thing. They can enjoy peace, joy and happiness in what they have (Philippians 4:11; Proverbs 28:6).
3. To shun prejudice and hate.
Racism and hate are not inherent, they are taught. We must instead teach love and tolerance. God abhors prejudice and so should we (Acts 10:34; Galatians 2:11-17; Genesis 1:26).
4. To desire a godly home.
Children must see a home that is filld with love, affection, respect and boundaries. They should learn responsibility and the ability to act independently. Through observation, they must see how to raise strong, godly children (Ephesians 6:1-4; Deuteronomy 6:6-9).
Children must see love, respect and affection in their parents. They should never hear us mocking or insulting each other. We are the home they will build one day (Genesis 2:18-24; Ephesians 5:22-29; Matthew 19:6).
Adults cannot be healthy emotionally unless they have felt unconditional love. To know that someone will love and accept us no matter what, is empowering. We may not approve of their life choices but we will always love them without reservation (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a).
If all children came from healthy, happy homes, the world would become safer and stronger.
When we have children it becomes our absolute responsibility to teach, train, nurture and prepare them for the future.
We cannot shun this responsibility without unleashing on the world another poorly equipped and troubled adult. It is non-negotiable and a requirement from God (Proverbs 22:6). In a real sense, swelling prisons come from failed homes.
Wealth is temporal but true values can last into eternity. God’s people must do a better job training their children so the homes of the future will be resilient and godly.