And when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)
This verse sounds crazy simple…until you actually start thinking about questions like ‘which way is he talking about?’ or ‘how old does he mean?’ or ‘I raised my kids right, so why is my tween acting a fool?’
Before we get into it I want to let you know there are some resources at the bottom of this post that will be a great help to you! Our church began a new series yesterday on Restoring Biblical Values to the Family, and the first installment by Pastor Chris was raising up your children. You can listen to the whole message here, but I want to deal with one point in particular that many of us overlook when it comes to striving to keep your kids on the straight and narrow and deal with some reasons people don’t follow through with this.
ASKING FOR HELP
I want my two kids to love Jesus with all their heart, and I want to raise them in such a way that it continues into adulthood. Don’t you want the same for your children? Becoming a better parent is as simple as asking for help from someone who is a better parent. This was one of the best practical points about parenting I’ve heard in a long time. So many of the pitfalls that parents experience could be avoided just by meeting some some more ‘seasoned’ parents that have the fruit of kids that love Jesus.
What do you do when your 3 year old learns the word ‘no?’ When you have to have the ‘birds and the bees’ talk? What about when your step-daughter is rebellious? Or how about when you find a pack of cigarettes in your kid’s glove box? Ask for help. It will save you months, maybe years, of hurt. I know many who still have resentment towards parents because of the way they handled an issue. I know just as many parents that regret the way they handled a situation with their kids.
Rather than restate the obvious point of how practical this is, I want to share four reasons why most parents don’t seek out help from others.
Pride goes before the fall, and your kid’s fall. Our need to be right stifles our ability to reach out to other parents for help in stewarding our kids. You don’t have all the answers. So come off your high horse and find someone that has a few.
This really isn’t a good reason to not find help. Newsflash. If your kids are acting crazy, everybody already knows. There’s no shame in asking for help with a problem that err’ body already sees.
Our nature is that we don’t like to be told what to do. If you have kids, you are well equipped to know this. Some of us don’t ask for help because we just don’t want to be told we are doing it wrong. You might not like it if you don’t like spanking and the advice you get is that Jesus was the only child that never needed a good one!
Maybe your embarrassment doesn’t have to do with your kid’s behavior, but the fact that you feel clueless and are scared to ask for help. You’re not alone, nor are your the first to go through it. The reason you don’t think it’s a common issue is because others are too scared to ask for help too!
Asking for help doesn’t just come from asking a person. One of the best ways I help people with pretty much anything is by pointing them to resources that have helped me. So, I want to point you to some books that I recommend, my wife recommends, and people I trust recommend. The resources will start with some of the earliest, and progress to older kids. Some of them are not just geared towards parents, but ministers trying to better help parents.
Use the comments section below to tell us what resources have helped you raise your kids!