The Invisible Parent

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Parenting is more than a duty, it’s a life calling.

US News and World Report once reported the following story about parenting: “Americans are so shaped and stamped by their legacy of individualism that the concepts of community virtue and moral obligation have been discredited. In our popular culture, adulthood is too often defined as doing what you want to do, not what you are supposed to do. Having a baby is a sign of status, while caring for one is not. Right and wrong are old-fashioned, politically incorrect concepts. And sin? Forget it…

“Half of all Americans who marry and have children eventually divorce. For many, marriage is more like a hobby than a commitment, a phase instead of a trust. We are becoming a country of deadbeat dads who don't pay their bills and dead-tired moms who work two jobs to pick up the slack. Even many parents who pay for their children don't pay attention to their children. In so doing, they miss out on some of life's greatest joys: hearing a small giggle or holding a small hand. As Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders notes, it is easier for many children to find drugs ‘than it is for them to find hugs.’

“Probably the best thing that society can do for its toddlers is to make ‘parent’ an honorable title again. No job is more important, yet no job is more often taken for granted. We teach work skills but not life skills, how to change a carburetor but not a diaper, how to treat a customer but not a kid. Becoming a parent should be the result of love; a sign of a lasting relationship, not just a passing infatuation; a source of pride, and not remorse. Only then will our children be safe.”

Even a columnist for the US World Report recognized that today’s parents are not doing their job. Parents in today’s world become parents by birth, but not by responsibility. They have a child, but fail to raise the child and teach them right from wrong. In essence, they let the child raise himself.

All too often, that can be true in Christian homes as well. Many times parents get so busy with work, hobbies, and sometimes church, that they neglect their families. Christian, don’t allow activities to interfere with your time with your children. A good Christian school and strong Sunday school is good for a child, but more than that they need you as a parent to guide and direct their lives.

Psalm 127:3 says, “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” God has given you a great gift in your children. He’s entrusted you to raise them the way He desires! What a great responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly!

How much time do you spend training your child? It’s not the church or the school’s job to raise your child. God gave you that responsibility! Nothing can take the place of a godly parent in your child’s life. Take time this week to train your child. Spend some one-on-one time with them maybe over lunch or at a park. Get alone with them and strengthen your parent/child bond. Remember that God has given you the task of raising your child; do all you can to obey that command!

Source: Daily in the Word, October 25, 2008

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