have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. 'Children are an heritage of the Lord' (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations."
Children truly are an heritage of the Lord. I would hope and expect that everyone that has a child would agree.
Children are amazing. Raising children is an amazing experience from which we are taught a multitude of lessons.
I thought before I married Cami that I was pretty selfless. I was wrong and marriage helped me learn to be more selfless.
Then I figured that I had pretty much mastered the basics of selflessness, I knew I wasn't perfect but pretty good and getting better. Then we had our first child. I was wrong.
Then our next child, then the next, and then the next. After each child I would think "I'm getting this selfless thing and getting pretty good at it." Then the next child is born and I realize I have more to learn. Since we are expecting our fifth child in May 2015 I expect to learn even more about selflessness.
Learning to be less selfish is just one of many blessings that parents receive when they have children. I suppose I could dedicate a series just to the blessings of parenthood (and maybe I will!). Today I'm not going to.
With all of the blessings that come from parenthood also come responsibilities. "Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness..." How do we do that?
First, we should set the example for our children. We should be kind to others, especially our spouse. We should be generous, especially with our spouse. We need to set an example of good citizenship, of being a good neighbor, loving and serving those around us.
Our children, especially when they are young, are influenced more by what they observe from their parents than anything else. This also means that we need to be active in their lives. If we aren't around they won't be able to observe.
This is one of the reasons that Cami and I are so grateful that we have been blessed that she can be a stay at home mom (I prefer the term domestic engineer). The children get to spend so much time with her seeing her amazing example and learning from her.
I also try to spend as much time with them as I can so that they can see me too. I take them to work every now and then with me, they participate in service projects working along side me, and we do stay up nights occasionally where we spend one-on-one time together.
As I've thought about this post the thought occurred to me that Cami and I and our children have been richly blessed with a pretty ideal situation. I make enough money that Cami can stay home with the kids, we're happily married, and the children have both of us to learn from.
But not everyone currently enjoys the same blessings we do. My sister and a few of our friends are single parents. The fathers are not an active part of their children's lives. For single parents I cannot imagine the difficulty and struggles that they face.
They have to be both bread-winner, mom, dad, friend, mentor, enforcer, compassionate, disciplined, etc. all of the time. I'm exhausted just trying to set a good example of how a husband, father, and man should be. I cannot even imagine what it would be like to have to show the children how to be a good mother, wife, woman, house keeper, cook, and all of the other things my wife does.
My heart goes out to single parents everywhere as do my prayers. In situations where both parents are not able to be present in the home single parents should rely on family members and close friends and neighbors to support them in their efforts to rear their children in love and righteousness.
Spending time with the children, setting a good example for them, playing with them and sheltering them from the unwholesome that exists in the world is essential for us as parents to fulfill our God-given charge to rear our children in love and righteousness.
This responsibility is so sacred that we "will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations."
We can do it. We have to do it. Leave me a comment and let me know how YOU do it.
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