Parenting is the most difficult job one has, and yet it can be the most rewarding experience in your life as well as for your children. Watching them grow from being totally dependent through the stages and on to maturity and wisdom is not just a spectator sport, however.
We must demonstrate and teach our children the right way to go or - God forbid - they could grow up to be Congressmen! I sense, perhaps, a smile there. But think about it. Is that what you really want?
It is often said that parenting does not come with instructions. Not entirely so. "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." - Proverbs 22:6.
There is a book of instructions for parents. It's been there for a long time, but the times have taught us to rely on our own judgment; "That was then; this is now" thinking has put this book of instructions on a shelf in the garage. However, reliance on this book brought this country freedom for all; it brought us through the Revolutionary War, the Civil War. WWI and WWII; it brought us through depressions and a multitude of difficult times.
Lest we forget, remember that this book has also been there through the great times, when people achieved freedom, rose as far as they wanted to go, to succeed. The Bible was there.
But Political Correctness replaced Moral Correctness. And what did that get us? Moral depravity, moral corruptness from small towns like Blythe all the way to the Oval Office, and can be seen in the Watergate mess, the Benghazi travesty, the sleaze that passes as entertainment, slaughter of children, continued violation and ignoring of our country's Constitution, and the list goes on.
For the parent wanting his children to grow up avoiding the mistakes the parent made, there is plenty of instruction in the Bible. Proverbs 29:17 tells us: "Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart." I was disciplined. I certainly was not perfect, but I knew what they expected of me.
In Galatians 6:9, we get the suggestion: "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." What an important lesson for parents to pass on. Some kids will think it "boring" if they do the right thing, but wisdom tells us of the benefits from making better choices. Patience and perseverance wins in the long run.
In Hebrews 13:5 we find: "Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'" I may not have learned these exact words, but I somehow learned to be content with what I had. We didn't have all that much money in those days, but if I ever said, "but all the other kids have one", it didn't work. I survived.
"By pride comes nothing but strife, but with the well-advised is wisdom." This good advice comes from Proverbs 13:10. Although "humble" was not a word that was used, I was aware of what it meant. And I also knew that there are different kinds of pride. My parents discouraged being prideful, thinking I was somehow better than other people. But it was okay to be proud of something I had worked to achieve, like good grades in school.
"Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." Ephesians 4:29, I found that if I used certain words that I heard adults use, I got a dose of Lysol soap in my mouth. Not a good experience. I remembered.
From Proverbs 14:5: "An honest witness does not lie, a false witness breathes lies." Colossians 3:20: "Children obey your parents in all things." "Be kind to one another", found in Ephesians 4:32, went along with Luke 6:31, "Do to others as you would have them do to you." How many situations could be avoided if these admonitions were followed?
Proverbs 13:20: "Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm." Along with 1 Corinthians 15:33, "Do not be deceived. 'Bad company ruins good morals." All kids have a natural desire to "belong". With alert parental guidance, children can be saved a good deal of trouble.
Proverbs 11:14: "Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety." And also Proverbs 19:20: "Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future." This probably referred more to all adults, for our instructions were to respect all adults. That included teachers, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, policemen - well, all adults, period.
"Wisdom" is the goal. We went to school to gain knowledge, facts of history, how to solve a math problem, how to write a sentence, how to dissect a frog. "Wisdom", however, is something more. It is achieved more from applying the knowledge to observations of life to find the meaning there.
Isn't it time for us to re-think The Bible? It is NOT merely a book of "Don't". When used and applied, it will set us free.