I just became a father for the very first time. My wife and I had twin boys on December 26th. Return on Thursday to see an update about our boys.
“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” ~ Psalms 127:3-5
As I teeter on this precipice, about to take the plunge into parenthood, I find myself desperately hoping that I am sufficiently prepared for the behemoth task of raising children. Have I read enough christian parenting books? Have I picked the brains of enough experienced parents? Have I spent enough time in prayer and the studying of God’s Word?
The Bible makes it abundantly clear that the raising of children is not to be taken lightly. On the contrary, I would dare to claim that it is one of the most important responsibilities we can possibly be given on this earth.
We are responsible for the physical welfare of our kids. Food. Clothing. Housing.
We are responsible for the mental well-being of our kids. Education. Emotional stability. Morality.
Ultimately, we are responsible for the spiritual nourishment of our kids. Bible study. Prayer. Worship.
Concerning the latter, I do not mean to say that our children’s salvation is ours to ensure. God calls those to Him that He wills, with no influence from us. What I am saying is this: God commands us as parents to raise our children in the training and admonition of the Lord.
“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.“ ~ Deuteronomy 6:6-9
How We Are Preparing
My wife and I have tried to diligently prepare ourselves to be the parents that God commands us to be. We have read numerous parenting books, such as Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp, and The Faithful Parent by Stuart Scott and Martha Peace. These books and a number of others given us a lot of Biblical advice to consider when it comes to parenting.
We have spoken at length with experienced parents that we admire, parents that have already begun to bear the fruit of their steadfastness, displayed in the conduct and behavior of their children. By doing so we have gleaned much wisdom and insight from those who have already tread the paths we are just embarking upon.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.“ ~ Proverbs 22:6
The Bible is an invaluable resource on parenting, rich with passages on how to train, discipline, love, and protect your children. It is far and away the most vital resource on raising kids. Consistent study of the Scriptures has helped to convict and motivate us in our child-raising endeavors.
We are praying daily that God will provide us with the wisdom and patience necessary to being a faithful parent. While we have done plenty of “academic” preparation, the one thing we are really lacking in is boots on the ground experience.
So what do you experienced parents out there have to say? Are there any tips or recommendations that you could share with us that you wish you would have known at the beginning? Share with us in the comments below!