By Jun P. Espina | Last updated on February 18th, 2020 at 11:14 am
Good parents are rare, for good children are rare. This thought is very debatable, for the evil in children is sometimes learned from the evil that is in their parents. But how to be good parents? I believe there are tons of brilliant ideas concerning good parenthood out there, but I would want to focus on three things.
1. Good Parents Live What They Preach
Parenthood is teaching, and teaching, to be learned and practised, must be lived. Inconsistency in the home is death to the appreciation of good values. Have you heard of a man teaching all the members of his household about God, while he was undisciplined, ungodly and wicked?
Try submerging yourself into perfect gluttony then teach your children about the need for a healthy diet if you want them to see you as a figure of fun—a “joke entry”! There’s no greater rule in the family that proves to work than being consistent to our children.
2. Good Parents, Good Role Models
Before they can be truly good to their children, ideal parents need to provide for themselves first. Aside from the power of being consistent, I don’t believe our parents need to act the part of “sacrificial lambs” in the family.
There are those who want to give everything they have to their children and then give themselves nothing. The Law says parents, being the owners, are not required to give their properties, lands, etc. to their children while still living. The philosophy in most backward communities is to let their children feed them when old age comes, hence the need to give all they have as a “security deposit.”
God, however, said we cannot make our children as our “home for the aged” or “retirement program.” In reality, we want our children to take care of us in our closing years. But note that Abraham was so blessed he didn’t need Isaac to support him. It is not God’s will that our children will provide for us (See: 2 Cor. 12:14). Observe this Scripture in 1st Thessalonians, Chapter 4:
Good parents don’t beget children to make them their personal wheelchair pushers. We shouldn’t be “dependent on anybody,” said the apostle Paul, but on God alone! If old age comes, we have something in our pocket, for the Lord will always bless us and provide for our needs. God blessed us and made us leaders of our children—even financially! Many desire—the Filipino culture expects it!—as their children’s adopted beggars. But that is not the plan of God when the sunset of the believer’s life comes.
Our sense of independence because of our strong faith in Christ will help train our children to face life with confidence by the power of God. They said a grandmother living in harlotry may produce a bloodline of harlots for a hundred years. It is true with the Christian parenting. God said, “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Prov. 22:6) If we focus our parental modeling on the virtues of honest self-sufficiency, our children would strive to attain financial stability like their parents. This role-model push on economic fortitude gets it perfect result only when coupled with our Christian biblical convictions. Taught our Lord in John 15:5 that “apart from Me you can do nothing.” We can do everything worthy of doing in Christ. (See: Phil. 4:13) Given this blueprint, our children would become not just self-sufficient, but Christ-centered and God-dependent.
For the non-Christian, parental role modeling gets also the children’s attention except that all roads in this platform lead to a worldly sense of stability and happiness—nothing more! Someone tweeted that if you like what you are doing, that is happiness. I don’t believe that if you support abortion, that too is happiness. It is the point when the biblical God is removed from our parental portfolio.
3. Good Parents Depend on God, Not on Their Children
Here’s what the apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:14 about the biblical family setup, that is, the parents supporting the children, and not the reverse of it: “Here for this third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you; for I do not seek what is yours, but you; for children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.” (NASB) In the King James version, it says, for the same verse: “for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.” In NIV: “After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.” And in NLT: “After all, children don’t provide for their parents. Rather, parents provide for their children.” Much clearer in New Living Translation: children don’t provide for their parents!
Do you want to be good parents? If so, guide your children, teach them, then give them the “I-will-help-you-if-I-can” kind of love. Mark my word folks, no child will ever turn one’s back on this kind of parent, more so during the latter’s old age.