Do you and your partner agree on how to raise your children? If not, you may think you are experiencing a marriage problem because you can’t get together on this important issue. This can feel like a pretty hopeless situation. Often times your children have learned how to pit you against each other. By the time they get into their teens, those kids will be able to do what they please, because they will have learned how to manage you, instead of you managing them.
Looking at your situation more closely, you will discover that this isn’t a marriage problem. It’s about a man who has a problem, and a woman who has a problem. Before you can dare hope to be able to manage your children properly, you need to take a good look at yourselves. Why? Because it takes a happy, relaxed man and woman to manage children.
The Bible gives some sound instruction on how to go about this. Ephesians 6:2-3 tells us to “Honor your father and your mother that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God hath given you.” To be worthy of honor means to behave in a certain way. Your relationship with your own mother and father is a very critical relationship to take a look at. If you have unresolved issues between you and your parents, it’s crucial that you straighten those out, because the processes involved with coming to terms with your parents are the same processes that are involved in dealing with your children.
Keep in mind that children are very observant. They’ll watch how you get along with your parents, and form thoughts and opinions that could cause problems both with you and with your parents. After all, your parents are the grandparents of your children. So things should be good, not only for your sake, but for your children’s as well. Do all you can to see that issues are resolved and that your relationship with your parents and your in-laws is a friendly one. That’s an important aspect of raising children, for you’re demonstrating your character while you’re training your children.
As a father, make sure your children honor their mother and that they see you are honoring her as well. God gave you the responsibility to see to it that you do everything you can to make your wife the most fulfilled, happy person she can possibly be. That’s your job as a husband, and the same responsibility goes for your wife toward you.
Parents are children’s role models. They will copy you, and you want them copying behaviors that will help them to develop into emotionally healthy individuals.
Take a step . . .
Take a few minutes to evaluate your relationship with your parents, your in-laws, your spouse, and your children. How can you show more honor to your parents and your in-laws? What can you do to show your children that you honor and respect your spouse? What behaviors in your life are good for your children to model? What behaviors in your life do you need to change for the benefit of those in your family?
This summary is from Dr Brandt’s message I Want to Enjoy My Children.
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