Being a parent is the most rewarding and challenging thing a person can ever do. With no manual on this child, one is left to navigate through principles how to discipline, love, bless, encourage and correct this child in a way that is most effective for them. For parents that have more than one child, this becomes even more challenging, because this child is now multiplied by two, three, four and sometimes even more. In a culture of counseling, it can be even more difficult to raise a child, because we are being given all these psychological thoughts about what we are doing or not doing to our child’s self-esteem. The struggle of parenting is real.Being a youth pastor for 25 years, I watched a lot of different parenting styles, growing up in a single parent home, I saw a unique parenting style and now being a mom, I am doing a parenting style. Like many of you, I fail daily, I seek counsel from other friends and family members and as a Christian, I am scouring the Proverbs, Psalms and all of scripture for parenting tips, principles and practical advice. With a myriad of books to buy, it can be challenging to know what is the right way, the most effective way to raise our children. So, what I am about to say, is not a criticism on someone’s parenting style, but rather a simplification and hopefully liberation for parents.
I have had multiple talks with my son about his time watching movies, playing video games or being on his iPad. One of the challenges of parenting today is all the technology that is available to them and at such a young age. My 8-year-old can work an iPhone better than me. But with that said, what I sensed the Lord say this morning to me was, “You are called to train, not entertain your son.” I said, excuse me Lord, can you say that again, He said, “you are called to train, not entertain your son.” Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” I was relieved to the point of embarrassment, as I felt like, part of training was entertaining. If he did not know what to do, it was my responsibility to find him something to do. But, God said, “you are called to train, not entertain your son.” Hallelujah!
Now I know I could be the only one that needed to hear this from the Lord, but I felt the desire to share it anyway, as it is so liberating for me. My job is to train up my child, not entertain my child. Yes, part of training will include entertaining, but I have sensed in our culture that we are supposed to be entertaining our children. This may be just me, since I only have one child, but if it is not just me, I wanted to encourage you with this word from the Lord, you are called to train your child, not entertain your child. So, with that being said, I believe it is time we ask ourselves our we training or entertaining our children? The answer to this question will either confirm or course correct you, because God said, “you are called to train, not entertain your child.”