“What a child says, he has heard at home.” – African Proverb
My heart literally hurts for this generation and the soon to come. I often wonder and ask God “How am I supposed to raise my daughter in a generation of rebels and undisciplined kids?” The thought sends fear up and down my spine. It’s no wonder a young woman at my church wants to be married but doesn’t want to have kids – and I don’t blame her. I actually applaud her, along with a few others, that are cautious of bringing children into this world. Those are the types of parents we actually need in the world. But you know there are those who have children just for the fun of it? Or just to get a tax refund? Did you know that the bible actually says there is a duty to rear children to God?
But no, because of our lack of knowledge and ignorance we raise children to be bullies, desensitized, entitled, sexually active and sassy and furthermore ignorant. We think it’s cute that they “twerk” at the age of 4, get hair weaves, or hold guns in photos as toddlers. We are friends to our children instead of parents and disciplinarians. This is why we can turn on the news and see two teenagers in an attempted car robbery can throw a 4 year old and a 1 month old out in the freezing cold with no kind of compassion and sense of moral discipline. We don’t teach them morals at home. But we teach them “If they hit you, you hit them back”. On the contrary Jesus taught to turn the other cheek. We teach them to fin for themselves by charging them rent to live in our house when they are in high school. We, as parents, do this instead of investing more energy into their education and seeing how they want to pursue their time once they graduate from high school – and in this we miss the whole lesson of compassion and giving to those in need. Furthermore Paul’s teachings tells us to not “fret” and “worry” our children. Even in Old Testament biblical manners, the family stayed under one roof for a long time until they married into a new family.
I didn’t know – until I became a parent (and the more I learn and grow in God and led by His Holy Spirit) it is not right that our children have to suffer because we (adults) want to do what we want to do and disregard our perfect instruction from God in rearing them. We rear them by teaching our children, and more importantly, showing by example the life to live & lead. We have horrible communities, schools, neighborhoods, nations because we fail to start at home! Home is where our communities are built. We fail our children because we release them to others to train. And then in the same breath embarrassed by our kids, we say “Well I don’t know where they get that from!” Of course we don’t! We don’t know what they have been watching, listening to, hanging around and so forth.
We rely too heavily on teachers and society to teach our children instead of relying on Gods strength (as He give us ability as our obligated duty) to teach them. I remember going into a marriage counseling session with my husband and we were on the topic of spending time with our children and she spoke something so very clear, “The world is already teaching your child, the TV is already programming them to what they want them to be and how they want to behave. You have a duty to teach them how you want them to be in the little time they have with you.” It’s not the responsibility of environment and surroundings of our children to teach them and discipline them. It is not even the responsibility of the school system to raise our kids teaching them manners, values and even God. It comes from the home. And from the home, our children will go out and be the salt of the world instead of blending in it.
What don’t we get?
When are we going to learn to start to make sacrifices for our children instead of our children making sacrifices for us? When was it ok and acceptable that children have to pay back parents for bringing them into this world? (I’m still awaiting a reasonable answer to the growing ignorance.) When are we going to start to cherish our children and rear them in the way they should go instead of throwing them out to the wolves and “survive” to leave us alone? When are we going to break the repetitive cycle – generation after generation learning & doing the same thing instead of growing and pausing to say “hey something isn’t right”? Just because mama ‘nem did – doesn’t mean we have to! Mama ‘nem had to survive… and taught us how to survive too. But sometimes it just wasn’t Gods way of doing things.
We start improving our communitywhen we start improving our home. We start improving our home when we start improving ourselves. We start improving ourselves when we start improving our relationship with God. To me, that is the only way we can get a handle on this out of control defiant generation.
I love this list of African Proverbs on raising children because in these sayings you will find much wisdom in how to raise and parent, because most of us just simply don’t know how. A proverb contains truth, experience, wisdom and is often indisputable. We must learn and break this cycle that plagues this generation, that plagues my race, that plagues my country. We must get under the hand of God to influence our children – who is the next generation that will influence their society. I would hate to face God one day and I missed one important assignment – and that assignment was my own child. We must do better. We must.
Lord help us to truly understand your word to guide us and teach us. Be in our lives that we may invite you to be in our homes and in our families. Help us as parents to impact our children to be light bearers and salt to affect and change our world we live in. Help us to make Godly decisions as our children our watching, even when we think they are not. Help us to live in a manner that teaches them as well. Help us to maintain our homes under Godly discipline and instruction. Help us to be in accordance to your way of live and way of living. Help our children to have eyes to see our Godly actions and want to imitate them, even if it doesn’t agree with the worlds standards. Help us to have a better world because of what I do in my specific home, and I hope the impact creates an impact in my child’s life. Amen.