Being a Christian requires purposeful effort. So does being a jerk in many cases. So does running a marathon. So does accomplishing anything praiseworthy. But to hear Father God say “Well done, good and faithful child”, we have to decide to commit purposeful effort into pleasing Him. That includes learning what pleases Him via the Bible, prayer all the time, and meeting together with other Christians for help and encouragement with both of those. It is easy to be lazy, requires very little effort and no purpose. But actually committing is a big deal and a lot of purposeful effort will need to be utilized to get into good habits and stay in close, maturing relationship with our loving God. And eternally- speaking and even right now, that is where we need and want to be.❤
The older I become and the older my children get, the more I realize that there is no perfect parenting style. There is no exact set course of what to do when for any and every child you are in charge of rearing. In fact, some of the most perfect on the outside super parents often have the most miserable children. Why? Because every child is different. Let’s repeat that for posterity. Every child is different. Even if they have similar personalities, they all come preprinted somehow with their own particular mindsets about certain things and perspectives. Even twins will have very distinctive differences, despite identical environments, patterns, birthdays, parents, etc. How is this possible? We don’t know. That is how God made it is the best we can do and it is good enough. Now, what do you do with these differences? You have to change up and be very flexible about style while still holding to the same moral code. For instance, when teaching “We respect our elders by treating them with respect”, one child might learn this just by watching you hold the door for an older lady or listen respectfully to a story from them. Other children will need to hear the words and the why behind it to learn that same lesson. Others will need discipline for disrespecting an older person before they get it (the dreaded contrarian type). So, as long as we are very firm in our beliefs of the principles we are teaching our children, the way you are teaching that lesson will look different for every kid. Some kids are motivated by gifts/rewards or acts of service or hugs and kisses or cheers and encouragement or time spent with them. Each kid has a different motivation behind their obedience. You have to find theirs. Sounds like an awful amount of effort and it is to do it right. However, we have such a small window of opportunity to put in the required effort until they are released to society for the remainder of life and will reflect proportionately how much effort you did put into them. If you treat all your kids exactly the same way, at least one of your kids will not thrive. Imagine if you needed and loved hugs and kisses and your parent gave tickets to a game. Yeah, you got a reward but you still feel empty because you didn’t get the affection you needed. Eventually, there would be a wound they would look to fill some other way. Food for thought.