Just…Parent Your Children.

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Greetings my English speaking friends and those wanting to learn, welcome to Just English!

Justice begins with parents.

It was both the happiest and scariest moment in my life: the day my first child was born. I was speechless. Suddenly, I was a father. What was I going to do? The baby looked so small in my hands. She looked so fragile. How would I raise her? Would I be a good father?

Right then my life changed. My wife and I were now responsible for a new creation. And our daughter depended upon us. She needed us for food. She needed us to change her diaper. She needed us to protect her. She needed us for love.

It has been over fourteen years since our first daughter was born. We survived. My daughter can now feed herself. I am joking. Our daughter is a lovely, intelligent, responsible young woman. And we now have three other beautiful children, two other daughters and one son. Our children are blessings from God.

Even after these years of raising four children, it is still hard to be a parent. I pray everyday to be a good Dad. I pray to be a good example. I pray to be faithful to my wife and children. I pray to be faithful to my Heavenly Father.

Maybe you are a father or mother. Maybe you want to be a parent someday.

How should you raise your children?

Let me give you an illustration. Let us imagine that you plant a garden. You plant some seeds. You want them to grow. You water them. You pull the weeds. You might even talk to your plants and encourage them to grow. It would be bad to leave the plants to grow on their own. Eventually weeds would surround them. Eventually, they would wither and die. Plants take work.

In some ways, children are the same as plants. We need to tend to them. We cannot leave them alone to grow. God gives children parents to help them grow.

Almost 3000 years ago, Wise King Solomon wrote, “Train a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old he will not turn away from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

To train a child, we need to give correct discipline. This does not mean we allow them to run free without limits. Children need limits. Limits help them to understand how the world works. Early limits protect children from danger. Limits help children understand relationships.

Sometimes when young children defy parents’ limits, they need spankings on their bottoms. This does not mean you should beat your child into submission. That is not my point. As the Bible says, “A spanking and a warning produce wisdom, but an undisciplined child disgraces his mother” (Proverbs 29:15).

Never spank a child out of anger. Calmly explain to the child why you are spanking him or her. After you spank your child, forgive them. Give them a hug. Tell them you love them. St. Paul added, “Fathers, don’t make your children bitter about life. Instead, bring them up in Christian discipline and instruction” (Ephesians 6:4).

It is not someone else’s job to raise your children. Be a responsible parent.

Teach your child about God’s love. And teach your child to love God and their neighbors. Teach your child about God’s truth. And teach your child to tell the truth. Teach your child about God’s justice and forgiveness. And teach your child to be just and to forgive.

Parents, you are the most important people in the lives of your children. Take responsibility: parent your children.

I’m Leon Smith.


**Click here to listen to the audio version.**

Greetings my English speaking friends and those wanting to learn, welcome to Just English!

Our countries are debating the definition of marriage.  What do you think about marriage?

Some people think marriage is important, while others disagree.  Some people say it is OK to have sex outside of marriage.  Others disagree.  Some people marry only one person for life.  Others get divorced.  In some countries, it is OK to marry more than one person at a time.  Sometimes men want to marry men and women want to marry women.  Other people think this is a bad idea.  There are many opinions about marriage.

To debate about marriage, we need to remember how and why marriage began.  Marriage began because of a man who was alone.

Humans need other people.  Some time alone is good.  But too much time alone will eventually make a human crazy.

In the Bible we read, “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is right for him’” (Genesis 2:18).

God created a mate for man.  He created a woman for that purpose.  The man and the woman were to live together as one.  They were made to complete each other.  Physically, emotionally, and spiritually they were created to fit as one:  married.

God now creates some people with the special ability to be single for life.  This is for God’s special purposes in their lives.  Other people God blesses with marriage.  And God gives them a wedding gift: married sexual intimacy.  Sex, within marriage, is a way to fully and safely know another person.

Marriage intimacy is God’s cure for loneliness.  And, through sexual intimacy, God truly cures it.  He gives humans more humans: children.  And, in marriage, God provides a safe place to raise these young humans.  Along with creating marriage, God created the family.

If we have questions about marriage, we need to turn to its creator for answers.  We find God’s answers in the Bible.

In the Bible we read that how we treat a spouse is important.  God’s design for marriage can be ruined.  In fact, one of God’s Ten Commandments is to keep marriage pure.  “Never commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14).

Wise King Solomon came from a family that knew the problems of adultery.  He stated,

Whoever commits adultery with a woman has no sense.
Whoever does this destroys himself.
An adulterous man will find disease and dishonor,
      and his disgrace will not be blotted out  (Proverbs 6:32-33).

God doesn’t only tell us what not to do.  He also tells us what to do in marriage.  For example, we read in the Bible:

“…husbands must love their wives as they love their own bodies. A man who loves his wife loves himself”  (Ephesians 5:28).

We are to treat our spouse as we want to be treated.  We are to serve each other for life, in sickness and in health.   If we are rich or poor, by serving our spouse we can both have joy.

God created a good and safe cure for loneliness. He gave us the gift of marriage to be between one man and one woman. Sometimes temptations are difficult to resist.  However, let us be strong against temptation.

Let us celebrate the gift of marriage as God created it. Let us work to keep marriage pure.  Let us keep marriage between one man and one woman.  Let us honor the creator of marriage.  Let us honor marriage until death makes us part.

I’m Leon Smith.