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.