No child ever comes with a handbook or manual. It would be nice, but unfortunately we all have to learn parenting on our own and through the Bible. Also, if we are Apostolic or even Christian for that matter, the Lord will guide us if we allow Him to. We would all like to think that we are the greatest parents in the world, when in fact hearing a little advice from a brother or sister is the best thing you can do for not only yourself, but your children. Reading this article shows that you have let down your pride and that you want to be the best parent that you can ever be.
Here are some effective ways that you can use to help you in raising your children. It’s only too late to start when you never try.
Compassion, understanding and their self Image
We sometimes look to the family that seems to have it all together. The children are perfect little angels in the church house, not even a peep comes from them. Their father is always so calm and nice. Their mother is constantly holding them or whispering in their ear. There is a Scripture that says “a soft answer turns away wrath”. Being Apostolic, we should know that there is a time to be firm but we need to also take into consideration the feelings of our children. If we yell and raise our voice, we are showing that this is acceptable in society, so our children will in turn do the same thing.
We need to build our children up. When we focus on the good and not the bad so much, they will want to do those things that we are acknowledging as good behavior. Because it is hard sometimes being raised in our Apostolic faith, we should take into consideration those in the world who are already making fun or hurting the self esteem of our children. We need to build them up, which will build their faith and confidence in us, as well.
Give credit where credit is due
When was the last time you caught your child reading his Bible without you telling him to? When was the last time that you praised him for taking the initiative? If we catch our children doing good things, we need to praise them and recognize these things. What if you constantly did things for the Lord and obeyed Him in everything He tells you to do yet He never blesses you? How would that make you feel? We are Apostolic in our beliefs, but sometimes lack the fact we are Apostolic by our actions, or lack thereof.
Boundaries and consistency
The Word of God is full of “boundaries”. The Lord even sets boundaries. When He healed people in the New Testament, He set boundaries for those He healed, to follow. The Word also teaches us to be consistent. No matter what, we need to pray, we need to read our Word, we need to have faith. Whether we are having bad or good days, it is important to be consistent with these things. Being Apostolic also means to set an example and be consistent in the way that we raise our children, from how we discipline them to how we reward them. If we say we are going to do something, we need to follow through with it. Jesus never backed down. He knew that He was going to be our ultimate sacrifice, and He followed through with the redemption plan, no matter the cost.
Can you imagine if the Lord never made the time for us? We know that He is everywhere and all knowing but just imagine if He decided to skip us? I cannot imagine Him turning His back on me, especially if I were very hungry for His time. Can you imagine that? Our children need our quality time alone with them, just as we need quality time alone with Jesus. All Apostolic believers should know that time should be balanced with our family and with God.
Set an example
Jesus IS our example. Need I say more? Don’t you think that He expects us to be examples for our children? It’s not enough to just be Apostolic and look the part, then act the part on church days. What about at home; are you being a good Godly example for your children at home? When they see you, they are really seeing God and how they will perceive God (at a young age) is what they see in you, first. Until they come to really know Christ, you are their ONLY example. Be Christ-like, Apostolics!
Your communication with your children is like God’s communication with His children. Aren’t you a child of God? Don’t you think that He expects us to have great communication with our children? Just as we go to Him and talk, He wants us to be open and transparent with our children. He wants us to listen to them as He listens to us. Why should it be any different?
Of all the ways that we can show our children that we love them, these are really the foundation of proper Apostolic parenting techniques. We must always remember that Christ is the head, dad is next and then mom is in perfect order. God wants us to work together as a family in all things. It’s never okay to cut our children down or belittle them. In everything that you do, examine yourself first and imagine the Lord doing that same thing to you. How would you feel? Exhibit those same feelings towards the way you raise your Apostolic children.