If you’re a parent, you know how hard it can be to raise children. It isn’t just what you do for them on a daily basis, or what you expect them to learn and how you want them to act. It is everything, on an ongoing basis. Being a parent is a lifestyle. Some are great at it, and others don’t have the skills they need to give their children the best upbringing they could have. But, that’s life. No two people are the same. But the basics, of getting children to fit into the family while maintaining their individuality, and preparing them for the world you believe they will inherit when they are adults, is what I want to discuss in this article.
People have children, just like any other living thing does. God had Jesus, and we were also created in His image. It says in the Bible that Christians are considered to be the sons of God. God is expecting, just like any other parent, that His children, His sons, act a specific way. There are many commandments in the Bible, many different examples, that give us clues as to what God expects of His children.
Some of these examples are to not steal, to not retaliate against someone who has hurt you, to not lie, or even withhold part of the truth when it will set matters straight, and so on. These are things that should be followed for Christians to get along with others, including non-Christians. They also prepare Christians for living in God’s Kingdom in the future.
Depending on where a person is at in his or her conversion (which is an ongoing process), God is going to reveal certain things to that person. Realizing that there is so much to learn, and to change in a person’s set of habits can see overwhelming at times, but that is normal, and so is the guilt that is so common. Guilt should motivate, but when a Christian feels like he or she will never measure up, realizing that God does not make mistakes and wants that person for His own reasons, the guilt should be changed into motivation to continue working on changing and eliminating bad habits, and growing as a Christian.
Being overly-discouraged comes from the devil, not from God. God is the same today and tomorrow, as when He created Adam. It says in the Bible to not be discouraged, but to be happy. You can’t be happy if you’re riddled with guilt and discouraged to the point you don’t want to try any more. God wants us to keep trying, but He also wants to teach us so that we can grow. Don’t be discouraged by what you did not do in the past, and give yourself time to actually learn new skills, and to put them into action as they are needed. God is extremely patient, just like a parent who is teaching a child a new skill.
Eating with a fork takes more skill than eating with fingers, and a parent who is teaching a child how to use utensils knows this. This is true with any new skill, although some are more easily learned than others. A good parent does not expect more than a child can do, but also can tell when a child is not trying. God doesn’t just look at what Christians do, but also looks at the intentions, the motivations, and everything else that influences what a person does or doesn’t do. Just like many parents, God has His own set of rules. He cares what both Christians and non-Christians do, but He also expects better behavior out of Christians. These are the ones He teaches, protects, blesses, provides for, and He expects them to be thankful for those things. When a parent gives a child something, being told thank you, or even just simply getting a smile in return, makes all the difference between a thankful child and one who isn’t thankful. It’s the attitude that counts.