I guess it is because the bulk of my parenting (as far as child training goes) is coming down to it’s last few years that I realize so much that I wish I’d known when I was younger!!!
Most of us are not taught any parenting skills as we grow up, let alone marriage skills, other than what we ‘see’ in our own parents, and over 50% of those marriages fail, and how many of those that stay together are good marriages?
When I got married I had no idea what it meant to KEEP a vow, anyone can make them!!! When I said, “I want a baby!”, I had no idea how to be a good parent. After all, it was all about “me” having a baby, me being fulfilled, baby to make *me* happy!!! Little did I know that it really meant *me being poured out- exhausted-used up*. lol…
Growing up we were never taught anything other than make good grades, graduate from high school, don’t get pregnant, don’t do drugs, and don’t end up in jail. That was a successful youth life. Now mind you, I am NOT blaming my parents, they did as they only knew how, and unless the Lord builds the house, it will always be on shifting sand, thus why so many marriages fail.
Fast forward to being married, a child dying, and then three more kiddos. Now life was serious and all that mattered to me was that I be a good wife and a good mother. None of which I had real skills for. Life was no longer about *me*, but about my family.
Because of what God has done in our hearts (by grace alone!), we now know that having a faithful and strong home-life is necessary to fulfilling God’s will; and along with that comes a life of giving to each other, so we will be able to give to others. Life is no longer about *me* living out my dream, but me living in God’s will.
This life also comes with being skilled in more than academics. This whole belief of getting a good education, so you can get a good job, so you make make good money, so you can be successful is a big reason why homes are breaking up everyday! We have made materialism and self fulfillment our god. There is no replacement for the one and only True God, the Alpha and Omega.
Yes, education is important, being able to generate income is important, but those things are NOT the MOST IMPORTANT aspects of a “successful life”!
Our academic life must be balanced with skills for relationships and learning how to meet the needs of others first! This flies in the face of our ‘Be all you can be, you’re the best and deserve the best’ culture. Jesus said, “…if you want to be first, you must be last’. Simply meaning, you are to be willing to lay down your life in service.
Not only do we need relationship skills with our family and community, but we need practical skills. The majority of most children spend most of their childhood, learning things they will forget and never use in life. I am NOT saying they should not be educated!!! But they NEED to know how to take care of their homes, cars, and mowers; to cook, to manage money, to build and create things.
Knowing how to do a wide range of skills,
and the character to do them,
does nothing but make home-life easier!
How many men do you know that are frustrated because their wife won’t or can’t cook and keep the house in order? How many women do you know where the wife is angry because the husband won’t or can’t do the household repairs? How many marriage do you know where money is the source of most arguments? Yet, many of these same people pour most of their energy into their ‘good jobs’, while their home-life falls apart.
My point is, we need to be preparing our children for LIFE! We need to be providing them with skills and character not only for a good job, but for a good marriage and a good home. There is no perfect home, no perfect marriage or perfect kids. There is no formula to make everything turn out good! But, we are to be living in a way that that follows God’s way. The Creator of the universe also laid out the plans of a successful marriage/home-life in His Word! A life of putting others first, of working hard, and teaching it to the next generation, which by the way is the parent’s responsibility, not the government’s!
Make a list of things that you believe your child needs to know before they reach high school age. Then make a list for before they turn 19. They are more capable than you think! Aim for nothing and you’ll hit it every time!
Find ways to equip them with these skills.
- ~You may think there are not enough hours in a day. If so, then you need to make the tough decision to eliminate the activities that will not build a strong, well equipped adult.
- ~There may be activities and clubs that are good, but they may not be the BEST thing for your child!
- ~Do NOT depend of the school system to educate them to become successful adults, that is YOUR job.
- ~Make them be responsible and seek out opportunities to help your children have a marriage and home-life that will impact generations.
It’s not about the stuff you acquire,
but about the people you impact.
“Maturity has by now been banished from nearly every aspect of our lives. Easy divorce laws have removed the need to work at relationships; easy credit has removed the need for fiscal self-control; easy entertainment has removed the need to learn to entertain oneself; easy answers have removed the need to ask questions. We have become a nation of children, happy to surrender our judgments and our wills to political exhortations and commercial blandishments that would insult actual adults.” ~ John Taylor Gatto