The way that parents perceive children vary from couple to couple and from individual to individual depending on backgrounds, orientations and other critical factors.
For instance, an only biological child of his or her parents has the tendency to be pressurized into marriage unprepared because of the eagerness of his or her parents, who possibly had so many siblings and have continued to wonder the cause of their inability to have as many children as that of their own parents.
Now, if this child of theirs gets married, all he or she looks forward to is getting as many children as possible (to make mummy and daddy proud and happy). Except Christ rules over this person’s life, his or her perception of parental responsibility when he has children is likely to focus more on provision of financial needs of the children rather than moral upbringing.
The rod is likely to be spared and the children are likely to spoil. Of course, his or her parents if available may unconsciously discourage efforts to discipline their ‘hard-earned’ grandchildren when they misbehave. This psychologically denies him or her access to the parental duty of children’s moral upbringing. Only the miraculous God can make such children turn out well in terms of character.
There are individuals who enlist in the marital institution out of desperation to have children. Some look forward to a particular gender. So, even when the children eventually come, as long as they do not fit into the desired gender, this person does not see them as children.
Such people once they get married and there is a little delay in child conception, embark on adultery. This kind of person hardly loves his or her legally married spouse as much as he or she loves the children that are eventually born into that marriage. In fact, he or she can do without this spouse after having children of choice gender. This is the kind of person who loves things and uses people instead of using things and loving people. The person has succeeded in using his or her spouse to get children. When addressing his or her spouse, the person refers to children as “my children” rather than “our children.” This is one of the ways to know a very self centred spouse and only Jesus Christ can deliver the person if the person’s heart is yielded.
“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me,” (Matthew 16:24).
Another category of parents are couples who I refer to as ADULT CHILDREN. There are different categories of adult children. There are people who are not married but have children outside wedlock by mistake. I call them children because they ought to be under parentage but have found themselves in the journey of parenting that they never prepared for. Parenting is for adults and not for children.
The second category of adult children is officially married couples, who lack the qualities of parents. They are parents by mistake since they lack understanding and idea of what parenting entails, apart from children reproduction processes. There are women that are very good wives but are deficient in playing the role of a mother just as some men are very good husbands but lack understanding of the roles of a father.
Parenting goes beyond child reproduction process and provision of finance for children’s school fees and material needs. If as a parent, you are not schooled in the Biblical injunctions on children’s upbringing, you can hardly get it right.
The fourth category of parents are couples who really desire happy homes, responsible parenting and proper upbringing of their children but have their desires truncated by economic and social pressures such as loss of job by one of the parties, company transfer to far away town, change of job or career and so on. Here, Satan creates a very convenient excuse for you, not being available for your children to bring them up as instructed by Deuteronomy 6:6-7: “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up.”
For couples who have this kind of challenge of not being available for the children, you must realize that it is your future and old age that is at stake here. You stand the risk of pursuing and getting all the money and acquiring all the wealth in this world as a young couple, only for children that you denied the privilege of good character nurturing and upbringing, to torment you at your retirement age with all sorts of deviances and violations such as police cases, daily troubles and even untimely death. May this not be your portion in Jesus name!.
If your business or job is making it difficult for you to watch the character of your children, you need to reconsider it in the interest of your future joy and emotional (not financial) returns on investment in children’s upbringing.
You can provide for your children’s financial needs, pay their school fees and give them presents. However, nothing in this world can replace your presence with presents.
Now, pray. Oh Lord! Make my home a blessing and a testimony in Jesus name.
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