Personal identity, struggles and successes, and future relationships are potentially empowered or derailed by parents. What you do for 18 years can contribute to a life of fruitfulness or a life of turbulence.
How many people struggle with their identity and self-worth because of words or actions that their father poured into them? How many relationships have been fraught with immaturity and selfishness because of a parent's manipulation and bitterness in years past? It's common for adults to struggle with relationships because of insecurities or false ideas about their own purpose and worth.
Why? In one word: Sin. Each person's created purpose is to glorify God and reflect His character in our lives, relationships, thinking, work and worship. Anything short of that is sin, which is why Jesus Christ gave up everything to give us this very thing: A life that glorifies and enjoys God daily.
How do we parent this purpose and identity into our child? Daily and deliberately. Here are a couple of tips for blessing your child.
1. Bless your child with an accurate self-identity and purpose. Through your words, emotions and actions, blend into your child an accurate self-identity. The truth is that each child is born a sinful, selfish rebel with an incredible propensity to either glorify God or dishonor Him. Without God's saving intervention, each child is trapped in the destiny to dishonor God. The truth is that God loves our children so much that He sent His child to die, so that our children can live purposeful, God-enjoying, God-honoring lives. The pitfall is to go to one side or the other on this: You are an incredible person who doesn't need God. Or, you are worthless and have no purpose. Bless your child by teaching the truth about God, identity, purpose, and his incredible need for Jesus Christ.
2. Bless your child by being a godly example. It's easy to slip into bad habits like being critical, angry, and short-tempered. Instead, which good spiritual habits can I model? Self-control and thoughtful use of wisdom are both something that I hope to see in my grandchildren. One gift that my parents gave me is that they didn't gossip or allow me to be bitter. This has helped me have more stability in my life.
3. Bless your child with training on how to apply God's truths. Instead of berating the kid for being rude. bring to light a scripture, "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you." Or, if she is being unkind to a pet, quote the Bible truth, "A good man is kind to his animals."
4. Bless your child by spending quality time with him. Spending quality time with your child says, "I like you, you're special, and God made you for a special purpose." As you invest time with your child, you slowly fill that void that craves an affirming relationship. In so many ways, you are a living parable of God the Father. Ultimately, your child will find his identity, affirmation, and purpose as a child of God.
We have to evaluate our parenting through the lens of truth. Without the blessing of our godly parenting, our children will struggle in life. As we instruct our children, affirm them, and hold them accountable, we will see them grow. "Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he won't depart from it."
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