“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,” says Solomon, and “the fruit of the womb a reward.” However to listen to it from others, you would possibly suppose these phrases don’t apply to youngsters. “Just wait until they’re sixteen,” you usually hear older dad and mom say, with a understanding look of their eye. “You think parenting is hard now? Just you wait.” Ever since our kids have been born—the boy to a point, however much more so the women—we’ve been warned concerning the teenage years, and we’ve got approached them with some trepidation.
Now, with my youngest having simply turned 13 and my eldest not but twenty, we’re in a short interval the place all we’ve acquired is youngsters. And I’m glad to report that these skeptics have been unsuitable. These aren’t the worst years, however the very best. I wouldn’t say they’re the best years, however they’re undoubtedly probably the most joyful. I completely love parenting youngsters, and listed below are a couple of of the the reason why.
I like parenting youngsters as a result of it means we’re largely previous the self-discipline stage. A lot of the early days of parenting is making an attempt to show kids to not grievously hurt themselves or others. It’s making an attempt to instill inside them some primary human morality and a few primary social abilities. “Don’t touch that. Don’t bite him. Don’t say that word. Don’t go outside naked.” Youngsters are born rebellious and silly and the early years of parenting are spent convincing them to obey and be clever. These are valuable years and infrequently enjoyable years, nevertheless it has been a pleasure to see them give technique to one other stage of parenting. Parenting youngsters entails rather a lot much less self-discipline and much more persuasion, rather a lot much less “obey me” and much more “well, what do you think?” I’ve cherished seeing the self-discipline stage give technique to the considering and reasoning stage. I’ve cherished seeing rote obedience give technique to considerate knowledge.
I like parenting youngsters as a result of we get to look at them profess and show their religion. The nice hope and prayer of each Christian dad or mum is that they might have the enjoyment of seeing their kids grow to be followers of Christ. And whereas many younger kids genuinely profess religion, it’s within the teenage years that they start to legitimize and show these professions. As they grow to be unbiased of mother and pa and as they’ve extra alternatives to make their very own decisions, they show that their religion isn’t merely meant to impress or mollify their dad and mom, however that it’s a real religion within the particular person and work of Jesus Christ. There are few larger moments within the lifetime of a dad or mum than listening to their kids profess religion and seeing them be a part of into the group of Christians in an area church.
I like parenting youngsters as a result of it positive factors me new pals. One of many nice joys of parenting is discovering the parent-child relationship evolving right into a peer relationship. This unfolds over time, however actually begins to take off within the teenage years. In the future you take a look at your kids and notice they aren’t simply your youngsters anymore, however your pals. You notice you’d spend time with these individuals even when they weren’t associated to you. You notice they contribute to your relationship, they communicate into your life, in their very own methods they mannequin character and godliness to you simply as you’ve modeled character and godliness to them. I used to spend time with my kids as a result of it was the fitting factor to do. Now I get to spend time with my kids as a result of it’s a joyful and useful factor to do.
I like parenting youngsters as a result of we start to see the fruit of our labor. We all know earlier than we set out that parenting will likely be tough. We discover that our dad and mom weren’t mendacity after they mentioned, “This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.” We discover that there’s actual ache in seeing the foolishness deep within the hearts of our kids and actual ache in disciplining them towards knowledge. But because the years unfold and our kids get older, we start to see the fruit of our labor. Our kids start to step into the broader world by way of schooling and vocation, and, lo and behold, they perform as well-trained, contributing members of society. They start to serve within the native church and to show a blessing to others there. They start to indicate like to us in new methods, and to indicate that in some unspecified time in the future they are going to be in a position and keen to look after us in outdated age as we cared for them in childhood.
I like parenting youngsters as a result of it forces us to continue to grow. It isn’t too tough to drag the wool over the eyes of younger kids, to anticipate one type of conduct from them whereas allowing a really totally different type of conduct from ourselves. However youngsters are finely-tuned hypocrisy detectors. They see the place our stroll doesn’t match our speak, the place our expectations for ourselves are a lot decrease than our expectations for them. We are able to’t get away with talking phrases we’ve instructed them to not communicate, with utilizing tones we’ve instructed them to not use, with watching exhibits we’ve forbidden them from seeing. They start to name us on it, and rightly so. In the meantime, their questions develop deeper and their conditions extra sophisticated. We want a lot larger knowledge to steer 5 or 6 individuals than we’d like for just one or two. On this means, they push us to continue to grow in character and godliness, to maintain mining the depths of God’s Phrase and to maintain faithfully making use of it to our lives and their very own.
I cherished the infant stage. I cherished the toddler stage. I cherished the little child stage. However I feel I like the teenage stage much more. In truth, I anticipate it will likely be matched and surpassed solely by being the dad and mom of adults. Within the meantime, I like having youngsters and am thrilled to dad or mum them by way of these essential years.