North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

    Every parent needs to value the fact that nobody has more influence over their children than they do. As your kids grow, they purposely watch you to develop their own belief and value system. That means being a good parent doesn’t demand that you be a Bible encyclopedia or excellent speech giver (although these would help). Being an effective parent does mean taking an active role in your child’s life. Going fishing, coaching a sports team, teaching a hobby, or working around the house together can go a long way to bridging emotional connectedness.        A 2010 study, as reported by Focus on the Family, found that a lot of good parenting activity doesn’t actually appear to be parenting. Small talk, watching TV together, and participating in hobbies builds and maintains a strong relationship. Keeping a close physical proximity fosters a close emotional proximity. Sitting together on the couch or at the dinner table, as well as watching a child’s sporting event makes a lasting positive difference in the parent-child relationship.

    We show our kids we love them by being close to them and spending time with them. Often it’s the little things that make the biggest difference in successful parenting. Teaching your kids to say common courtesy’s such as: “Yes ma’am, no ma’am, yes sir, and no sir” breeds respect for future adult relationships and respect for authority. Many parents don’t take the time to consistently instruct their children on the age-old etiquettes that were once common place. And we wonder why the younger generations rebel and defy authority, particularly in the home. Instructing your kids concerning the right things is worth your time. They need to know your expectations. And limitations are needed to promote discipline. Your investment of quality time with them cannot be overemphasized. And don’t hesitate to hug them. When you stay close to your kids, they tend to stay close to you. If your teenager tries to push you away, give them some space with accountability, but hold them prayerfully even closer. They still need you even if they don’t always act like it.

    A good parent is like Christ in many ways. A Christ-like parent is more concerned about the well-being of their children than their own. How do you measure up to the following five traits?

    A faithful parent will be LOYAL to their children. A parent needs to practice tough love, but should never give up supporting their child no matter how difficult the situation. Love and loyalty go hand-in-hand. God is faithful and just to forgive us and we should gratefully acknowledge His loyalty to us.

    A good parent LISTENS to their children and cares about what’s important to them. They listen while being concerned about what is affecting all areas of their life. A child needs to be able to talk to their parent in confidence. A parent doesn’t have to know all the answers, but at least offer solace and understanding. The Bible says that God hears our faintest cry and is concerned about what happens to us (1 Peter 5:7).

    A responsible parent is one that not only listen’s to their children, but LIFTS them up. A parent will genuinely, responsively, and sacrificially lighten the burden of their children. We know that the pattern our heavenly Father gives is to help us over the rough places, guide us in the darkness, and supply the most simplest of needs (Philippians 4:19).

    A well-rounded parent will also have fun and LAUGH with their kids. I don’t know too many parents that don’t want their offspring to be happy and joyful. You can see the look of delight in a small child’s face when they see their parent walk into the room. My own daughter, as a young child would come running to me and say, “Hold me Daddy. Hold me!” Happiness in a parent draws our kids close. Also, others will want to know Christ when they see the joy of the Lord in us (Philippians 4:4).

    The most valuable trait a parent can possess is a LOVING demeanor in what they say and do. God’s love is the greatest love possible (1 John 3:1). And we’re only able to love, because God first loved us. Love, for all of us, is a built-in psychological and spiritual need. When God’s love is practiced in the home, it’s more apt to be given in healthy ways outside the home as well.

    Loyalty, listening, lifting-up, laughing, and loving are the things that give security in our most meaningful relationships. There will come a day, much sooner than you would expect, when your child will grow into an individual with opinions, responsibilities, and rights of their own. A certain degree of wisdom is needed when letting your kids leave the nest. But because we are relational beings, stay close to your kids through genuine love and they’re more likely to stay close to you.

• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s the author of the following books: “Living With Purpose (Volume’s I and II)”; “Soldiers of God” and “The Authentic Teenager” and “Spiritual Fitness For Runners” and “Understanding the Higher Power”. He can be reached by email:

Posted by on May 8 2016. Filed under Church News, Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *