Father’s Day Message
How to raise children? Let’s learn from Ephesians 6:4: “Do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
This includes discipline or setting up firm rules, and also includes counseling, listening, and reasoning. Teach them who God is to you. Share your testimony and point them to the Lord. Pray with them and for them.
As parents, we need to live lives consistent to our beliefs and strive to strike a balance between truth and love. If we have too much discipline, we forget that they are not robots. If we focus too much on loving and nurturing, we forget that they are not adults; sometimes they must obey without fully understanding.
They need to be independent, and so we must learn to let go. Trust them and let them fail but do it progressively. Give them the support they need, and do not push them to be independent too quickly.
The above is difficult to do without the guidance of God and the Gospel.
For example, we may under-discipline, perhaps because we want their approval or are too eager for their love. But the Gospel frees us from such needs. Our approval is from God, and God loves us.
We may over-discipline, perhaps because we base our identity in them or consider them a reflection of ourselves, and so we fear their failure. Again, the Gospel frees us from such need. Our identity is in God.
Some of us may not want our children to be independent, perhaps because we want to be needed. We try to get from them what should be from God.
Or some of us may push our children to be independent too quickly. This could be because we are selfish and only think of ourselves. We forget they are blessings from God.
To conclude, we should raise our children through God and the Gospel. We must balance truth and love, dependence and independence, and point them to the Lord.
Summarized from a Tim Keller’s sermon:
我们作为父母应当生活与信念一致, 在真理与慈爱之间取得平衡。如果有太多的纪律，就会忘记儿女不是机器人。如果过多的慈爱和培育，就会忘记他们不是成年人; 因此，不要让儿女产生错觉，以为必须先完全理解，然后才可服从父母。
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