My children are grown. But if I had my time to go over these are some things I would stress to them. I do not take full responsibility for all these ideas. They did not all originate with me. But I have given my approval and my twist on each thus I can readily endorse them.
1. GOD is real. The Bible begins with “In the beginning GOD.” There is no proof of His existence given yet Rom 1: 20 notes that even the creation proclaims a Creator. Moses in Deuteronomy 6 notes we should talk of GOD with our children in all areas of life. It should be a natural topic of conversation. If I were rearing my children again, I would do this even more than I did the first time around.
2. Bible is His word – Rom 10:17. And it produces faith. One’s faith will only be as strong as his time spent in the word. I am thankful my Teresa put an emphasis on the study of the word when the children were small. If I were rearing them again, this emphasis would be increased.
3. In a world of relativism, there are absolutes. Recognize evil and avoid it. 1 Thes 5:22, Prov 4: 14-15
4. There are consequences to decisions we make. Dan 1:8, Gal 6:7, Gal 5:22, 2 Tim 3: 16-17
5. Respect for authority. I am convinced this is one area that can cost our children their soul. The reason I say this is because one’s attitude toward parental authority will carry over to other forms of authority. The Ultimate Authority will determine our eternal destination.
6. Take Responsibility – Gal 6:5, Heb 5: 11-14, grow up and be a man, stop whining.
7. Happiness/contentment is not about the external circumstances. Phil 4: 10-14, Habakkuk, the entire book. (What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.)
8. You are unique. Be yourself – no one else can be – if you try to be someone else you will do a poor job. Don’t play the comparison game. Success is measured in how far you have come not where you are. Prov 22:6 states to train up a child in the way in which he should go. The “way” is not the way of salvation or else this verse would be proclaiming the impossibility of falling. The “way” described in this verse has to do with being a unique being with a particular set of traits. Teach your children to be who GOD created them to be. And of course we do this within His Word.
9. Balance – you need to be balanced in life. Jesus grew in 4 areas – Luke 2:52 – if this was good for Him then it will be good for you. The Pharisees were 1st Century extremists. There is danger in being too far left or right – the middle ground is a balanced approach.
10. Life is full of painful lessons – learn from them. Job 14:1