Monday, August 13, 2012

Raising Happy Children

We may look upon rules laid down for children as the stakes and ties that keep the vine from rank growth and entangle it to produce the best fruit, while the pruning might represent the parents' chastening...The obedient child is the happiest child. 
Elizabeth Elliott

Today's parents seem to be afraid of making rules for their children.  They are afraid their children will rebel if they have rules.  They mistakenly think if they give them everything they want and let them do what they want, they will be happy.

God gives us a lot of rules to live by.  His Word is full of guidance for us.  We are to dwell on the lovely and good, help those in need, be generous and kind, hate what is evil and cling to what is good, along with many other commands.

He tells us to train our children in the way they are to go.  We were "strict" parents as many of you know.  We had quite a few rules for our children.  We were careful what friends they hung out with, what television shows and movies they watched, and they couldn't date through high school.

We disciplined our children for misbehavior.  A few times we spanked them when they were very young for not obeying us.  Later, we used time out or other creative ways to help them learn self-control and be disciplined.

My children were happy.  No, we weren't perfect parents and I will never claim  I was but we did do some things right.  Obedient children are the happiest children.  Obedient, happy people make the world a better place.  Disobedient, unhappy people make the world worse.

Train your children to be self-controlled.  They will reap the consequences of a disciplined life and you will reap the consequences of happy children.

Discipline your son, and he will give you rest;
he will give delight to your heart.
Proverbs 29:17