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July 8, 2023

The first school in which we enroll, and the most important in shaping our future, is our home. A casual view of modern TV shows might lead us to believe that parents don’t matter. I contend that nothing matters more.

When Benjamin West was a boy, his mother left him in charge of his younger sister, Sally. Benjamin found bottles of colored ink and painted Sally’s portrait. When his mother arrived home, she discovered spilled ink and ruined paper. But before she had the chance to scold Benjamin, she saw the picture. Then she planted an encouraging kiss on his cheek. He would grow up to become of the greatest painters of historic and religious artworks, a teacher of many other famous artists, and a major force in launching Britain’s Royal Academy of Arts, for which he served as president. Benjamin West would later say, “My mother’s kiss made me a painter.”

Every child’s life is like a book of blank pages waiting to be written on. Something is written each day. A parent who exposes a child of hours of television, video games, unsupervised time on the Internet, and an occasional trip to church is not likely to raise a child whose value system will mirror that of the parent. The child will probably reflect the value system of the entertainment industry.

While researching for a book I co-wrote on juvenile delinquency (“Kids Who Kill”), I became aware that children need parents who are informed, involved and (yes) invasive in their children’s lives. There is no single fact that will explain why a child as young as eleven would commit mass murder, but one thing seems certain: the likelihood of this taking place decreases drastically when children have a stable home, good role models and parents who are clearly more afraid for their children than afraid of their children.

Too many parents fear angering or alienating their children. They convince themselves that love means avoiding asking their children questions about how their time is spent and who their friends are. They fool themselves into thinking they’re being good parents when they don’t hold their children accountable for their schoolwork and other activities. On the other hand, we shouldn’t be “helicopter parents” who are so overprotective that our children turn into a generation of “snowflakes” who cannot learn through their failures or develop a healthy maturity and independence.

The requirement of parents summed up in Ephesians 6:4 is simple yet profound: “Do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Children should not be driven to exasperation by parents who make demands that are so difficult to achieve that the children are prevented from succeeding. There’s a vast difference between breaking a child’s rebellious will and breaking his or her spirit.

As parents, our goal should be to channel the energy of our children, rather than destroy their creative and curious natures given by God that motivate them to discover their unique purposes. We are further admonished to bring up our children “in the training and instruction of the Lord.” By both example and exhortation, parents are to nourish their children. Most values are caught and then taught. Our children are more likely to imitate what they see us do than what they hear us say.

We live in a world where a meal can be microwaved in seconds, and an Internet message can be transmitted around the world almost instantly (another reason why it would be nice if they were fact-checked before hitting “Send.”) But part of the legacy we must leave is raising children who understand that some things can’t be rushed. Patience is a virtue as well as a pathway to victory. Things of great value take time.

If the thing to which you ascribe the greatest value in your life is your children, then don’t they deserve the greatest amount of time, nurturing and guidance you can possible give?

(Adapted from the book, “Rare, Medium or Done Well: Make the Most of your Life.” )

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Comments 1-10 of 23

  • Vivian Agnes Nilsen

    07/09/2023 11:06 PM

    I am totally speechless. I am a Grandmother 71, of a 9 & 6 year old girls and 5 and 7 year old boys. I am solo touched by this and upset that I did not do this with my kids, but God blessed me with my two kids now adults and both being such great parents themselves. Now that I have time I will definately find the time to help them fill out the empty pages of their books in God's Light. Many thanks for passing this on

  • T. Riley Shipman

    07/08/2023 04:38 PM

    My last comment may not have gone through, said I may be a robot ;o). Jesus said other than believing in God, the most important thing in life is family! Read about the day by day life of Joshua Ben Joseph (Jesus, born Aug.21st 7BC) and all His apostles in the last 1/4 of the totally FREE book - "greatest book ever written" that enhances our Bible. Jesus said "in My Fathers house there are many mansions" , most think of big beautiful houses, but they are worlds, larger than our earth (called urantia in our local universe) get back for more info - ex. Navy flyer. God Bless, Riley

  • Marie Frey

    07/08/2023 03:30 PM

    Historic. Groundbreaking. That's how organizers describe a new program in Memphis that teaches young men how to be better fathers. It's called AFIRM, which stands for “A Father's Involvement Really Matters.”

    Teaching low income fathers to interact with their children. Maybe there is hope yet.

  • Anne Turner

    12/27/2022 03:02 PM

    I am on the Board of an organization in West Virginia that provides at least two professional orchestra concerts per year plus some smaller groups. Our orchestra is one of only three professional orchestras on WV. The musicians come from all over the DC/Baltimore area. Recognizing the musical needs in our schools, we provide grants to music teachers in the elementary/middle schools. They specifically ask for certain items. Examples have been banjos and drums. Our Conductor and Musical Director is a Phd who directs several professional orchestras.

  • Lori B. Culver

    07/11/2022 09:39 AM

    Your newsletter is my daily inspiration! I know I will be filled with encouragement and God's word when I open your email, and I am so grateful! Thank you for sifting through the "fake news" to give us the REAL story! I'm thankful that you report what's happening without all the horrible language. I sincerely appreciate you, your family and amazing staff! Thank you!

  • Jerry

    07/11/2022 09:05 AM

    My Dear Americans a couple of questions how are the dividends working for you that your Sugar Daddy biden gave you in the form of Stimulus checks a year ago? Are you better today finically than a year ago? Another beauty of biden's brilliant ideas I will pay you money to stay home and Not go to work result? Any answers for me on that one? I still need answers from our White suburban women "highly educated" how the family budget is working? In comparison I would take a trip on the time machine and return to 2019 where America was working and my dollar was worth so much more today I get a note from the bank to fill my gas tanks and a run to the grocery store I tip my hat to you joe biden job well done from your partner the CCP!!! Love ya Joe and We will keep our mouth shut as long as you do what we say!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bradley David Harte

    07/10/2022 10:29 PM

    Hi Pastor Huck, thank you continuing to inspire us with sound doctrine and wisdom. God bless you Brother.

  • Richard Higgins

    07/10/2022 09:23 PM

    I agree with fact checking. The problem is, that the fact checkers are mostly slanted in their own thinking and are unreliable.
    do you know of good honest fact checker I can use and be reasonable sure that the answer is going to be honest and true? Please send me the emails of these.

    Thank you

  • Joseph Orsini

    07/10/2022 07:19 PM

    An old concept from 70+ years ago is the ZIP GUN, a simple home-made pistol.
    As Japanese PM Abe found out, they can be lethal!

  • Kristi Ann

    07/10/2022 04:57 PM

    Home-School now Please Everyone in our Judeo-Christian Nation USA!!

    Love Always and Shalom, YSIC \o/

    Kristi Ann