December 29, 2019

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 possibly give?

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





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Comments 1-11 of 11

  • Clara Herrin

    01/06/2020 07:01 AM

    You are spot on!!!! For some reason, my approach to childrearing was very simple. I had made up my mind that I was more interested in making sure my children knew right from wrong than in being their 'friend'. I seemed to instinctively know that they needed a leader, a guide, and a reinforcer more than they needed a buddy. They would have enough buddies in their classrooms. At home they were required to have responsibility for their actions. I recall vividly screaming (I make no excuse for screaming at my kids...they needed to know I was sincere) down the hall, "I JUST WANT YOU TO BE GOOD CITIZENS." And they were. It was a tough row to hoe, but they were good citizens. To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure they like me even though they tell me that they love me. But that's okay. I know by how successful they've been in their lives, and that's my payoff. I also told them that their freedoms ended where someone else's freedoms began. There was no equivication on that point. And with one exception, they taught their children the same life precepts. One more thing I kept in mind. I never wanted to be caught doing something wrong if one of my children suddenly walked into the room. So...I challenge parents to give these suggestions some thought.

  • Carl "T" Smith

    01/01/2020 06:09 PM

    After surviving 81+ years, two marriages , loss of a Son at age 27 and generally thinking working 80 hour weeks, then months on end in foreign countries, seeing Communism, and poverty beyond belief was the answer to being a good husband/father and it dawned on me Quality Time is worth more than all the money in the world.
    I took the little effort required to put pen to paper and tell my Grandchildren a few things that I have found disturbing and a possible solution. One is when youngest ( 11) informed me "My teacher told us that we cannot plant enough trees to offset the carbon WE are spewing into the atmosphere that is going to kill us." To say I was upset would be a major understatement. I even considered visiting her school and OLD SCHOOLING her teacher. Not sure if the PTS or my age calmed me down but in my letter I attempted to explain that the earth is not going to end anytime soon and she could Predict it without help by observing what our Star ( Sun) decides to do. Then in all caps I extolled the Serenity Prayer to be committed to memory , explaining she was going to be confronted by Morons for the rest of her life, and having lived thru at least 80 "End of the World" scenarios I could assure her that she was safe. Then pointing out that that I-Phone in her hand has more computing Power than NASA had when they sent and safely returned man to Earth after walking on the Moon-BUT - the information contained has been input by MAN and Man is not now or will he ever be perfect--SO-- Question Everything, Including me and Snopes is not reliable either. Serenity Prayer Time.
    I closed by telling both that They are Special to me but the rest of the world will never agree with me but consider what you have going in your favor. Two Parents, four Grand Parents still living that Love you more than you will ever know and as long as my creator allows I will be here to lean on and even though I can't speak for the rest of the clan I know they feel the same EVEN if they don't always say so. Be Happy and enjoy this period of your life. Keep your feet in the stream because once that flow has crossed your feet it will never return. There is a message in that if you look..
    Back to your article- I believe academia is to blame for over 90% of the problems in America today. WE have been indoctrinated for generations now how great and Utopian Socialism is and how Bad Capitalism is yet our PREACHERS all attempt to chase the $$$ and the media has become Complicit in being the biggest Preachers we are exposed to. Just Cutting the cable is not going to cure this mess. IMHO the Churches need to regain the upper hand and ignore LBJ's attempt to shut down FREE SPEECH by withholding Tax exempt status--Find a Good Crooked Lawyer to find the loopholes and get back to extolling the virtues our Founder did even if it meant putting thier lives and fortunes on the line.

  • Edward Beck

    12/31/2019 06:42 PM

    Personally, I believe one of the greatest things you can do for our children is to love them unconditionally, read them the Bible, pray with them and be brutally honest with them. Let them learn from the mistakes that you have made.
    Kids want to know what the boundaries are so be clear with them or they will just set their own or just follow the crowd.

  • Elaine Liming

    12/30/2019 10:28 PM

    Thank you for telling a Truth which is known by every teacher who has ever taught. I was a teacher for 50 plus years. In the last ten years of my career I saw a big change in parenting which was evident in the kind of students now in my class. These students needed constant discipline, no longer were simple manners like excuse me, I am sorry, please may I have a pencil, thank you, and other phases I always heard in my early teaching, were now gone. There was a cartoon figure of a teacher ( I will look for it and send it to you) in an education magazine that showed a teacher carrying a load on her back---the load consisted of everything the parents of that day had left up to the teacher to do for them. The results of letting the teacher take over as the parent is one reason we have snowflakes and students who couldn't learn. They did not have a support system at home. Parents don't like teachers who tell them you need a parenting class because your lack of skills are creating lost generation.

  • Jerry Korba

    12/30/2019 02:12 PM

    Does anyone wonder why CNN, NYT etc. and the other Outlets that are Anti American stay in business? Hate driven outlets that continue to spew toxic garbage at the United States.; The big donors are Communist countries Look at Iran Syria countries that hate the way people in this country live by. With the exception of people that murder drug sellers and users. rapist child porn operators, people on the Left. Drug users are not financing the Left can't afford to; the others donate, China throws money at the Left by the pallet just like Obama sent to Iran CNN stays in business because China Finances it with the viewers they have CNN could not meet the payroll or pay the light bill or the rent the propaganda that comes from these outlets are financed by anti America groups that want this country to fail. Biden the VP for 8 years financed by China and his son all got money from China; wake up America China is not a friend do U think Russia Iran and China have military practice because they want to beat up a poor African Country Hello they have their sites on the USA if U get afraid move to DC they won't hit DC to many comrades there. Its the same as a safe place on college campuses. Help defeat the Left don't buy China goods.

  • Mary Kennedy

    12/30/2019 12:31 PM

    Thank you, Mike Huckabee.

  • Anita Abraham

    12/30/2019 12:21 PM

    I just saw Marge van Handel's comment as well - she is also 100% right - our children are under literal physical assualt affecting their mind, body, emotions, personality and spirit - indeed their very soul. You can follow Robert Kennedy who elucidates - also a woman in Texas doing very good work - Kathy Young, as an anti-vaxxer who is on Facebook - the concoction of toxins, mercury, chemicals most carcinogenic that the government is force feeding parents by mandate to inject into their precious newborns and babies is demonic. Please post about this as well Mike, thank you.

  • Anita Abraham

    12/30/2019 12:17 PM

    Mike I cannot tell you how soundly, wisely, biblically-based and beautifully this article was written. I want you to know we love you for the work you do, for the bible verses you conclude your newsletter with and for the force for Our Almighty God and Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ you are in today's world - never ever ever more needed than than now in this satanic dystopia we now call society. We love you for this - all praise, honour and glory be to God Alone. I am sharing this article everywhere as it contains profound and fundamental truths about parenting and what God expects and requires it to be. Will look to share your newsletter more often as well as it is often a gold mine of salient, thoughtful and well-written information.

  • Tom Green

    12/30/2019 10:11 AM

    Thank you to the parents who train up your child or children according to God’s love and His wisdom.

  • Kay DeWitt

    12/30/2019 10:09 AM

    Prior to reading this newsletter right now, I did not know ABOUT these latest tragedies so I am writing my response through tears so I can let you know that I WILL be uniting my broken heart, in prayer, with yours!

    Mike, with every added tragedy like these l just read about , it "feels like" my heart cannot endure any more heartbreak and that I could die of a broken heart!
    If you DO know me BY name now, you know that most of what I write, in my comments, is authored BY the tears in my heart over these never-ending senseless, tragic loss of lives that are authored by HATRED.......AND THAT.....

    It is AGAINST the backdrop OF these tragic deaths that ARE authored by HATRED that I feel such a righteous rage against the Democrats' HATRED toward their duly elected President from the day he took office!!!!!

    AND....instead of the Democrats looking to join their see what, TOGETHER, they could do PREVENT tragedies like the ones reported in this newsletter....they have used their energies to destroy him!!!!.....WHAT A CONTRAST TO WHAT JOHN DONNE WROTE, when he said: "I'M INVOLVED IN MANKIND, therefore, EVERY man's death diminishes me!" ....

    It is because John Donne's words are so real for me that, I can assure you, one more time, that I WILL be joining you in prayer to our Man of Sorrows Who is also weeping and sharing our grief over these heartwrenching tragic loss of lives!!

  • MARGE Van Handel

    12/30/2019 07:49 AM

    U can be the best parent in the world but if your children’s brains are set on fire by environmental toxins, nothing works.
    Follow Robert Kennedy Jr on Facebook. Titled
    Children Health Defense
    And find out what is a real problem is behind some children’s and soon to be young adult behavior.
    You see Mr Huckabee I follow you, I believe in you, but I need you to believe me on this one issue.
    Just call Robert he if he knows it’s you and will answer, talk about what is going on with America’s children. He needs your help, we need your help.