Saturday, June 6, 2009

Child Development:: Fostering Respect for Marriage and Opposite Sex

The home is a training ground for a child's adult life. In most cases, marriage and raising children of his or her own will be a part of that child's adult life. In other cases, a child may remain single. Either way, lessons learned in the home will either benefit or hinder a child in establishing a successful adult life. Learning how to inter-relate with members of the opposite sex and also to have a high view of marriage and rearing a family is an important piece of that equation.

Of course, we begin with the assumptions that the child is being taught to know, revere, love, and obey the Lord, as well as to depend on the Lord's grace and wisdom in all things. Next to that, we assume that parents are teaching their children to respect and obey them, a commandment with a very specific promise of long life attached to it.

Here are some other things that can help:

1) Let the child see that your life is properly oriented toward God's priorities. Your relationship with the Lord should come first in all things.
2)Speak with respect to and about your husband. If you have a disagreement with your husband, handle it in a godly way. Pray for a heart filled with love for your spouse, and put to death bitterness, unforgiveness, disrespect, the habit of always knowing better, and a negative outlooks. Your child will model what he or she sees in you.
3) Teach children how to handle conflicts between siblings in godly ways. The depth of these lessons will change over the years as children mature. Young toddlers may need very simple instructions in how to share.
4) Strive for an atmosphere of good nature, clean fun, and pure joy in the home. If home is not a fun place to be or if children feel that you are more burdened by your worship of the Lord than filled with joy, they will develop negative attitudes about both God and family life.
5) While you strive to make your home a fun place to be, do not allow coarse joking, derrogative comments, or bickering. Children will have issues that need to be dealt with. Not all of their feelings will be immediately godly. (Are ours?) However, help them work through these things i a way that builds their faith and that builds others up.
6) Speak well of marriage, having children, and the joys of being a woman. (I'm assuming in these articles that most of the people who read my blog are women, of course.)
7) Enlist your husband's help in creating an atmosphere of respect. A husband's gentle word goes a long way toward helping a teen overcome a disrespectful way of thinking and communicating, especially if that should be directed toward the mother.
8) Listen to your children. Respect them as individuals created in the image of the Lord. It is your responsibility to be the parent and not just the buddy. However, that does not mean that you should not treat them in a way that builds them up.

Enjoy!
Elizabeth

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