The Bottom line

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
Proverbs 22:6

The contradictory advice given in popular culture about what children need is enough to drive a conscientious parent to distraction. In days past, moms and dads learned child‐rearing from their parents, who learned from theirs. Rightly or wrongly, they had a sense of confidence about what they were doing. That’s because the traditional approach to parenting boils down to some very basic ideas.

Here are just a few:

—When your children ask, “Who’s in charge?” tell them.

—When they mutter, “Who loves me?” take them in your arms and surround them with affection.

—When they defiantly challenge you, win decisively. Talk to them. Set up clear boundaries and then enforce the rules firmly and fairly.

—Expose your children to interesting things. Help them use their time wisely.

—Raise them in a stable family with two parents who love each other and enjoy a strong marriage.

—Teach them to love the Lord and understand His Word.

—Treat them with respect and dignity and expect the same in return. —Set aside time to build friendship and love between generations. Then enjoy the sweet benefits of competent parenthood and a wonderful family!

Just between us . . .

• How are we doing on this list of parenting basics?
• Where do we see progress?
• Which ones need special attention?

Father, thank You for the timeless wisdom that we can follow to help us raise our children right. May we parent wisely and lovingly, trusting in Your blessing. Amen.

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This devotional is taken from Night Light for Couples. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.