By Lynette Hagin
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” How do you train a child? By establishing a relationship with the child. Unfortunately, we are living in a society today in which parents allow everyone else to train their children.
I realize that time is very limited in our daily routine, but parents, it is so important to take time to develop a strong relationship with your children. The advice that I give to new parents is: “Enjoy every stage of your child’s life.” So many times, especially as a new parent, you want your child to get to the next stage of life in order to experience that adventure. However, every stage is very precious—so enjoy it!
A child’s basic behavioral patterns are established by the age of three. As a parent, how extremely important it is to spend valuable time with your child at a young age. Spending time with your children means participating in activities with them. We used to play board games with our children. It was a fun time just to be together and enjoy each other’s fellowship.
Of course, we always had daily devotions with our children. When they were young, we read Bible stories together. As they grew older, we began to read the devotional published by our ministry, “Faith Food.” As the children became teenagers, we began reading the One-Year Bible together.
It was great to know that our children were getting a foundation of the Word of God on a daily basis. We made our confessions of faith daily. It was exciting when the children saw those confessions become realities in their life. It taught them the importance of trusting God in every circumstance of life.
Another piece of advice that I often give to parents is: “Never express shock at anything your children may tell you.” I found that if I expressed shock at the information my children gave me, I would shut the door of communication with them.
Although at times, you may want to react to that information, stay calm and allow the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom in what to say and do in each situation you encounter. Your children are only under your wing for a short period of time. Value that time and develop a lasting relationship with them.
Another relationship that is important to develop is the relationship with your spouse. Genesis 2:24 says, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh.” Becoming one flesh is more than a physical relationship. Becoming one means becoming soul mates—being best friends!
Someone asked a question, “How have you been happily married for so many years?
“It’s easy,” was the reply, “because I married my best friend.”
It is so important that you and your spouse become best friends. How is that possible? Through communicating with each other. Communication takes time and practice.
Often we stop communicating because we can’t seem to get our point across. Other times, we are so busy in our daily duties that there doesn’t seem to be enough time to communicate with each other.
I always encourage every couple to have a date night on a weekly basis, if possible . . . or at least once every two weeks. This is a time for you to just enjoy each other’s company without the interruption of children, home, or work.
It is a time for you to communicate about any problems that you may be experiencing in your life or with each other. Misunderstandings can become mountains if you don’t begin to tear them down before walls are built.
The enemy is working overtime in the lives of Christians to destroy homes and marriages. Do not allow the enemy to play havoc in your life. Concentrate on working on the relationships in your life. Communication is the key to building strong relationships. In developing communication skills, remember Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
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