Parenting Easy or Hard ?

Have you ever been walking through a store and noticed the many different ways that parents react to their children?  The younger children create many situations that are down right hilarious but as they become older you see a lot of reactions that are steamed from the roots they grew up with.  Ever notice kids seem to react and handle situations the same way the parents do?   The unfortunate part is that those reactions could have been different if we just had the right tools at our disposal when they were younger.  Now, I am not saying that it is to late to turn things around but it is much easier to establish good principles and habits when they are younger.  As parents it is hard to admit that we have created the roots that are producing the fruit.

The story goes – There is an apple tree in the backyard.  Every year the apples start to grow but then they fall off the tree before they become ripe and able to be picked.  The wife ask the husband if he can do something about this.  He thinks for a minute and then says, ” I got it.”  He goes to the store and comes home with some ripe, red, luscious looking apples.  He grabs a ladder, the fresh apples and a  staple gun.  After he attaches the apples to the tree he goes into his wife and says, ” Look, I fixed the tree.”

Obviously, a silly story but the point is good.  You cant just fix the appearance or the surface issues.  You have to fix the root system that is feeding the fruit.   Yes kids are born with a natural sinful nature but we determine a lot of what the root structure will be.  Lets dig in to a couple different areas that will help us develop better roots.

The first area we must look at is ourselves.  Being a parent is the hardest job on the planet but it can also be the most fulfilling.  One day you wonder if you could leave them at the grandparents for about 20 years and the day after that you couldn’t ever imagine not having them.  To be the best we can be, we have to get over our own idols that we might have.  The idol of comfort – this is hard or taking up to much time.  The idol of respect – they should respect me even when I am sinning and being a jerk. The idol of appreciation – don’t you know what I have done and the sacrifices I have made, The idol of success – I must have good kids so I don’t look bad. The idol of control – they are suppose to do what I say.  We have all displayed these idols on the surface. But the problem is if you have an idol in your heart then you aren’t focused on the only person who is really in control, God.

The second item we need to understand is that we shouldn’t be trying to get our kids to say and do the right things, from a mental standpoint.  We can’t just staple some good looking fruit on their forehead and think everything is ok.   We need to try and focus on where the issue started and that is in their heart.  They need to understand that they have a natural tendency to be ruled by their own selfish desires.  We need to help them understand that they are not trying to please us they are suppose to be obeying Gods law and growing to be more Christ like.  If they rely on him for strength then they can accomplish anything.  We can help them understand this process by displaying it to them.  Let them know where you have failed and ask for their forgiveness.  What a great example of humbleness obedience to God.

Some tools to help in this process is when something happens or goes the wrong way stop and talk to them.  Ask them some questions.

What were you thinking and feeling?

Why was that so important to you?

Do you think that was the right thing to do?

Does what the other person did control what you do?

What were you trying to accomplish when you did or said that?

Why did you become so angry?

What is that you were afraid of?

If we can get them to think through issues themselves then we are enabling them to do the right thing at all times, not just with us.   We need to give them principles to live by and explain to them that those do not change because of the situation.

There is a war out there.  It is being fought on the turf of our childrens heart.  It is fought for the control of their soul.  Be careful and continue to fight everyday.

God Bless

55 thoughts on “Parenting Easy or Hard ?”

  1. Thanks for the reminder Bill! Those idols do hurt to think about but this is what we need to do to really help the next generation. Our kids are Gods not ours, so we should raise them like we believe it. Thanks again,
    Kevin

  2. Having kids is a challenge… And the rewards are more than worth it, but the information in LIFE is the best tool I’ve found to help fill in the gaps from the stuff I wasn’t paying attention to from my parents when I was growing up.

  3. This was great advice. It’s inspiring to me to follow when my husband and I do have children. Very good principles. Well said Bill. Thanks a lot for sharing.

    Sabrina Coleman
    Houston, Tx
    Team Samurai

  4. Very great advice!!! Thanks for sharing. These principles are the only ones that works for parenting principles. I will definitely follow when I have kids.

  5. Thank you Bill, your post came at the best time. This is exactly the struggle I’m having right now and I never thought of the problems I was having as idols I was carrying. I’ve printed your blog and added it to the parenting chapter I am reading in A Woman After God Own Heart. The chapter was becomig hard for me to understand how to apply what I was learning and fix the issues I was having. I just couldn’t figure it out, then you post this, and it’s making things a lot clearer. Thanks again Bill

  6. That article was awesome. It really touched home. Especially the point of edifying God. It makes me think back to most of the things I have done wrong in my parenting success (or lack thereof).
    Thanks
    Craig Wisler, DDS

  7. Bill thanks I really enjoyed this article! It’s so true that we as parents are equipping are children for this journey called LIFE. I have often walked thru a series of questions with our kids when they ask me for Soda or Candy. I don’t want them to look at me as the judge and jury, I want to equip them to make the right decision for there own health. Thanks for setting an example and investing in your children’s lives.

  8. This whole “idol” reference positions who we are and who we serve.
    Great thoughts and perspective Bill.
    Bill Newton

  9. Bill you are so right on,as an educator I find it interesting that most parents have lost control at home. So the most discipline they may recieve is a school. But truely we cant be both to them. It was said years ago it takes a village to raise a child. We as human have forgotten how to be family regardless of color,creed and ethnicity we are people.

  10. Very good article Bill. I have three girls, 17, 14, and 3. It is a daily challenge yet most rewarding. I believe just as our children are works in progress, so are we. Maintaining a level head and composure are so important, because I never want my girls to feel they cannot open up to me for fear of my reaction. And I always have to remember that I too was once their age, facing the struggles and pressures they face. Thank you for your insight and keep fighting the good fight! God bless!

  11. awesome lesson I have seen parents cursing children and children cursing parents. then the parent flips the lid, where does the parent think there child learned that. We as parents are suppose to be the example of what we want are children to be. They only mimic the standard set before them. Can we remember monkey see monkey do.

  12. Powerful thoughts Bill. This will be applied immediately to my family and shared with many others. Thank you for the insight.

  13. ALL CHILDREN ARE A GIFT FROM GOD, WHAT GREAT WISDOM! I LOOK BACK AND SEE ALL THE PRIDE IN MY HEART,THINKING I AM THE ONE WHO IS RAISING MY CHILD. GOD GAVE ME THIS CHILD FOR A SEASON, AND WHEN I CAN VIEW LIFE AS A JOURNEY THAT MY CHILD AND I ARE ON, AND THAT I AM AN INSTRUMENT IN GODS HAND TO HELP MY CHILD MATURE IN CHRIST, THEN CHRIST GETS THE GLORY. ONWARD SOLDIERS!
    LEWIS MILLER

  14. Thanks for a great article. It really makes me think of how I react to my children. They really do need to learn problem solving skills.

  15. I love how you are able to put these tough subjects in words and make them look simple. You say a lot in little words . I catch myself reacting to my children at times instead of trying to get to the root problem. Thanks for the reminder.

  16. Bill,
    I understand this idea and oh how I wish I had it when my children were young, I am all about the children but we need to get to the parents so the children have a chance of survival. I am out spreading this word and the more I learn the more I get ut there. I am from the Fighting Kinights and Kirk and Cassie are awesome leaders and the philosophy the teach shows through in their children. I want my grandchildren to live by these principles too. WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND ALREADY ARE! Thank you for an eye openers to us all.

  17. ty bill i have three kids .19 yr old already didi what i did as a child.but still have 2 12 yr olds .got them on the edge series.and 19 is in the business.best christmas gift i ever got him.we will meet u soon.

  18. Great article, as someone who does not have children I still find the value in this. Thanks for this I have many people I plan to share this with.

  19. Thanks for sharing Bill. So many times on the parenting journey we forget about the heart issues and concentrate on the surface issues. I love the way you laid it all out so that we are not to focus on how we look on the outside but how our children’s heart is right even when we are not there. What a hard job but oh so worth it. God has given us such a blessing to care for his children and we should not take that for granted.

  20. I am so thankful to be learning this stuff right now, before even becoming a parent! I can’t wait to see the children being raised up by this community as young adults embodying principles most of us adults are just now learning.

  21. Bill,
    Thank you so much for this Blog!!! The info you put into this blog makes so much sense. I saw it first HAND… lol. I was raised with FEAR of doing something wrong because of the consequences that were bound to come after the act. I have to say that because of the way I was brought up, I learned a lot of respect for my elders and family members, and also learned work ethic, and to appreciate what God has provided me. Samantha and I don’t yet have kids but when we do we will definitely reference this blog! Bill it uplifts me to see how much of a humble student you are of God’s Word. Thank you and the rest of the Policy Counsel for all that you have done and for making some recent changes that literally changed the playing field!
    God Bless
    Jeremy Pethke

  22. Great post, Bill! With 4 kids ourselves, we have many opportunities to use the suggested questions you’ve posted. Thanks. I know by being involved in LIFE, and around information like this from people that are striving for excellence in their family life harder than they even strive in their professional life, we are better parents. We have a long way to go, but we have great tools and resources to give it our best shot before they are gone.

  23. We are so blessed to be following such a great couple who are pushing to change the world by first changing themselves and their families first. Bill, even though we do not have children of our own yet, these principles are so great to learn for the future but to be able to take these principles and help the children and parents around us whether they be children of family members, friends or teammates. Thank you for keeping up the fight. We are in until the end with you!

  24. Bill, Thank you for direction in all areas. Many times I see and hear people all for what we do but their actions tell a different story. Instant gratification in all areas and the delayed gratifiction is void in all areas. Your last words in this article are the most critical words I will ponder and meditate on today. It is true, Satan is using todays children as a battle ground and for an my house we will serve the Lord. I must be diligent in fighting the war on the hearts of Diego and Mercedes through consitent Christlike action and learning. I am 100% sure that my continued learning and growing from TEAM, Life and you and Jackies mentorship my kids will too be leaders in the war of the soul. May mercy be on all the unsaved hearts and souls. May mercy guide the Children of this world to Fight the Godly Fight. The Devil and everything this Fallen Angel consumes (oxymoron) is a Lie.

  25. tHANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR INSIGHT ON RAISING KIDS BILL. IT’S EASY TO FALL INTO SOME OF THEM TRAPS OF WHAT PEOPLE THINK ABOUT YOU ECT… ALSO THANK YOU FOR YOUR EXAMPLE IN LEADERSHIP AND NOT JUST TALKING OUT OF THEORY.

  26. Thank you for a great post and a reminder of what’s really important! Our children are grown and living on their own, but this information is still necessary because once a parent, always a parent. I’m also looking forward to having some of those conversations with our grandchildren.

    FTGF

  27. Wow Bill , Chris Miller said it there is so much information in that post,thank you, we appreciate you guys and Chris and Carol so much for everything you guys do,we desire to be the kind of leaders to our team that you are to us.

  28. Bill
    This is a great road map for a parent to follow! There is truly a war going on and our kids are big targets. Thank you for sharing the timeless principles that have stood the test of time!

  29. I want to thank you again Bill for this blog. I just finished re-reading this blog. And, again it makes me think of all the different parenting styles I see everyday. What a difference it would make if people had different information in their hands!

  30. Great information, I am now a grandparent and I see my kids being the same parent I was, working all the time, not having time for the important things. Not even realizing what the important things are! Now with this information I can be a better grandparent and parent to my children.

  31. It still amazes me how some people still don’t realize that our children are a product of us. They will mimick what they see and hear us do. We must all be reminded that we need to set the example that we want for our children before we can expect anything from them. Thank you for tackling this tough subject Bill. God bless.

  32. Great Blog Bill, it is very true how God is our primary focus. It always good to redirect our thinking and focus on what is important.

  33. This is one of the best blogs I have ever read. Everyone needs to read and understand that they just can’t cover something up and say there it’s fixed! The problem will always be there or could have gotten to be a bigger problem. Bill said it well you to fix the issues at the root. This information will definitely help me with my future children.

  34. Great post! I liked what you said about having to start with your own “idols.” So true! Thanks for the insight and reminder to remove the plank from my own eye first.

  35. Thanks Bill. God teaches us so many lessons by being parents. We often act the same way, like selfish children, toward God, but we just do a better job of covering up our temper tantrums (well, most of us). It all needs to start with me first. Get my heart right before I can properly parent or serve others. Thanks for re-focusing parenting my efforts.

  36. On point Bill… Excellent! We as parents must realize we are shaping little ones into adults. We must stop turning our heads the other way and thinking that things will get better.

    Thank you for your insight!!

  37. Great article, this is the second time I have read this, and I am sure not the last. This information & view point is so valid. If we as adults could learn to fix the issues we have from our own childhoods we could then truly parent to the best of our ability.
    I love the questions, asking children these questions can really give us a small window into their thoughts & feelings.
    Those questions could definitely apply to adults as well. Imagine if we could get adults to answer those questions as honestly as a child would 🙂

  38. Thanks for the great post Bill! We are having our first child at the end of April and this is just the thing I need to keep in mind (and practice) as we raise our baby into adulthood.

  39. This advice is just what I needed at this very moment! I pray for my home to be rid of evil influences and realize I that will never happen. But I can train my children how to handle the circumstance that arises, by asking God for strength. I am very encouraged to know I am not alone in the parenting battle!

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