By Lynda MacFarland
A mom recently asked for some online parenting advice. This was my response. There were a lot of others, but this is my blog entry so I’ll only post what I basically shared!
Live a life of faith, talk to your children about God and make God and Christian beliefs a part of your everyday experience. Always keep lines of communication open. Don’t let fear keep you from allowing your kids to be part of the culture. You can explain things to them, ask them questions and respond with love and patience to theirs. If God is just as much a part of your life as your spouse and children, it is natural and not just ‘something you do on Sundays!’ Discuss books and movies and music with them. Not in a condemning way, but teaching them to be thoughtful about what the messages are therein. You can help develop their critical thinking skills as you enhance their faith.
Fear is not of God. Best thing to do is pray for them and pray that the Holy Spirit will give you wisdom and discernment in dealing with them on matters of faith. Ask to know not only what to say but when to keep silent. Remember that youth is for making mistakes. Do not expect perfection and be there to pick them up if they fall. If you give them a loving but firm foundation, even if they wander, they’ll come back one day. Never stop praying for them!
Finally, make sure you know the faith and Scripture well so you are giving good information and can answer their questions. If you always treat youngsters respectfully, even when their questions are absurd or uninformed, they will continue to ask and continue to talk with you, respecting your values and opinions. “Fear not!” God is with you.
About the author:
Lynda MacFarland was an Army wife for 33 years. Author of the autobiography, “Drowning in Lemonade – Reflections of an Army Wife,” she also has a blog with the same title. Both address the role of her faith in dealing with the challenges of living an Army life and are intended as encouragement to others.