Regret: verb- to feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over (something that has happened or been done, esp. a loss or missed opportunity).
Regret. I think every person on the earth lives with some degree of regret. There are many things I regret doing, or not doing. I could list them all, but those of you who read my blog regularly, know that there’s not much I haven’t done. I will tell you this. Out of all the things I’ve done in my life, my biggest regret is not teaching my child to rely on God.
When Tucker was young, we didn’t go to church regularly, or hardly at all, until he was thirteen. I believe that he learned good, solid truths in those years he was in church, but by the time a child is a teenager, if they don’t already know to trust The Lord, they’re left to their own devices when they’re faced with all the temptations of youth. And when a teen (or people of any age, for that matter) is left to his or her own devices, often times, they don’t make the best decisions.
Also, if a person doesn’t trust The Lord, and seek His direction, they’re not going to know who they are in Christ. They’re going to fill that void with anything and everything they think is satisfying. And some things are quite satisfying. Sin is fun, at least temporarily. It’s the repercussion of sin that sucks!
Teach your children to talk to God. More than “Now I lay me down to sleep”. Teach them that He is someone they can go to when they can’t talk to anyone else. Let them know that they can be honest with Him, and question Him. That He is not a god who’s sitting in Heaven just waiting for them to screw up so He can smite them. Teach them that God is loving, patient and kind, but that He’s also a just God who won’t let you get away with junk. Teach them that its important to read God’s word because that’s how you get to know Him. Let your children see you reading your bible, and read it as a family. It’s not easy to do that as a family all the time, but it’s worth the fuss.
Don’t shelter your kids from hard times. Family’s go through hardships, such as relationship problems, financial problems, personal struggles. Use those times as opportunities to teach your children to trust God to handle things. In the bad times, teach them that God’s always in control and He always knows what’s best. Teach them that He sees the future when we can’t, and allow them the experience of God’s grace and mercy through trials.
Lastly, don’t ‘spare the rod’! Children need discipline. Don’t spank them out of anger, but out of love. Don’t spank them and then tell them to go away. Spank them, and pick them up and tell them how much you love them. And I’m not talking about beating your children, don’t get all politically correct on me, but a good butt whipping never hurt anyone! Take it from someone who’s been there and done that!
When it comes to parenting, I suppose there will always be some degree of regret, but why not try to make it as little as possible! Oh, and when you do screw up (and you will) admit it and apologize. Kids don’t need to grow up thinking their parents are perfect. They’ll just be let down when they’re old enough to realize we’re not!
Pray for and with your children regularly. Pray that God will show you, and them, what their gifts and talents are so that they are growing up to be the person God wants them to be; not the person WE want them to be. And it’s never too late to start! God has a way of restoring the things we mess up. For that I’m very thankful!
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example. 1 Peter 5:3
Brothers and sisters, I don’t consider that I have taken hold of it yet. But here is the one thing I do. I forget what is behind me. I push hard toward what is ahead of me. I move on toward the goal to win the prize. God has appointed me to win it. The heavenly prize is Christ Jesus himself. Philippians 3:13-14