AS a motivational speaker, I am frequently invited to public speaking gigs. Among other numerous topics, one topic that I am requested to speak about quite often is how to raise Godly children.
It seems there is a surge of parents who are seeking guidance in order to be intentional about raising their children to be productive members of society.
For their efforts, they should be commended because if their children rise up to be honest, hard-working, God-fearing citizens, they will be a blessing to us as a nation as they become the next generation to carry our country forward.
I decided after a recent speech received such overwhelmingly positive feedback, that I would sum up some of the practical tips I gave to that audience. You can find the full speech on my YouTube channel if you are interested.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but I hope it offers a few tips to get you started in the right direction.
The first one is simple to say, yet hard to do. Practise what you preach! Don’t teach your children to appear to be holy! Teach them by your life to “be holy”! What do I mean by that? We have all been guilty at times of putting on our “church face” and then there is the real us that the family knows all too well.
It is who we are when we are behind closed doors — and the real us is very different than what we claim to believe and practise at church. Let me guarantee you that more life lessons to your children will be “caught” than “taught”.
Don’t underestimate what they are watching and what they will one day model after years of daily sitting under your “tutelage”.
The Bible encourages us, as parents, in Deuteronomy 6: 6-9: “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
Share real life praises and struggles with your child. Biblically, we should be sharing how we apply God’s word to help us make decisions and guide our life when we sit at home, when we walk along the road, when they get up, and when they lie down!
I do a lot of counselling with parents and I am shocked at how many times I hear something like “they are just a child. They don’t understand”. They understand far more than most give them credit for.
Yes, you may have to explain it in basic terms that they can understand, but helping them learn the school of life by sharing the day in and day out struggles you go through in the home, at the workplace, and even with them is invaluable training they will one day use to become mature adults.
If you want to hear some specific examples I shared on this point, go to YouTube and search for Ashley Thaba and find the parenting teaching I recently shared. I gave loads of day-to-day examples.
The Bible teaches that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life in John 14:6.
The Bible also teaches us in Matthew 5:37 and 2 Corinthians 1:20 to let your yes be yes and your no be no — just like our God always keeps His promises to us!
However, it is shocking the amount of lies we hear on a daily basis. From the electrician promising he is on the way to never arriving, to the lady at the store promising to give my child a sweet tomorrow, to the workmate promising they will come to church tomorrow, to the teacher promising to beat the child knowing that they will never do that because it is against school policy, to the father who promises his child he will be home on time tonight.
I could go on, but I am confident you can think of 10 lies off the top of your head you have heard today alone.
We somehow allow ourselves to justify these unfulfilled promises by telling ourselves it is okay since it makes the person feel better in that moment. But the fact is we are teaching our children that our word means nothing!
We are teaching our children that they can’t trust us. I can assure you that lesson will come back to bite you one day. One day, you will desperately need your child to believe you so that you can give them advice which they will heed to protect them.
It is imperative that they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they can trust you. Can your child trust your word? If not, I challenge you to start today with watching your language and your promises.
I hope those three tips inspire you and guide you this week in being more intentional about raising children who will be a blessing to our nation.
As I stated above, you can find the full message and more practical real life examples on my YouTube channel Ashley Thaba, look for the video that has a picture of my daughter and I on stage.
May you be blessed and encouraged to press on in one of the hardest yet most rewarding journeys life takes us through — the journey of parenthood! It isn’t easy, but this is one guaranteed investment that we will never regret putting our time, energy and money into!