My Answer: What’s the best guidance to help raise happy children?
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: We’re young parents that want to raise our children right, but we don’t want to nag them and give them endless rules. We’re told that this can suppress their personalities and abilities and make them angry. What’s the best guidance to help raise happy children? – C.P.
A: King Solomon was convinced he knew how to find happiness — and he pursued it as he accumulated wealth, fame, pleasure, power, lavish houses, and wisdom. King Solomon seemed to have it all. After gaining everything he had ever wanted, he reluctantly concluded that his life was still empty and without meaning. His search for lasting happiness had failed. Why? His soul was empty.
Children are dependent upon parents for many things, but one of the most important things they need is sound leadership from mom or dad — hopefully both. The duty of parents is to correct and nurture children. Nurturing can be difficult and can bring hardship but it’s worth the effort. Children want to know their boundaries and while they may seem unhappy about it, this is vital in helping children grow.
The most important thing is to nourish children with God’s truth. A child is too young to have enough wisdom to recognize true happiness as they pursue it, so they must be led. Children need to be taught the Scripture, replacing what the world teaches with the things of God.
God gave us children so we could prepare them to become adults. Children will learn far more by watching their parents than by just listening, so we must be sure to live what we teach. Imagine the wisest human king saying that he denied himself nothing but learned that all he achieved was meaningless (see Ecclesiastes 2:10–11). We must all learn from these lessons that have stood the test of time.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
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