SUNDAY SCHOOL: SUCCESSFUL PARENTING
Bible Reading : 1Samuel 2:12-27; 29-30
Memory verse: “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord”. Eph. 6:4
Introduction: Parents have the duty to raise their children in love. God expects parents to bring up children who will love Him, live for Him and make positive impacts In the world. Deut. 6:5-7. While there are different styles of parenting in the world, believers should note that successful parenting is achievable.
1. Different parenting styles
The Permissive Parents:
This type of parents may give verbal comments to their children but will take little or no action to correct them when they misbehave. Such parents usually equate discipline with meanness. They give in to most of the desires of their children. Eli, the priest, and Samson’s parents are biblical examples of permissive parents. (1Sam. 2:12-17: 29-30; Judges 13:1-2; 14:1-3).
The Uninvolved Parents:
Such parents are self-oriented and they neglect their responsibilities. They have little or no time to attend to their children but rather pursue other concerns of life like career, business, ministry, pleasure etc.
They show little or no concern for well-being of their children and hardly communicate with them. King David and Samuels were examples. (1King 1:5-6; 2Sam. 2:14:28; 1Sam. 8:1-5)
The Authoritarianism Parents
They run home with authority (iron fist) Children in such home have no voice or input whatsoever. That are “to be seen and not to be heard”. An authoritarian parent will use anger and harsh discipline to keep control. This behaviour may frustrate or causes the child to lose heart and lack self-esteem.(Col. 3:21). King Saul was an example. (1Sam. 20:30).
The Influential Parents
The parents combine love and discipline without compromising either. They have clear boundaries but also very loving
Children brought up in such homes are usually happy capable and successful. Mordecai, the adoptive parent of Esther. (Esther 2:1-10), Timothy’s mother and grandmother (2Tim.1:5-7; 3:14-15) are examples of influential parents in the bible.
B. GOD’S STYLE OF PARENTING
God, as the father of all, has clearly shown us the example of how to successfully raise our children. We need to follow in His footsteps.
a. The Father loves and wants us to be involved with His children (Jer. 31:3; John15:15; 16:27). He communicates clear instructions for us to follow(Pro. 4:3-4).
b. He forgives and show mercy when we fail (Heb. 8:12).
c. He disciplines and corrects us when we disobey and rebel against Him(Pro. 3:12; Heb.12:7).
d. The Father models the truth (John13:15) He encourages and comforts us. (1Thess. 2:11-12). He protects us from harm. (Heb. 11:23). He provides for His children. (Ps. 78: 23-25; 2Cor. 12:14).
Parents need to be careful not to either be extremely legalistic or permissive. God’s pattern of parenting is balanced by His love, affirmation and grace.