Thursday, October 18, 2012

What Makes Great Kids?

Recently, I have had several rather intense conversations about what makes great kids.  These conversations have been in rather odd places to have such intense conversations, a birthday party for people I have only met a couple times, over dinner with some acquaintances, and after church with parents of kids I teach in Sunday School.  By intense, I mean, parents asking me very directly what Scott and I have done and exactly how they can do it.  Step by step instructions as it were.  I generally can help if someone has a specific question, like what to do if your child constantly interrupts?  Well, teach them the interrupt rule and teach them that it is rude and love is not rude.  What do I do with kids that won't go to bed?  Keeping putting them back in bed and then make bedtime 10 minutes earlier the next night for every time they get out of bed.  Specific questions I can answer.  What have we done step by step to make cookie cutter great kids?  That is a much harder to answer and one  I am afraid I don't have a pithy reply to.

Why don't I?  Well, because firstly, the glory goes to God.  Like every parent, we are trying our very best and sometimes we fail, miserably, and when we do, it's God who picks up the pieces.  It's God Word that teaches us what to teach our kids.  It's God who loved us first so that we can love our children.  It's God who gives us the wisdom to know what is important and what's not.  It's God who teaches me that I am a sinner and need to have mercy and compassion and forgiveness just as He has mercy, compassion and forgiveness.  It's His Word that runs through my head when I am about to shout at my kids and stops me in my tracks.

Maybe that is the first step in making great kids - God.  After all, He loves them even more than I can and in the end, they are His kids, not mine.

Maybe that's what I am going to answer next time.  The first and most important step in raising great kids is God.  It's recognizing that we can't do this alone and that we desperately need Him in our lives.  For us and our kids.


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