There are no perfect parents out there, but if we keep our eyes on God, He will give us the strength and wisdom to be a better parent than we could be leaning on our own strength and wisdom. I personally raised two children depending on my own strength and it was a huge failure. Neither one of them are in jail or missing, but they are lost to the world (which keeps me on my knees in prayer) and without the grace of God,they will never know how wonderful a Christ filled life is.
During the early years of our daughter, my life was changed, my heart was changed and I no longer need to lean on my own strength and understanding. I am able to go to God every morning and pray for strength, wisdom, patience, understanding and above all, the love I will need to give to everyone that God brings across my path for that day. As long as I don't get in God's way, He grants these things to me which makes me a better parent and wife than I would be on my own. I would never go back to having to rely on myself because my whole life was a huge failure.
Everywhere you look you can find books or blogs giving parental tips. I am very discerning about who I spend my time listening to and seek out Godly parents who rely on God for their guidance and who are applying Godly principles throughout their lives and the raising of their children. One of the families who I listen to closely is the Duggers. On their website I found five of my all time favorite tips that they use and we have printed them out and posted them on our refrigerator to remind us daily what we are working towards. I would highly recommend wandering through their entire site (if you haven't already) to find many treasures regarding parenting and many other issues too. Here are their five top parenting tips that have been such a foundation for our family:
1. Teach our children to love God with all of their heart, soul, mind and strength, and memorize God's word together as a family.
2. Teach them to have a servant's heart, leading by your example. Love your neighbor as yourself.
3. Daily read the Proverb of the Day that corresponds with the day of the month and discuss it as a family.
4. Diligently keep up with each child's attitudes and actions and ask what is going on in their heart. Pray with them one on one letting them lead in prayer and then you closing the prayer time together.
5. Ask God to help you conquer anger because it can destroy your relationship with your children. Praise them ten times more than you correct them.
These tips are goals that we are trying to reach. They take practice, they take persistence, they take patience (for ourselves) and they are worth the effort. We have seen great changes while working toward these goals and I have never known the book of Proverbs as well as I do today. There is a Proverb for every aspect of life and it is amazing how they will instantly pop into your head when you need it throughout each day....and they will pop into your children's head also when they need it. It is such a deeply inspirational moment when you see your child's eyes light up because they now what to do in a particular situation due to the Proverbs they have learned so well that they know them better than the back of their hands and then......not only do they know it but they do it!!!
I hope these help your family like they have ours!! have a truly blessed day !!