Raising Children in Today’s World

Raising Children in Today’s World
By: Edna Nation

In a world filled with disorder, chaos, and confusion, it is wonderful to find parents who care enough about their children to teach them how to live. It isn’t easy being a parent in this crazy, mixed-up world of the 90s! Parents have an awesome responsibility. Today the job of parenting is perhaps emotionally heavier than at any other time in the history of our country.

This great country of ours was founded upon Christian principles by God-fearing people who wished their families to be free and to enjoy freedom of religion. In the first schools, the Word of God was a textbook. People taught and practiced family values, not only at home but at school also. Most of the values of America in the past were shaped by the Judeo-Christian principles found in the Word of God. The Ten Commandments were taught. Children caught stealing or lying were disciplined. Values such as integrity, honesty, kindness, and moral training were expected.

Not so anymore. The basic foundation of our value system has slowly eroded and is now crumbling to bits. Let us look at some of the problems and what parents can do about them.

1. Crime is at an all-time high, especially in the inner cities, often with teenagers killing teenagers.
2. Television is filled with corrupt programming, showing children and teenagers how to do evil. Often children are placed before the screen for numerous hours each day. When they choose TV characters as role models, how can we expect them to exhibit wholesome family values?
3. We live in a high-tech world that causes children to Teenagers need guidance to help them through their turbulent years.
4. The high divorce rate takes its toll on the emotions of children.
5. Single parenting leaves many children with an emotional deficit. Dependence upon God can help relieve the heavy emotional load that single-parent children bear.
6. The world is filled with mixed values that confuse young children. They hear that alcohol and cigarettes are bad for them, yet they see those they love and trust using them.
7. Many children are left with care givers while the mother works.
Often the care givers have values contrary to the parents’ beliefs. If the mother must work, she should be sure she knows the value system of the mother substitute. She should ask herself, What is this person teaching my child?
8. The use of drugs takes its toll on young lives. We must teach our children early to say no to drugs. We need to educate them, teaching them what to say, what to do, and how to act if drugs are offered to them.
9. Abuse of every kind is prevalent in today’s world. We must teach our children early to report to us any suspicious situations. It is important to keep the lines of communication open at all times.
10. Many children have never read a Bible. Let us teach our children to read their Bible every day and help them realize that the answer to every problem is in the Word of God.
11. Many children do not know how to pray. Indeed, they do not know that the power of prayer is available to them. We must teach our children to pray, impressing upon them the importance of communing with God every day in order to gain inner strength to face the problems of today’s world.

Here are some general guidelines for all parents:

1. Let children and teenagers know what you expect of them and what God expects.
2. Show your children that you love them and teach them that God loves them.
3. Lead them early to the problem-solver, Christ Jesus.

Studies have found that seventy-five percent of a child’s intelligence is set by the time the child is four. Other studies indicate that attitudes, outlooks, and values such as integrity and honesty are shaped in the child before he reaches the age of seven. Are you doing your part in the process of shaping your child’s values and beliefs? Or is this enormous task left to early care givers?

Friend, there is hope. There is a United Pentecostal Church near you that will help you train your children in Christian principles. It has an educational staff of trained teachers who use solid, Bible-based literature that is geared to capture the interest and imagination of your children. Not only will they learn about God and how to live, but they will discover that Bible learning can be fun! Enroll your child in Sunday school this week!