by Rev. Fr. V.V. Paulose, Toronto, Canada
"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord." (Ephesians 6:4)
Are you tired of parenting?
Love your children as Christ loved you. Children need love - that is the food and water for their growth. Neglecting your children is not parenting, but irresponsibility for which we are answerable to the Creator. With love, care and support from the parents/family, any positive change can be brought about in a child. Bringing a child into this world is a special gift from above, and we should do justice to the opportunity given to us. That way, we participate in the process of creation, growth and blessings.
Parenting is not easy - it takes a lot of patience to raise children in a loving Christ-honoring manner. Frustration and anger should not be the cause for discipline. Instead, parents should act in love, treating their children as Jesus treats the people he loves. This is vital to childrenís development and to their understanding of what Christ is like.
Alesha Deece-Caisidy grew up feeling useless, unimportant and unloved. Her mother was always yelling at her. "It was even worse when she would come home drunk, hit me and tell me to go away," she said. The situation changed when she was put in a foster home at age 8. She says, "I was one of those kinds who hated myself, and blamed myself for everything that my mother had done to me." But she was lucky that a loving family had adopted her. "Having a family who supports you, even when youíre being difficult, totally changes your life," the 14 years old Canadian teen said.
Every kid in the world deserves a family, especially the difficult and challenging ones. Who will hear the cries of the innocent children? Who will understand their challenges, fear, shame and shyness? The answer is clear. We, as parents and guardians, have to love and guide them, and ensure that we are always there for our children.
Jesus, you said, "let the children come to me, donít stop them; heaven is for these children." We pray for all those who struggle with parenting. May the kids who have challenges and difficulties be supported and loved always. We asked this in the name of Jesus.
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