I will be the first to admit that on any given today, I promptly forget that my children are really God's children. And in forgetting, I fail to remember that it is my job to help them safely get home to their Father. Most often, the days when I'm struggling to get through to them are the days I seem to forget who they are.
But it is on those days that remembering is the most important. It's much easier for me to love them, temper tantrums and all, when I remember who they are and whose they are.
I have been a mother for many years. And over those years, I have learned a thing or two about raising God's children. Although I am not perfect, by any means, I have discovered how to be successful as a parent to God's children. Here are the lessons I've learned.
1. Remember who they are.
Our children are children of God. They were His sons and daughters before they were ours. He knows them better than we do and He has a wonderful plan that will help them find their way home. Our part in that plan is to love them, to teach them of God, to pray with them and to help them become men and women of sound character.
2. Remember who we are.
Although we are the earthly parents of our children, we are also children of God. He loves us and He will teach us how to care for His children. If we seek His guidance and listen to the still small voice, He will teach us exactly what we need to do to raise His child successfully. God sent us our specific children for a reason. He will lead, guide and walk beside us as we lead, guide and walk beside them.
3. Remember who God is.
God is our Father. He wants what any good father would want, for us to be happy, for us to know love and for us to all return home safely. We can ask Him for help and He will help us. We do not have to fight the battle with our children, because God will fight them for us as we go to Him in earnest and faithful prayer. God is waiting for us to include Him in our parenting, and when we do, we will realize that He can do so much more with our children than we can.
4. Remember that life brings experience and experience is good.
The more we understand that every experience God gives us or our children is for our good, the quicker we learn from those experiences and the less we have to wander in unfamiliar territory. Every trial or challenge that is brought before you or your child, face it with a positive attitude. Ask God what the lesson is that you both need to learn from it. Choose to see the good in every situation and in every person, and you will have a happy and cheerful countenance and an abundant life.
5. Remember that Jesus already fought the battle and won.
Remind your children that Jesus' atonement is real. Forgiveness is real. There is nothing that Jesus' sacrifice doesn't cover. No matter what they do, there is always a way back through Jesus Christ. He is called Savior because He saves us. He saves us from sorrow, He saves us from sin, and He sometimes saves us from ourselves. Teach your children hope. Hope in the gospel of Jesus Christ, hope in His power to save and hope that they can be forgiven because of Jesus.
6. Remember that men are that they might have joy.
Learn to love God's children, for they are also your children. Learn to laugh at your mistakes, and don't be afraid to admit when you're wrong. Teach your children to laugh at their own mistakes and not to take life too seriously. The greatest love we can feel here on Earth is the love that exists in families. Seek to fill your home with that love and God will always be with you. For where love is, there God is also.
There will be times when we make mistakes as parents, and there will be times when we forget who we are and whose we are. But let us strive to see our children as they really are and as they may become. We are all children of God and He loves us so very much.