“And godliness with contentment is great gain……..”. 1 Timothy 6:6
We can also start by saying that godly parenting with contentment is great gain. We live in a society where discontentment is rife. More cars, more money, more wives, more everything. Nothing is ever enough. Consciously and perhaps unconsciously the Christian has caught this attitude and we are all on an ungodly move for more.
Parents both individually and collectively are not left out. Parents seem to be on a competition spree – ‘their children must be in a better school or a school of equal rating as Mr. B’s, must go for summer abroad like everyone else’s children and so on. We say that it will build a healthy self-esteem, in that they have things comparable to their mates, but will it? Or will it lead to an over-inflated sense of self?
The unhealthy and ungodly attitudes of parents to give things to their children no matter what, reflects the core values of their heart. To keep up with the Joneses the parents now have to work extra hard and extra long. What happens generally is that by the time these parents get home after work, they are too tired, spent, worn out and really cannot relate with their children effectively. A man or woman only has energy for so much!
The children are then taught by default how to raise themselves with the disinterested assistance of a house-help, a weary school teacher or a relative.
It should be noted that what will profit a child for time and eternity is not the things parents give in themselves, but the active presence and input of both parents in that life. A cardinal rule of thumb is this- give the children the best of things you can afford; and the best of you.
Given, in every parent is the desire to give their children the best; but every parent should realise that physical items and things will never raise a godly, responsible child that will bring the parent joy in later days. If a godly child is the intent of a parent, then time spent with the child is a critical factor! The parents’ personal walk with God will profit the children little unless they are around their parents to behold their conduct of godliness. And by the way, the person or thing children spend the most time with will affect and mold them the most.
A heritage of godliness, humility, contentment not with riches or poverty but with godliness is the best legacy a parent can pass on to his or her child; and who better to teach it than the parent.
As parents, we all have our core values. With regards to our children/ or wards will they be values that will benefit our children for time and eternity? Or are we already training our children for the rat race?
“For I have chosen him so that he will command his children and his house after him to keep the way of the Lord….” Gen. 18:19.