A song popular some years ago started out talked about "Me and My Shadow" taking a stroll down the avenue. This points to an undeniable fact: no man can escape his shadow. A truth of far deeper significance that applies to all men but particularly to Christians is that each of us casts a shadow of influence on other lives, either for good or for evil. Our Lord himself uttered a warning about the impact of influence when he said: “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin” (Luke 17:1-2, ESV).
Someone once asked my wife, “If you had it to do over, would you have children again?” She responded, “Yes, but not the same ones.” Every parent feels that way at times. When I started preaching years ago, I had a sermon entitled, “Ten Commandments for Parents.” After our first child, I changed the title to “Ten Hints for Parents.” After our second child, I changed the title to “A Few Tentative Suggestions for Parents.” After our third child, I quit preaching on parenting all together.
Someone said, “Raising children is part joy and part jungle warfare.” Being a parent is a challenging task, but don’t despair. Children need a stable home life where their mother and father love one another and stay together. They need rules that are fair and consistently enforced. Most of all they need a personal faith in the Lord.
The Bible tells us, “Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4) Every child needs both nurture and admonition. Giving them is essential to good parenting.