Why is it that we feel we must rush our children into growing up? We hurry them off the bottle; we rush them out of diapers; we push them to walk. Why?
We allow eight-year-olds to adorn herself with pierced earrings, in lipstick and makeup, and rush them into dating at 11 and 12-years old…shame on us if we have been guilty of rushing our children. What we are actually doing is robbing them of the most glorious, beautiful, and peaceful time of the lives — their childhood.
One thought: if the child does everything that teenagers do at age 11, what is there left for them to do as teens? Doesn’t it encourage them to ‘move into adult issues’ too soon?
Good advice? Let them experience age-appropriate items at a normal pace. They will not miss out when it is their natural time. That ‘rush’ can also apply to our being too busy. If you feel as it you are always rushing your child, slow down and do something about your schedule. Cut some non-essential things out and spend more time with them. Look them in the eye and talk. And expect them to listen and act accordingly.
Nixon Waterman writes: “Hurry the baby as fast as you can, Hurry him, worry him, make him a man. If with his baby clothes, get him in pants, Feed him on brain foods, and make him advance. Hustle him, soon as he’s able to walk, Into a grammar school; cram him with talk. Fill his poor head full of figures and facts, Keep on a-jamming them in till it cracks. Once boys grew up at a rational rate, Now we develop a man while you wait, Rush him through college, compel him to grab Of every known subject a dip and a dab. Get him in business and after the cash, All by the time he can grow a mustache. Let him forget he was ever a boy, Make gold his god and its jingle his joy. Keep him a-hustling and clear out of breath, Until he wins — nervous prostration and death.”
God Says Organize! The autocratic home must first of all be properly organized. God gives the blueprint for that organization in 1 Corinthians 11:3: “The head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”
This particular scripture does not include children, but previous passages we’ve noticed (Eph. 6:1 and Col. 3:20) have already confirmed that they come under Daddy and Mother’s authority. Any time we get Daddy, Mother, and the children’s positions out of kilter, we are in serious trouble. We certainly aren’t happy. Daddy is humiliated, Mother embarrassed, and the children aren’t content, either. Society suffers and the nation is weakened, too, by the way. God has designated that men carry certain responsibilities and that women assume others. Men and women are not the same in purpose or responsibility, but they are equal in importance. God’s plan is that we
are “a 100% Daddy and a 100% Mother.”
What is the Dad’s responsibility?
Be the head of the home. This simply entails being the one by whom and through whom all decisions and orders of the family’s business are approved. You give the ultimate yes and no. If you are wise, you will
gladly share this with your spouse in many areas, but when it is all said and done, it is your responsibility.
Be the protector. This protection finds its fruit in both physical and emotional protection. God built with a man the ability to minimize his family’s fears and feelings of insecurity. With his deep, strong voice, he can scare any intruders away.
Be the physical provider. From the beginning of time, it has been God’s decree that the man is to make the living for his family (Gen. 3:17-19; Exodus 21:10). It’s important that the family be taught the lesson of contentment so ‘demand and command’ be held in check — in other words, live within your means.
Be the spiritual leader. A man’s spiritual welfare and that of his wife and children are resting in his hands. A woman is to submit willingly to man’s leadership (1 Cor. 11:3). Again, it is the wise husband who uses the nurturing skills and patience of the mother in this area.
Four levels of faith. John Westerhoff, in his book Will Our Children Have Faith? presents four levels of faith development. They can be used by each family to make decisions that relate to worship and training the child to more effectively participate in it.
- Ages birth to 5: the child has an experimental faith, where he/she slowly becomes aware of spiritual principles through other individuals. With this understanding, we should spend much time with the Bible and Christian people, and in regular worship, so our children can see us.
- Ages 6-11: the child moves to belonging faith, where he begins to sense some “belonging to the spiritual family.” Our response must be an earnest interest to get them in a Bible class of the congregation, and allow them to experience many fellowship and fun activities. This is definitely the age when they should be carrying and reading their own personal Bible, holding and singing from a songbook. 3. Ages 12-18: the child is in the Search faith phase, where he begins to question and test the par-ent’s beliefs. The parent should get their children with others so they can struggle together in the right environment…they need role models as that “significant other.”
- Age 18: the mature faith begins developing, and it’s the most exciting time of all, when the young adult reaches his own beliefs and believes because of his own decision and will.
Proverbs 13:24: “He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.”
Proverbs 19:18: “Discipline your son while there is hope, And do not desire his death.”
Proverbs 20:11: “It is by his deeds that a lad distinguishes himself If his conduct is pure and right.”
Proverbs 22:15: “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.”
“Any time your children will not follow your teaching, you are in trouble and they are in worse trouble. Furthermore, until you get your children to mind you, neither independence, good habits, work, communication, no togetherness will work for you. Having an autocratic family will come to a dead standstill if you don’t have obedience.” Obedience is vital in our home because it builds three essential
ingredients within a child. It builds trust, respect, and responsibility. Without these ingredients, your child will be a social cripple and will be handicapped for life.”