What Produces Stable Children?
Psalms 127 and 128 have some wonderful things to say about children. They speak of them as “an heritage of the Lord” and also God’s “reward” (127:3 KJV). Another interesting description in Psalm 128:3 refers to them as “olive plants.” But the one that is most unique is “arrows … in the hand of a mighty man” (127:4). Verse 5 goes on to say, “Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them.” In other words, children are to be enjoyed.
But so many parents we talk with are not enjoying their children. Mother would rather work and Dad would rather play golf than spend time with the children. They complain about their children’s restlessness, demands, and aggressive behavior. They say things like, “They cost so much money, take so much time, wear us out and then break our hearts.” What these parents are overlooking is that our children are the product of our making. Proverbs 29:15 says that parental neglect will lead to shameful behavior: “A child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.” And shameful behavior is not enjoyable to parents, grandparents, or anyone else.
There appears to be a lack of security and stability among children these days. While many factors may contribute to this, one of the most overlooked is that parents must take the responsibility for developing stability in their children. Unstable families produce unstable children!
In building a house, stability depends largely on the materials used. Strong building materials result in a strong house. And so it is in building a child’s life. Stability depends on your building materials. Let’s consider five building materials that will help produce secure and stable children.
1. Strong Spiritual Foundations
Spiritual foundations make the strongest basis upon which to build stability. To be taught the Word of God, to be prayed for and with, to be taken to church faithfully, to see authentic Christianity lived in the home, to be led to Christ by their own parents, and grow up in a Godly atmosphere will be very stabilizing to children.
2. Strong Love Relationship
Children of loving parents will always have more stability than those from homes where love is lacking. Children are very sensitive to their parent’s relationship. When they sense a lack of genuine love between their parents, they will also sense a lack of love toward themselves.
The way mom and dad handle matters of training, discipline, correction, standards of conduct, etc., have a tremendous bearing on that child’s stability. There must be a team spirit between parents so the child knows they are in agreement. This provides a solid foundation for stability. When there is inconsistency and lack of agreement, children sense confusion.
4. Being Valued
Being valued helps build stability in children. We demonstrate that value by the way we treat them. The things we value most always get the best treatment. How you handle them physically, the way you talk to them, your responses to them, compliments and criticism of them, and comments to others about them all deliver a strong message of how important you consider them to be. When they know you value them it will deepen their roots of stability.
5. Stable Environment
Environment plays an immeasurable part in building stability in children. Children will suffer the effects of a turbulent home life. A stable environment is always best for producing stable children. But when the environment is unstable – due to occasional situations beyond our control – if numbers one through four are strong they can offset temporary disruptions to the environment.
Stable children are enjoyable children. A deep sense of security tends to reduce the restlessness and aggressiveness that makes a child unpleasant. If you really want to enjoy your children, do all you can to produce stability in their lives. Not only will they be a pleasure to you, but to others also.
By Jack and June Palmer
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA.