I am writing this blog to voice out all the things that I know are the later-on consequences of being ignorant and passive parents. The implicated negative outcomes concern the behavior, attitude, and the personality of a child as he grows old. I am no psychologist, counselor, or social worker. I’m just a plain observer of the things that happen in the world today.
To start with, I want to mention what God said in the Scriptures:
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6
I am sure that God was not so carefree when He said that. He said those words with conviction and truth. And I believe He knew beforehand what might happen when the supposed parents are ignorant of the right ways to raise a child, just as He says how they should in His words. But first, let’s take a look at what is really going on right now:
A young couple got married. Like the other newly-wed couples, they started from scratch. They got their jobs and began saving up money for paying their bills, house, car, new appliances, everyday basic needs, and some other wants and leisure. Then a baby comes in, and the couple need to make more money to feed their newborn child. The father typically is the only one working now, as the mother pledges to take care of their baby and temporarily stop from working. Everything seems to be working fine for this family. Everyday, the father goes to his office while the mother stays at home looking after their child. Everything seems perfectly normal and simple. After all, this young couple surely prepared themselves for their married life.
Years passed and the child grew up. Eventually, another baby was out into the world again. And then again. This couple loved each other so much. By this time, they have saved enough money to fend for their growing family. Because after all, they already prepared themselves for a family life ahead of time. They had to, it’s their obligation to sustain their children.
Is it the end of the story yet? Not at all. The children started growing up. One by one, they started to have consciousness in the world. They began to have cognition, common sense, and other psychological growth a normal child experiences. They began to form judgments and knowledge. They started seeing the good and bad things, and while these take place they get to understand that not everything in the world can give them happiness. They can get sad, fearful, angry, or jealous, depending on the circumstances surrounding them. With their young and unripened minds, these children get to witness every unfiltered reality that is going on.
The question is, where are their parents as these children start to grow up? Surely their parents were awake as they cried in the middle of the night, asking for milk or a diaper change. Surely they were there as they learned how to stand up on their feet for the first time, to support them as they slowly gained their balance. They were there as they learned to read their first ABCs and wrote their name on crooked lines. They were there as they asked for help in school assignments, and they were there to attend in their school events and gatherings. They were there. They’ve always been there. However, the looming real question is this (and let me revise my aforementioned question a little bit): Where are their parents as these children start to open their eyes and watch every unfolding personal event in their lives? Were they still there to teach and support them properly, even tediously? Now, that is a totally different question that is answerable not just by physical presence of these parents, I presume.
Rearing a child can be as easy as being happy and fulfilled with a newly married or family life. But all things come with a counterpart. Rearing a child can be as difficult as shaping a lump of clay- we cannot get its perfect form if we are not skillful enough to do so, as potters are.
All the pleasant and simple things a person can do or experience are all found at the beginning of everything… Raising a child can be as sweet as holding your newborn baby, as sweet as their first cry, smile, coo, laughter, or mentioning of “Mommy” and “Daddy”. It can be as fulfilling as envisioning your children graduating from school and as promising as dreaming for their beautiful future. But will it still be pleasant when your son gets kicked out of school? Will it still be pleasant to see him taking drugs and addicted to vices? Will it still be sweet when your daughter gets pregnant on her 16th year? Will it still be fulfilling if all the dreams you have for them come toppling down, one by one, gradually, as the years go by? Will your family life still be promising when each of your children slowly becomes the monster you did not even imagine you could have? These blunt questions are as hard as seeing the truth that these do happen in some families…
It is easy to “be there” when children need their parents’ physical support. But being there to patiently teach them values, Godly wisdom, and love, is not easy at all. Parents do not only need to teach them, but they need to show them and be an example. One of the shortcomings of some, if not most, parents nowadays is being ignorant of the spiritual teachings that they need to impart to their young ones. As much as children need physical attention, they also need spiritual and emotional guidance. Children have souls too, not just bellies.
Going back to the previous question, where can these parents be when the children start gaining awareness in this harsh reality? Aren’t parents supposed to be their first teacher? As we can remember, God said in His words that (parents) should train up their child in the way he should go so when he is old, he will not depart from it. Are we not also wondering why even God has to mention that?
God knows everything. God knows us even before we were born. He knows the number of our hair (Luke 12:7), He knows our name even before our parents gave us our names. He knows who we are. He knows us completely, He knows the depths of our heart. He doesn’t miss out on any single detail about us. He knit us together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). No wonder why God tells us to teach our children as long as they are young, because He knows that as a child sees more in the world, he is exposed to its fallenness and wickedness, and He doesn’t want any of His children to go astray!
God loves children very much, that Jesus even said that,
Unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. – Matthew 18:3
God knows that a child’s heart is pure, unblemished, blameless. He doesn’t want the sinful world to contaminate that precious heart…
God is telling every parent to shower their children with wisdom based on His words and teachings so that when they are old enough, they will not be wayward in life. A child is like an empty glass that can be filled with water (that’s from God), but a fully grown man who has thwarted motives and desires is like a hard stick that cannot be bent. A child’s heart can be easily molded into God’s goodness but a man’s heart is like metal with rust that can’t be easily removed. You see, children are so precious in God’s sight and He wants them to be close to Him, and far from worldly sins.
Sadly, children nowadays grow up without any spiritual guidance, thus, they grow up quarrelsome, selfish, self-centered, disobedient, disrespectful, and worldly. Far from what God wants and desires for them. Far from the children who, when grown-up, can influence the world with love, peace, and forgiveness. The world needs more Godly children, and for that, the world needs more Godly parents. How can we give a better future for the next generation if the children today haven’t learned humility, respect, and faith in God in the first place?
I guess the answer to all these questions lies within us. I guess the answer to the problems in the world today lies within each family. I guess the answer to each child’s Godly maturity lies within their parents. And I guess, the answer to parents’ way of caring for a child lies within their acknowledgement that God is the answer to everything… Everything boils down to that.