The family is the nucleus of the society. It is where the good, the bad and the ugly of what we have today across the world stems from. When the family gets it right, the society is sure to be right. For the family to get it right therefore, it behoves on the parents to ensure that their children are well parented.
In our world today, the family value seems to be fast eroding with the urge and thirst to make money. Most parents mortgage the future, attention and care their children need for the rat race of making money. They justify this action with the fact that they are working to secure a better life for their children. You may wonder, what is a better life for a child that lacks a better character?
The jet age we live in today has done little to make parenting better. We live in a world that is faster than you think. In today’s world, you are kept on your toes thinking, working, making money, and living. You don’t want to be left behind. You don’t want it to look as if you cannot meet up with the fast-changing world. You want to be at par with your colleagues at work, yet your children are the ones suffering the neglect that your crave demands.
Yes, what Apostle Paul said in 1Timothy 5:8 is the truth, “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” However, God frowns at any form of parental irresponsibility. The greatest undoing of Eli was the neglect of his children to care for the whole children of Israel. God had expected him to balance these responsibilities but he was too ‘dedicated’ to God’s work and left his children to rot in social values and at the end they became thorns in his flesh and nuisance to the whole nation. “Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the Lord,” 1Samuel 2:12.
These children who were brought up to be mediators and were expected to take after their father as judges over the whole nation of Israel were corrupt and perverts. Their pervasion was so much that God determined to wipe them out of the face of the earth. At some point, God went as far as sending a messenger to Eli about the misdeeds of his children with the hope that he would caution them, but he only shrouded. He was expected to take decisive action after he had cautioned them and they refused to turn a new leaf. God concluded that Eli would rather fear his children than God and He settled to destroy that lineage of priesthood that had spanned over three centuries.
The major responsibility God entrusted into the hands of parents is to rear their children. Parents are the first spiritual leaders that their children look up to. They are their role models and as such, they are to ensure that these children are moulded into what would give glory to God both in the present and in the future.
As a parent, you are to engage in constant caring communication with your children. Children want attention, the only place they are guaranteed is with their parents. You should therefore not deny them this attention. Gist, play, advice, teach and learn from your children. In doing these, you get to know more about your children and they get to tap from your wealth of knowledge and experience.
You must engage in regular family altar and meetings. Prayers should be a constant thing. Family altar binds a family together. You should also ensure to have constant family gatherings and meetings with your children. Through this avenue, you get to know what is going on in the family when you are out there trying to fend for them. Also, make it a tradition to engage in family activities like visiting tourist sites with your children, taking them to visit friends, picnics and other social outings. It goes a long way to provide social orientation and education for them. They learn how to comport, converse and relate in public. All these they learn from you as their parent.
Do not forget that we are in a generation of social media with media contents flying freely all over. The government is trying its best to censor some of these contents but as far as the social media is concerned, it is a world of its own with unlimited barriers and children have access to this virtual world. It is therefore your responsibility to carefully supervise and be vigilant about the content of movies, television programmes, the internet, books and magazines, music, and other materials they consume so that they can be guided past the ambushes and dangers of the media.
No gap must be left unfilled in parenting. You need not repeat the mistake of Eli. Ensure you train you children in the ways of God so that they will grow in it. Your future and theirs are guaranteed if you perform your parental responsibility with all diligence and prayers.