by Dr. Kenneth Kuykendall
We work hard at giving our kids “stuff.” From electronics to the latest style of clothes, we ensure they have the very best we can possibly afford. We can give our children the finest things in life but there is a good chance that 20 years from now they will not remember those particular items. What they will remember is the relationship we developed with them through those years.
I believe we develop relationships through generosity and trust. When we are generous in the right areas of child training our children will be more prone to trust and obey us. Let me ask you how generous you are in a few areas. Twenty years from now your children will not remember all the gifts, but they will remember the generosities:
1. In 20 Years They will Remember the Time You Gave
Time with our children should be first on the list of relationship development. Nothing lets your children know you love them more than simply being there for them. This is the greatest weakness in our homes. Time together lets them know they are important to you, and affords the opportunity to share moments that will last forever.
2. In 20 Years They Will Remember the Encouragement You Gave
Children need to know they can fail without their world coming to an end. Too often we place expectations on children and grandchildren that are unfair. Our words should be guarded carefully. Lives have been destroyed and homes have been divided because of unrealistic expectations. Encourage your children when they fail and praise them when they prosper.
3. In 20 Years They Will Remember the Instruction You Gave
Children need limitations and boundaries, and most of them want it. Rules and guidelines are the means by which we find safety, security, and shelter. When children have no instruction and no teaching from you they will find it somewhere else and from someone else- oftentimes for the negative. Don’t try to be their friend, let their friends be their friends- we must be their parents. As parents we set the atmosphere of our household. Instruction doesn’t mean dictatorship, it simply means discipleship.
4. In 20 Years They Will Remember the Love You Gave
You may not be able to give them luxury, but you can give them love. The beauty of love is that it can be experienced regardless of social standing, economic climate, or educational background. The one language everyone understands is the language of love. Don’t be afraid to love your children too much.
What kind of investments are you making in your children. The Ipod, the Ipad, and the Iphone will never be as important as the “I Care!” Twenty years from now what will your children remember about you?
Article submitted to IndependentBaptist.com