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We Walk in the Ways of Our Fathers

There are many questions today about how kids should be raised. Many parents want to be more of a friend to their children, rather than a parental figure. They believe that this will cause their kids to like them more. There is also the belief that parenting in this manner will lead their children to be better adults.This concept stems from a non-desire to punish wrongdoing and to instill discipline.

Sadly, such practice is becoming more and more prevalent as the years go by. As a result, young children who become young adults struggle in the real world of life. When confronted with real consequences for their actions, whether criminal or simply irresponsible, these young adults do not understand why they are being punished. In addition to a lack of understanding consequences, these young people have not been taught the work ethic and responsibility it takes for one to make it on their own. Is this a problem, or should we just conform as a society?

Personally, I don’t have kids, but in the Old Testament book of 2 Kings we read numerous examples that show a pattern of results for all those that are parents. This book is the history of the kings of the divided kingdoms of Judah and Israel. We are told in this writing that most, if not all, of the kings of Israel did “evil in the sight of the Lord” (13:11). While some of the kings of Judah were bad, some also “did right in the sight of the Lord” (12:2; 14:3). So why were some kings evil and others good? When we read these accounts, more often than not, the writer tells us that these kings “walked in the ways of their father.” Their actions as king were a direct result of how they had been raised as children. The behavior, beliefs, and livelihood of their parents had a major impact on them as adults. This reality is still as true and prevalent today, as it was back then. As a society we are making a mistake if we think that the way we raise our children doesn’t impact their future lives. It is more important to teach our children how to function and survive in the world, in God’s world, than it is to be their friend.

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