There are three tragic mistakes made by parents in our day. The first one is they have stressed social values above spiritual values. Many parents are more concerned about how their daughter walks than where she walks. You have no more right to raise your children for pleasure and social values than I have a right to throw pepper in your face.
Many mothers remember being “wallflowers” as teens and are determined that little Judy will not “suffer” the same humiliation. So mom pushes Judy to where she is wearing high heels at eleven, makeup at twelve and going steady at thirteen. Of course, momma is living vicariously through her daughter because she was so unhappy as a teen.
Momma has social values rather than spiritual values, and Judy will probably spend a few days in the maternity ward before she is 15 years old. And her momma shoved her there.
The second mistake parents made is they have substituted material substance for love and security. We must give our children the necessities but too often parents try to buy their love rather than give it. Children don’t want our toys, but our time. Since most parents are so busy and see so little value in spending time with their children, they resort to bribing them.
The third mistake made by parents is the shifting of responsibility from the home to Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, day-care centers, baby sitters, the church, grandparents, etc. God never expected children to be brought up by any other entity than parents. You are responsible for what time your children get up, what time they go to bed, what they eat, what friends they have, what television they watch, how they dress and where they go to church.
A child is not capable of making many of those decisions at an early age. As he develops responsibility he should be given more privileges, but only as he has proved he is responsible.
You do not permit a three-year-old child to use a sharp knife nor do you permit a youngster to decide who his friends are going to be. Neither do wise, loving parents permit teens to set dating guidelines. (If, in fact, dating is chosen over “courtship.”)
Parents should dedicate time for knowing their children’s friends. No son or daughter should date anyone the parents don’t know.
Before a girl has a date, the young man should ask permission from her father. Dad should try to verify the boy’s salvation, habits, background, friends, and plans for the future.
If a boy is not willing to talk to a girl’s father, she should not have any interest in dating him. And her dad should not permit her to date him in that event. Young people who love and respect their parents will not resist these guidelines. They will welcome them since they will provide security and safety for vulnerable teens in a wicked day.
God has given us a plan in the operation of the home, and we cannot improve on it. His plan is for the husband to love his wife as Christ loved the church and for the wife to submit herself to her own husband as unto the Lord.
No parents are perfect and don’t always make the correct decisions, but that doesn’t relieve us of our responsibility to do our best. We will do our best if we make decisions for our children that are based on Scripture and not on modern psychology.
If we make one or more of the above mistakes, we should repent, ask forgiveness of our offended children and move on in life. We can’t change the past but we can learn from it.