We have spent quite a bit of time focusing on the demanding challenges of rearing children: acknowledging depravity, confronting defiance, addressing disobedience, and dealing with rebellion. While we cannot and should not ignore these realities, it is easy to come to the conclusion that there’s nothing but struggle when it comes to preparing our children for life on their own. Not so! According to the psalmist, God gives each child as a gift—not as a challenge. The fruit of the womb is a reward,—not a problem (Psalm 127:3). While parents need to stand firm on issues that call for a strong hand, disciplining children must never eclipse delighting in them! Woven throughout the fabric of Scripture are numerous words and statements underscoring the importance of not only expressing but also demonstrating affirmation, encouragement, gentleness, fun, tenderness, and affection. Let’s turn our attention to those all-important attitudes and actions that bring joy and build esteem as we cultivate an atmosphere of harmony and pleasure in the home.
1 Thessalonians 2:5–12
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