As God Intends
Prov.19:18 (GNT) “Discipline your children while they are young enough to learn. If you don’t, you are helping them destroy themselves”
Parenting worthy of honour is only possible when you see yourself how God has placed you. Becoming a parent means you are representing God in your child’s life.
God is more interested in character than in our comfort. Heb.12: 6 “For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” It is when parents do not see themselves as God has placed them that they choose friendship over parenting.
As a spiritual father [by God’s grace], I have had to sacrifice some friendships in order to be an effective spiritual father. Friendship is great but I have not been called primarily to be friends with the people I lead. I have been called to be their spiritual father; I have been called to be your father. Taking and sustaining this position has cost me friendships over the years. If that is the price I have to pay to be who God has called me to be, then so be it.
Children are very discerning; when you are attached to a child, he or she will manipulate your decisions very easily. Note that I am not saying you should not play with your children. But you have to know when to draw the line between friendship and fatherhood. I have witnessed a child say to the mother, “I would not be your friend any longer!” And the mother actually became very jittery and began to change her position just because she wanted to sustain her friendship with her child. Prov.13: 24 “Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.” You should be able to look your child in the eye and choose parenting over friendship.
Using your children to fulfil your un-met needs will bring damage to both of you. The healthy parent is the one that finds his or her sufficiency in God and is therefore free to serve those whom God has placed in his or her care. Even with leading a business, you must find your sufficiency in God for the progress of that business. You cannot afford to be attached to any member of staff so much that you are incapable of thinking clearly. You must be able to make calls, even the tough calls, regardless of who needs to be realigned.
Prayer: Lord, please fill me with the vision, wisdom and knowledge I need to lead, so that the things and people You have placed in my care will flourish and not perish, in Jesus Name. Amen!