Love the Children Part 2
*****This installment of "Out of the Mouth of Prophets" was written as one document,
but since it is 5 pages long it will be posted in two parts.*****
Please Read Part 1 before you continue. You may find it here.
Many of us are blessed to be parents. While I love serving in the Primary on Sundays, I do have a child that is with me 24/7. I have been entrusted with her by Heavenly Father and He expects that I will help her find her way back to Him. I need to teach her. I need to take this responsibility seriously. I love this quote by Rosemary Wixom. “The world will teach our children if we do not, and children are capable of learning all the world will teach them at a very young age. What we want them to know five years from now needs to be part of our conversation with them today.”
Homeschooling seems to be a hot topic right now. Everyone seems to be talking about it and everyone seems to have a very definitive stance. I haven’t really given it too much thought except for awhile back, Husband made the comment to me that we are “homeschooling” our Daughter in the gospel. I had never really thought of it like that, but we do. We are constantly teaching her and going over Church materials with her. I am taking charge of her learning and not going to leave it up to the Primary leaders at Church to be responsible for her eternal salvation. It doesn’t work like that anyways. I have already stated that it is my responsibility and that I have a stewardship over her.
Right now, Daughter is especially aware of her body. Because of this, I am especially aware of the clothes that she wears. I can tell that I am shaping her attitude and beliefs about the sanctity of her body. I feel the need to be a little stricter than I might otherwise be so that in 5, 10, 15, or even 20 years, she feels about her body, how I want her to. I want her to realize that it is a temple and that it is sacred and a gift from God not to be mistreated. The next quote also illustrates this:
We must take care that the media we invite into our homes does not dull the sensitivity to the Spirit, harm relationships with our family and friends, or reveal personal priorities that are inconsistent with gospel principles. By example we can help our children understand that spending long periods of time using the Internet, social media, and cell phones; playing video games; or watching television keeps us from productive activities and valuable interactions with others.
We also model that which is virtuous and lovely by our dress and appearance. As a covenant people we have the responsibility to care for, protect, and properly clothe our bodies. We must help our children and youth understand that we respect our bodies as temples and as gifts from God. See 1 Corinthians 3:16 (Sis.Cook)
Sis. Cook also refers to the For the Strength of Youth Pamphlet. I think this is a great resource to use in homes of all ages. From nursery aged children to empty nesters, the counsel given will help you be close to the Spirit. Teaching in the home about these principles will help your children to know what you want them to know like Sis. Wixom said.
Elder Larry R. Lawrence cautions, “Your bright and energetic youth are the future of the Church, and for that reason they are a prime target of the adversary. There are no perfect parents and no easy answers, but there are principles of truth that we can rely on.”
Okay, time to bolster up. Positive thinking. I can be a successful parent. I do not need to be perfect. I also like that Sis. Wixom said, “We do not need to be perfect–just honest and sincere.” I think children are actually relieved that their parents aren’t perfect. If their parents were perfect then they would feel pressure to be perfect and pressure to be perfect is crippling. I have a post on this in my drafts. She continues, “Children want to feel as one with us… When we are holding tight to the iron rod, we are in a position to place our hands over theirs and walk the strait and narrow path together. Our example is magnified in their eyes. They will follow our cadence when they feel secure in our actions.”
Now another controversial word. Parents, listen to me. You cannot be your child’s friend., You can have their respect, but you aren’t going to get it by being their “friend” instead of being their parent. If you think that your child is turning out alright and that you are being their friend, e-mail me. I’ll give you an honest assessment.
“Elder Robert D. Hales has observed, “Sometimes we are afraid of our children—afraid to counsel with them for fear of offending them.” (Elder Lawrence see reference #3)
“Parents, grandparents, and leaders, your message must be clear. Clarity can only result from having both hands on the rod and from living by the truths found in the scriptures and the words of latter-day prophets.” (Sis. Cook)
“It’s so important for husbands and wives to be united when making parenting decisions. If either parent doesn’t feel good about something, then permission should not be granted. If either feels uncomfortable about a movie, a television show, a video game, a party, a dress, a swimsuit, or an Internet activity, have the courage to support each other and say no.” (Elder Lawrence)
Okay, the smack down is finished. I know someone who thought she just had to yield to her husband and so because he felt one way on an issue and she felt another way, her children were not raised how she wanted them. If you are lucky enough to have a spouse, support them!!!
More great advice from Elder Lawrence that I just had to include:
Courageous parenting does not always involve saying no. Parents also need courage to say yes to the counsel of modern-day prophets. Our Church leaders have counseled us to establish righteous patterns in our homes. Consider five fundamental practices that have the power to fortify our youth: family prayer, family scripture study, family home evening, family dinner together, and regular one-on-one interviews with each child.
It takes courage to gather children from whatever they’re doing and kneel together as a family. It takes courage to turn off the television and the computer and to guide your family through the pages of the scriptures every day. It takes courage to turn down other invitations on Monday night so that you can reserve that evening for your family. It takes courage and willpower to avoid overscheduling so that your family can be home for dinner.
Courage. Do I have it? My daughter is young and I know that I will need plenty of it to get through the next several years. Do you have courage? Can you be the parent that God wants you to be? Of course you can!!!
One of the most courageous things that you can do is to counsel with them in private interviews. Elder Lawrence gives the reason, “By listening closely, we can discover the desires of their hearts, help them set righteous goals, and also share with them the spiritual impressions that we have received about them. Counseling requires courage.”
I LOVED it when my Dad would have a personal interview with me growing up. Usually they were on Sundays. Being in a large family, it was really nice to have one-on-one time.
I think this is a great place to end. Love your children. Teach your children. Love ALL children. Help them to know of God’s Plan and love for all. Don’t make it hard on yourself. Choose to be an example and make righteous choices.
I do not endure children. I love them.
If you wish to watch any of these conference addresses by Sis. Wixom, Elder Lawrence, or Sister Cook, click here. Just find the talks, and watch, download, whatever you want.
How do you show your love for children, either your own or others? Share some ideas with me at lettersfromlindsay at gmail dot com.