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The Word for Today

by Bob and Debby Gass

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‘What a pleasure to have children who are wise. So give your father and mother joy!’ Proverbs 23:24–25 NLT

Your goal as a parent should not be to raise perfect children, but to impart to them the wisdom needed for successful living. This raises two challenges: parental neglect and parental obsession. The second one is prevalent among parents who become obsessed with their children, leaving them no time for recreation, romance or rest. These folks probably wouldn’t even consider Mother Teresa to be qualified as their babysitter!

The motives of obsessive parents may be good, but their preoccupation can lead to three serious problems:

(1) Making children the centrepiece of life, which is not in their best interests. If you make children the centre of the universe, they are in for a rude awakening when they get out into the real world.

(2) Emotional and physical fatigue produces what is known as ‘parental burnout’. Just as a battery cannot continually be drained, you need time to recharge physically, emotionally and spiritually. When you don’t get it, you run on your nerves and everybody around you feels the negative effects.

(3) ‘Super parenting’ can be destructive to a marriage, especially when the mother is the one so inclined. A father may come to resent the children for taking his wife away from him, or she may think her husband is selfish because he doesn’t match her commitment to the kids. Either way, a wedge is driven between them that could eventually destroy the family. The Bible says, ‘Let your moderation be known unto all men.’ (Philippians 4:5 KJV) Moderation, or balance, is the key to a healthy and happy family life.

SoulFood: Exo 20:13, Gen 4:1–15, Matt 5:21–22

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023

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