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Ever wanted a parenting do-over?

By: dalton blankenship

My husband was with me in the delivery room both times God helped us make a family. Our incredibly talented and loving ‘kids’ are now 41 and 35. We stand back occasionally looking at who they have become. We find it both awe-inspiring and unbelievable that they made it out of the cradle — we were their parents, after all!

Although we had no idea what we were doing, we wanted desperately to be parents. We talked and prayed about how we would raise our kids—a lot. And as 60-somethings, we’ve apologized to them about our mistakes. However, God gave us grace. With His help, we did some things well. But what if God allowed ‘do-overs?’

If my husband and I had the chance, we would tell our 20-something selves to make sure our kids understand seven things:

  1. Jesus loves you. (John 3:16)
  2. The church is a great place to learn biblical truth. But God charges us to be the spiritual leaders in our home. Jesus must come first in our life if we want Him to be first in your lives. (Exodus 20:1-6, Proverbs 22:6, Ephesians 6:4)
  3. Your body is a temple where the Holy Spirit lives. It’s a gift, bought with a price. No one should poke, mistreat or damage it in any way. And no one gets to unwrap the precious gift of you until in a lifetime marriage covenant! You are a treasure worth waiting for. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
  4. As you grow, becoming the godly person Jesus wants you to be requires effort. Reading the Bible is how Jesus lets you know who He is and who He wants you to be. (John 1:1-5, 2 Timothy 3:16, Ephesians 2:10)
  5. Looking at anyone else’s naked body in print or on video in a way you wouldn’t together in our living room is degrading, whether you're married or not. This is sin. Each son or daughter of God was also bought with a price and shouldn’t be used for cheap visual or physical entertainment or gratification. (Ephesians 5:1-16)
  6. Stay away from damaging substances. Fill your body with healthy food and thoughts that will nourish and enable you to serve Jesus. Doing otherwise cheapens you and the sacrifice Jesus made for you. (Philippians 4:8-9)
  7. Put Jesus first. Seeking to become the godly person He wants you to be and never compromising that for any thing or any person. This alone will bring you joy and peace. Satan will try to tell you differently. Don’t listen. (Romans 12:1-2)

There are no do-overs in parenting. So start early. If your children are older, start now! Live a God-honoring life before them. Read the Bible with them. Talk about what the Bible says. Then, do it.

It’s not too late! 

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