"Better a dry crust with peace and quiet
than a house full of feasting with strife" (Proverbs 17:1, NIV).
I plan on starting a class on biblical parenting with the Contact Church of Christ this coming Sunday. When I was asked to teach the class, I asked, "Are you sure you want me to do it...with my four and a half years of experience of being a parent?" I was told, "Absolutely! You have enough experience to know some of the difficulties, but not enough experience to have given up and thrown in the towel." Good point, I guess.
I will be sharing some of the principles from The 12 Essentials of Godly Success by Tommy Nelson. In my first lesson, I will be emphasizing the need for peace in our families.
These are some of Tommy Nelson's words on the subject:
"The most valuable thing I provide for my children is to consistently demonstrate love for my wife. A child can forgive almost any sin so long as his parents love each other. Peace and affection between parents provide a stable foundation for your children. They need their home to be a safe haven from the storms around them. Your first responsibility is to create an environment of peace.
Never heatedly argue with your spouse in front of your children. Watch your tone of voice. Don't be condescending or harsh. Discuss the issues while treating your partner with respect. It's good for kids to see parents work through conflict, but if you feel the need to raise your voice or get overly emotional, then go back into the bedroom to talk it out. Don't rob your children of the peace of their home. They are not ready to handle adult emotions.
Don't play the part of a spoiled brat, freezing out your spouse instead of working through conflict. Children pick up on these patterns. They feel the tension just underneath the surface. They also don't learn healthy patterns of dealing with conflict in their own lives" (pp. 177-178).
Of course, Mr. Nelson's thoughts will need to be adapted to individual circumstances. Some of our families consist of a father and a mother. Others consist of single mothers or single fathers or grandparents raising grandchildren. However, the idea of making our homes as peaceful as possible will benefit the children of the Contact Church. They may live in dangerous neighborhoods and attend schools with violent students, but if we can provide them with safe homes, they will benefit greatly.