There are many articles in many family magazines espousing different methods and ways to successfully (this, by the way, is very subjective, according to many parents) raise up the young from toddler to little children to teenagers to young adulthood. Each set of parents do this differently. Why? Because each parent comes from a different background, from different parents and grandparents, from different cultures.
Scripture gives us many examples of different ways to raise children. Just check out Moses, Jacob and Esau, Mary, John the Baptist, and Jesus. The following excerpts from an article in the FAMILY LIFE Magazine (internet source given below) share some guidelines listed down by Dennis and Barbara Rainey as they raised their two children. They write that the listing down of these values and character traits helped them focus on some of the important biblical priorities in parenting. They believe that such values are really necessary in raising children to become mature adults of faith and godly character.
Above all, fear God.
Respect authority—trust and obey your parents.
The importance of friendships.
Be in love with Christ and focus on your relationship with Him, not just on doctrine or on biblical principles.
Have compassion for the poor and orphans.
Believe God for too much rather than too little.
Real strength is found in serving, not in being served.
The power of moral purity and a clean conscience.
How to motivate people without manipulating them.
How to handle failure.
Keep your promises.
The power of the tongue for good or evil.
Give too much rather than too little.
The importance of manners and common courtesies.
View life through God’s agenda—the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20) and the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37-38).
Give thanks to God in all things.
The importance of prayer.
The art of asking good questions, carrying on good conversation.
How to grow as a Christian.
How to handle temptation.
By faith, trust Christ as your Savior and Lord, and share with others how to become a Christian.
Seeking wisdom—skill in everyday living. Knowing how to make good decisions.
Gaining a sense of God’s direction and destiny for your life.
Stay teachable and do not become cynical.
Obtain godly counsel.
The importance of flexibility and adaptability to cope in life.
Truth is best passed on through relationships.
Leave a legacy of holiness.
Keep life manageable. Prioritize decisions.
Tame selfishness—you can’t always get your way.
Choices are yours to make and results are yours to experience.
Respect the dignity of other people—all people.
Be faithful in the little things.
Character is the basis of all leadership.
Life isn’t fair—don’t compare with or be jealous of others.
Live by commitments, not by feelings.
Express grace and forgiveness.
A strong work ethic.
Surrender to the authority of Christ.
How to handle your finances.
Dennis and Barbara Rainey end their article by saying that after number one, the items on this list have not been presented in any order or priority, and that although long, they suspect that if you began a list of your own, you’ll quickly find that it’s just as lengthy.
They affirm that parenting is a long and challenging task. Fortunately we have a God who gives us the strength to accomplish the tasks He lays before us (Philippians 4:13). Lean on Him. And they admit that “we didn’t perfectly teach each and every one of these things, but it was a guide to remind us of what was important. We never stopped training, teaching, and cheering them on. As Galatians 6:9 tells us, ‘And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.’”