I. The modern premise that the purpose of child raising is to make the child happy is wrong because it misses the true human problem. The true human problem is not unhappiness, it is sin. (Genesis 3, Romans 1-3 and Ephesians 1-2)
If you make happiness the primary goal, then you will indulge and approve sins which make the child happy at the time, but which create destruction and unhappiness later. (Hebrews 11:25)
- At 3 it looks like allowing her to say, “No!” and to throw tantrums.
- At 12 it looks like allowing her to say, “I hate you” when you try to keep her away from bad friends.
- At 17 it looks like approving and possibly assisting her being sexually active.
- At 19 it looks like approving and financially supporting her as she lives with her boyfriend. And it looks like you supporting her as she has a child outside of marriage, which puts her in the highest statistical category for on-going poverty and social miseries.
- At 20 it looks like her supporting the rally of a socialist political candidate who promises to be her god who will provide for her living by taking money from those who live responsible lives of work and production.
II. There are three forces that are at work to destroy your child.
A. Your child has a fallen human sin nature that is attracted to sin.
- Getting drunk or high.
- Violence, theft, crime.
B. Your child has a natural foolishness from not knowing better.
- Self absorption.
- Negative attitude.
- Insufferable whining.
- Impressed with bad people.
- Mocking what is right.
C. Your child lives in a fallen world where every accomplishment of value requires a struggle of discipline, sacrifice and perseverance.
- Family household relationships.
- Family household chores.
- Getting along with people outside family.
- Dating, courtship and marriage.
III. 5 Experiences Your Child Needs to Become a Good Person.
1. Love & Affection.
You must provide for and protect your children and to communicate your love to them verbally and physically.
2. Boundaries & Discipline.
Boundaries are the lines we draw on how we treat each other and how we allow others to treat us with human dignity as people created in the image of God.
Discipline is the lines we draw and require on all other behaviors.
3. Fun & Play.
Fun is the good times you help create with your children.
Play is the free time your children have to use their imaginations.
4. Responsibilities & Freedom.
Give your children more freedom over time as they show responsibility in house chores, schoolwork, work, good friends and good behavior. Do not over-indulge your child with un-earned things or you will destroy their incentive to work and create a good life for themselves. The goal is responsible independence.
5. Leadership & Wisdom.
Lead your children to Christ, to treat others well and to create value with their lives. (“The family is the school of love, faith and life.” Pope John Paul II -paraphrased)
For wisdom, guide your children to master Proverbs from ages 12 to 25.
Conclusion: Making happiness the goal of parenting produces children who struggle with misery. Making good thinking and good actions the goal of parenting produces happiness. Children who learn to think good things and to do good things get the rewards of good results. A life of mostly good results is the best place to find happiness, if a person is willing to choose it.