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Parenting in the 21st century – Part 1

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The greatest legacy one can leave is not necessarily wealth acquired, but the quality of life one is able to give one’s children. “Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.” Malachi 2:15

One fact about God’s dealing with mankind is that He thinks generationally and created the family to achieve His purpose. Therefore, like Malachi 2:15 says, God’s purpose for us is to bring up godly children.

I must say that parenting is perhaps the most difficult tasks couples are faced with. To be able to train your children to be what God expects them to in this age is a daunting task, and couples need to be mentally and psychologically prepared.

The first thing is to AGREE on the number of children to have! Deciding on the number of children you want is crucial, if you want to be a successful parent. Gone are the days when people have many children, claiming they are a blessing from God. Every serious couple must discuss and agree on the number of children they should have, and how to raise them in a godly way, so that they can be useful to God, the family and the society.

It is important to emphasise that bringing up children is a great responsibility, because it is easier to give birth to children than to raise them. It takes about nine months to conceive and give birth to a child, but it will take over 20 years to train them.You need to base the number of children desired on your capability. In my opinion and based on present realities, 2 or 3 children at the most will do.

Things to consider in determining the number of children to have:
• Cost of Education – From about age 3 till 21 you’ll have to bear the cost of educating your child. So, this is a task that must be prepared for with all seriousness. I advise that as soon as you have a child, open a savings account for him or her and start putting something aside until he/she starts school.
• Cost of General Upbringing –Clothing, feeding and so on. Stop depending on the excuse that God will provide and fail to do what you’re supposed to do. To plan for your kids is your responsibility and not God’s.
• Family planning – Child spacing is recommended to help you adequately cater for your children. The ideal child spacing is three years in between each child. This not only helps the mother to recuperate, but also enables the family to spread their expenses over a longer manageable period of time.
• Do not be gender biased. In this society where prominence is given to a male child, it is sometimes a problem, when it is only girls the couples have. One thing about children is that it doesn’t matter what their sex is. What matters is the quality of education and investment you have made into their lives that will make them soar in life. There are many examples of women who have brought honour to their families. So, don’t let the sex of children make you to have more than you can cater for.
Enquiries: Elshaddai Covenant Church, 7, Social Club Road, Off Charity Road, Abule-Egba. Tel: 08080929292 (Calls only); 08182281184 (WhatsApp messages only).


In this article:
James O. James
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