In the Psalms, the Lord has said that children are a gift and like arrows in a man’s quiver. These arrows need to be “sharpened” in and by the wisdom of God. The following are some comments I heard years ago and they still hold true today:
Begin early – a twig shapes much easier than a big branch!
Be creative – at all times and in all ways. Search the Scriptures for help and search Christian materials for good and godly suggestions…a ton of stuff is online at the various ministries…and for free!
Work to build character – many people concentrate on sports, travel, money, grades, etc. (all good) but, instead, concentrate more on complimenting for character traits and morally-sound decisions.
Learn to set some limits – God put limits on Adam and Eve…are we any different? Strangely, oftentimes, to a child, no limit being set on them is seen as rejection, as someone not caring. When you set limits, they will complain and buck against them…expect it! But don’t stop setting the limits for them. Remember, if you don’t conquer them…someone else will!
Assign responsibility – find out what they can do, give them work and responsibilities, and require them to complete the job. Don’t re-do the job to your satisfaction, but rather have your child re-do the job in a more satisfactory manner.
Have your home filled with laughter – let it be a place they want to bring their friends. If your home is always a somber concentration camp or a bitter battleground, don’t expect them to enjoy it.
Let the children see God at work in your family – by your worship, your giving, your kindness, your patience, your forgiveness…you get the picture. Endure the fire—it’s producing pure gold!