| As a mother of four, a nursery worker, and a youth group leader, I have attained some level of qualification to suggest practical ways parrents can live each day raising their children unto the Lord and staying sane! These include personal time, patience, discernment, love, forgiveness, perserverence, flexibility, and thanksgiving. 1. Personal Time. We all need some time alone. First, we need personal time in God's Word. This refreshes our spirit and renews our mind. Rom 12:1-2 instructs us to study God's Word in order to keep our lives in harmony with God's will. Secondly, we need time to pursue our individual interests. This provides a physical release for stress and allows us to take time for ourselves so we don't feel "used" all the time. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Rom 12:1-2 KJV) 2. Patience. Children require repetition to learn. Mistakes will be repeated causing frustration. Growth takes time. And as parents, we must patiently teach correct behavior over and over. 1 Thes 5:14 includes our children. "Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men." (1 Thes 5:14 KJV) 3. Descernment. This means to know your child. Each child is unique. Learn to know if your child is being truthful, unhappy, or hurting. Know what discipline they respond to best. Rejoice over little successes. Prov 24:3 tells us that a strong family is built through wisdom and understanding. "Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established:" (Prov 24:3 KJV) 4. Love. We must be willing to unconditionally sacrifice to meet our children's needs. This means take the focus off of self. Also, make sure to distinguish between a need and a want. John 3:16 tells us God made the ultimate display of love for us. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16 KJV) 5. Forgiveness. We must accept our children and their appologies. This does not mean we can accept their wrong actions or continue to bring up their past. Eph 4:32 tells us God has forgiven us. Should we not do the same with our children? "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." (Eph 4:32 KJV) 6. Perserverance. Continue on today knowing the Lord is our strength. Gal 6:9 tells us not to be weary or faint, because in time, we will see the benefits. "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." (Gal 6:9 KJV) 7. Flexibility. Crucial to guiding children is the ability to adjust to the unexpected. Schedules help children feel secure, but we must build in time for the "hitches" that come along. Otherwise, we feel time pressures and become impatient and we loose control. Mark 2:4 provides an example of how flexibility enabled some to help a man be healed by our Lord. "And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay." (Mark 2:4 KJV) 8. Thanksgiving. Children are a gift. Be honored to have the challenge. Eph 5:20 says to give thanks in all things. Certainly our children should be foremost. "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;" (Eph 5:20 KJV) In Eccl 3:1, we learn that God has a time for everything. "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:" If we follow His plan for the family, we can enjoy raising our children today as well as the fruits of our labor tomorrow.