Being a new parent isn’t easy. My wife and I have a two-year old daughter right now and another on the way. We know what it’s like to drive out of the hospital parking lot not really sure what to do next. Since then we’ve learned a lot that’s helped us along the way. Here are 4 helps we wish someone would have given us when we became parents:
1. Develop the kind of faith you want your kids to have
Have a quiet time, go to church, and serve. Let your kids see you living it out and invite them to join you. Start developing the kind of faith the apostle Paul had when he said, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 11:1 (NIV). It won’t be in them until it’s in you.
2. Don’t neglect your marriage
Between work, maintaining the house, and late night feedings there’s hardly energy for anything else. But you owe it to your spouse and yourself not to neglect your relationship. Have a date night, even if it’s just once a month. The break will make you a better spouse and parent.
3. Have intentional faith talks
Read appropriate Scripture to your kids. Sing faith songs to and with them. Pray with them in the morning and right before bed. Talk to them at meals about how you’re seeing God working in your life. Make conversations about your faith a part of your every day life and activities.
4. Connect your family to God’s family
Make time to attend church on a regular basis. Talk to your kids during the week about what they learned at church on the weekend. Get involved in a small group of like-minded people who are in a similar life stage as you. Doing this will give your family the added support it needs to thrive.
It may feel weird to do some of this at first, especially since babies and young children won’t get it. But the sooner you start doing these things the more familiar they’ll become to them and the more likely they’ll be to embrace them.
What tips would you add to this list?