By Joseph & Margaret Mutitika, Married for 17 years with two children
The Mutitika’s will be sharing on Raising Godly children – What’s their secret in an age where many, even born again believers, including ministers of the Gospel, have at times failed?
In Proverbs 22:6 the Bible tells us to,
Train up a child in the way he should go [teaching him to seek God’s wisdom and will for his abilities and talents], Even when he is old he will not depart from it. Amp
By God’s grace, we have been able to bring up our two boys according to God’s word. We recognized that God has to be our main focus even in parenting.
Since no one can give to others what they don’t have, we spent time as parents to know God and deepen our walk with Him. Then we introduced our boys to God and by God’s grace, we haven’t had major challenges with them even during adolescence/teenagehood.
We have taught them to know God in a personal way and to do the right things at all times not only because we are there, but because its right before God. Hearing God for themselves is also something we have always encouraged.
When it comes to disciplining the kids, we do it as a couple. We don’t take sides at all. If dad says no, mum says no as well with no emotions. We understand parenting is an honour from God so we to do it with the seriousness it deserves.
One thing we do know for sure is that the best gift you can give to your children is to train them in the ways of God. This is by far the best inheritance they can receive from you (in addition to the many other things you may give them). Speaking of Abraham in Genesis 18:19,
For I have known (chosen, acknowledged) him [as My own], so that he may teach and command his children and [the sons of] his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is righteous and just, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has promised him. Amp
God is pleased when parents teach their children about the ways of God. We have a family devotion time whereby we involve everyone in the family. This strengthens our walk with God individually and as a family. We also want our boys to pass the same to their families in the future – this is the posterity that God is talking about in the above Scripture.
During this Covid19 challenging time, we are praying together as a family. We also fast together as a family even as we follow the directives given by the government to keep safe until the pandemic is over.
No matter how tamed children (teens) are, they tend to develop an attitude time and again (blame the hormones). How have you managed to put your boys on check in love?
As the teenagers are growing and changing, hormones are very active at this stage in addition to a world view that is ever-increasing. They often need a lot of prayers and unconditional love. A balanced approach includes:
- A parent who is firm (immovable) on the Truth ie what should or should not be done. As a parent, you have to manage to keep the friendship with your child while maintaining correction with firmness.
- A senior person who is friendly, willing to listen – not treating them as children and can answer the “why and how questions” of life they often have but are often uncomfortable asking. In our traditional African context, this would include an Aunt or Uncle or older relatives. With modern urbanization though, this could be a youth Pastor, an older family friend etc.
Be Patient: Children get to a sensitive period during teenagehood where you need to really manifest patience as a fruit of the Holy Spirit. For our boys, we pray for them and counsel them based on the Word of God. Since they came from God, we have to rely on His manual on how to raise them up. Patience is one of the prescribed tools in that manual from God.
Each Child is Different: While the principles of parenting are universal, we have to appreciate that children are different. Know their personality as you deal with them. Don’t compare them with others – whether ‘others’ are your own children or other people’s children.
Do Not Judge Them: Allow your children to pour their feelings to you without judging them. Then when they are done, now give your counsel according to God’s Word. Correction or discipline done in love doesn’t break but will build them up.
Discipline Them: Discipline is one of the challenges we face as parents generally. When it comes to parenting we must be intentional in how we discipline our children. From a young age, instill guidelines for them to help shape them. You cannot start on discipline at teenagehood, you have to start from the beginning when the child is born. The Bible in Proverbs 29:17 says that if you train them well they will save you headaches later in life.
Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul. KJV
When did you introduce sex talk to your boys? At what age & what was the ice breaker? Or it has never been handled & if not, when do you plan to introduce that talk?
We introduced sex talk at different ages and we gauge how much is enough for each age. It is not a one time talk, you have to keep doing it at different age intervals. Before they turned to teens, as a mother, I would warn them not to allow anyone (whether a relative, house help, teachers, friends etc) to touch their private parts (our nickname for that is destiny).
When they turn to teenagehood, we have a more intense talk about purity and treating girls as mere friends, therefore, not to allow any form of attachment with just one girl.
We also speak to them on what will be good for them and also the consequences of not keeping themselves pure for themselves and for God as well.
Men need to be proactive on matters sexuality especially with the boys. They need to pass on the right values from their live’s experiences to their sons to equip them adequately to handle life.
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS – JOSEPH & MARGARET MUTITIKA
Joseph Mutitika is an accountant by profession with over twenty years experience. His company is involved in consultancy in accounts and tax. He is also a farmer. He’s married to Margaret for seventeen years and they have two sons.
Margaret Mutitika is a social worker and a freelance beautician with over twenty-three years of experience. She is also a farmer. She’s married to Joseph for seventeen years and they have two sons.