Raise up a Child, a DVD course by Phil Tuttle, President of Walk Thru the Bible, conveys practical parenting wisdom from Luke 15’s Prodigal Son story. These principles are taught with humour and compassion, and offer much needed help and hope – both for parents and anyone involved in caring for and mentoring children.
Praise God that in Southern Africa, Raise up a Child has had application across the spectrum – in underdeveloped squatter camp areas, in more developed settings and in training caregivers in orphanages.
I believe that what I have learnt from this course was for me, my children and my community. As I reflect, I have not been a Godly role model in the bringing up of my children – because I was a control freak and did not allow my children to make their own choices. There was no dialogue, only my monologue! But through this course, I have come to my senses and the Father has not turned His back on me. I will, by the grace of God, have compassion and love, and with consistency parent my children. What touched me most was the compassion of the Father. I thank God for this opportunity to change my mind and repent!
I have seen how the prodigal son made a choice and suffered the consequences. I also need to allow my children to make choices. For children to take responsibility for their actions, they must be allowed to make these choices. As a parent, I want to model the compassion and consistency of the Father in the same way – both with my own children and with the children I encounter in my job as a social worker. This includes counselling parents, running feeding programmes and working with orphans.
Growing up, I was abused by a close family member – someone who should have played a supporting role in my life. This deeply affected my thinking and I felt unworthy. I fell pregnant at the age of 17, but battled to bond with my son and initially rejected him. I was not prepared to be a mother! But now I know better. Raise up a Child has helped me in this. I am starting to change for the sake of my child. I want to be a better mother!
My work is with children. We feed 186 children nutritious meals – vegetables, meat, pap and rice. We also help with their social needs. Since doing the Raise Up a Child course, I have noticed my mistakes – making choices for my own kids and the children I am working with. I understand the importance of allowing children to make their own choices and letting them learn from their mistakes, as they face the consequences. We all know that children have rights; but rights go hand in hand with responsibilities. I have learned that we are not raising children, but adults. Each choice they make comes with a natural reward or consequence. Choices are the plan of God. We need to ask God about every choice we make. I also need to have compassion toward the children as they deal with their consequences, and not push them away. I have now learned better ways of parenting.
I thank God that even although I have no children of my own due to my health, He has placed many children in my life. I am involved in a feeding scheme for 500 children at a local primary school. I learned a lot about how to deal with children through this course – and that it is a good thing to allow children, even if they are an orphan, to make their own choices.
This quality Walk Thru the Bible resource is available on the online store at www.bible.org.za