“Here am I, and the children the Lord has given me.” Isa 8:18 NIV

You may not be able to give your children everything you’d like to, or everything they want, but here are four things you owe them: (1) Connect with them. The story’s told of a couple who decided to buy a new playpen for a friend, on the arrival of her sixth child. A year later the friend wrote back saying, “Thank you for the pen. It’s wonderful—I sit in it every afternoon and read, and the children can’t get near me.” Seriously, what do you really know about your child? Their struggles, their heroes, their music, their friends, their fears, their dreams? If your answer is “not much,” start making changes right away! (2) Listen to them. If some of us paid as much attention to our garden as we did to our children, we’d be living in a weed patch. You’ll never understand your child until you take time to listen to what they’re saying—and what they’re not saying. (3) Believe in them. As a child, the great Caruso was told by a music teacher that he had no talent at all. Parent, make sure your voice is the loudest. Build their confidence; give them the faith and the self-worth required to overcome the obstacles they’ll face in life. (4) Let them see God in you. Three kids were discussing their fathers. One said, “My father knows the mayor.” Another said, “My father knows the governor.” Confidently the third said, “That’s nothing; my father knows God!” Dad, Mom, do you know God? If you don’t, commit your life to Him today.