“Earlier in my life, I did not live by Bible standards and found it difficult to train my children. But now it is much easier because I have the Bible to help me.”—ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA.
Peer pressure at school and the waning morality in the world exert a powerful influence on families. To resist this negative influence, children need wholesome values. Otherwise, it is unlikely that they will become responsible, principled, well-mannered adults.
Many single parents, including those quoted in this series of articles, look to the Bible for guidance, recognizing that it contains the unsurpassed wisdom of God. Consider, for example, what the Bible says about the most important principle of all—showing genuine love.
“Love is long-suffering and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, does not get puffed up, does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury. It does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, . . . hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”—1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
When parents display that kind of love, their children thrive. Colette, mentioned earlier, who lives in France, wrote: “I often told my children that I loved them. I also told them that they are gifts from God and that as such they needed good care. They, in turn, had to be polite and respectful toward me and their [noncustodial] father. These principles helped to establish a climate of trust and respect in our home.”—Psalm 127:3.
Anna, who lives in Poland, wrote: “When my children have disagreements, I remind them of Jesus’ words that what we want others to do to us, we should do to them.”(Matthew 7:12) Roberto, mentioned earlier, faces an issue common to many single parents. He comments: “The children are confronted with two sets of values—yours and those of the other parent. In upholding Bible values, I know I won’t be the favorite parent that day or week.” Moreover, he says: “The other parent may give gifts to the children in hopes that they develop a preference for that one. Such pressures are hard to resist, but good communication with the children helps.”
It is not always easy to live by Bible standards, but the results are well worth the effort! Says Sarah, a single parent in South Africa: “I am glad that my children have been raised with Jehovah’s guidance. Yes, we’ve had our challenges, but God has always been there for us.”