In today’s world of social media, busy schedules, and questionable education, many parents are often left confused as to how they should approach parenting in a variety of situations. According to The Southern Illinoisan, in response to these challenges, the First Church of God in Marion, Illinois is offering a program called “The Art of Parenting” for those who want help figuring out how to raise their children regarding such circumstances. This faith-based program, developed by the nonprofit FamilyLife, aims to provide guidance for families seeking to navigate the current culture and atmosphere of their children’s lives as well as their own.
The facilitator of the program, Mike Lange, shared that one focus of “The Art of Parenting” is to “help parents take their place as leaders in their families.” Lange explains that while some parents try to become their child’s best friend, it is more important and even crucial that parents remain a dignified source of support and guidance for their children. Navigating childhood and adolescence is difficult for young children and young adults who need advice from a trusted source to help them make decisions, and parents are where they should turn.
Relying on God can help parents find the answers they seek in raising their children and guiding other familial relationships. Through the eight-week program, which uses video presentations, Bible study, and group discussions, parents are supported by their faith with encouragement that they are moving in the right direction and making the best decisions possible.
Lange shared that one study showed parents are often overwhelmed by demands that come from children’s schedules, especially those in sports, band, or any extracurricular activity. Sharing that he experiences the same challenge, Lange states, “We have gotten to where we feel we have to sacrifice everything for my family and make it all about my child and that puts a lot of pressure on the child as well as on the whole family from finances to relationships and everything in between.” This is just one example of a discussion that could ensue to help attendees of the program who may be having a similar experience.
The ultimate goal of “The Art of Parenting” is to build character. The program teaches children “to become Godly men and women, husbands and wives and, eventually, parents themselves.” With this faith-based educational and supportive program, parents may now be able to find some relief in the fact that they are not alone in questioning what decisions to make regarding their children and how to strengthen their families. Through supporting one another and turning to God for guidance, the families participating in this program are building confidence and growing their faith while fostering a stronger connection with other church members.