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Steve Lyston | Problems in the home hurting our children

Published:Sunday | May 20, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Your child is performing at the top of his class academically, and then suddenly, he starts declining rapidly. This is just one of the many signs that problems exist in the home and/or the school.

It is critical for parents to discern the cause of the problems. Parents and guardians often blame children without realising that it may be their relationships - as husband and wife - or other problems within the household that are affecting the child negatively.

Children are very sensitive, and what you think they don't know, they know. For example, a parent may start coming in from work at later hours, or the parents are no longer sleeping in the same bedroom, or arguments increase and intensify, or a third party enters the equation and there is separation between the parents, or one parent goes outside of the marital relationship and has a child. What also affects the children is that one parent may lose his job and the lifestyle of the family changes and declines, and it affects them in many ways.

So while parents are focusing on their problems, the children are slipping through the cracks and are suffering. Some start joining gangs and getting into wrong groups.

Children become attached to things and relationships very easily like the home they've always lived in, the community, church, and even the church building they have known since birth. So when drastic changes take place, there needs to be counselling because the issues that seem minor to adults can go as far as leading to suicidal thoughts in the child. For some, even losing a home affects a child so much that the child holds on to it even into adulthood.

Divorce affects our children far more than we think, and so everything must be done to save the marriage. Contrary to popular belief, parents cannot afford to make big decisions independently. They have to take the children into consideration because we cannot afford to produce cold-hearted killers. Our focus must change. While they have their place, gun control, growing an economy, and making big agreements with financial giants - whether globally or locally - cannot be the sole or most important focus.

Without strong familial structures on a national level, everything else we try to do will be in vain.


Parents, be careful of the message you send

Parents need to be careful about what they speak in the hearing of their children and even the movies they watch in the home. The conversation they have about what is happening at work, at school, or who they don't like at church affects the children and damages them emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Parents must make time to have open discussion with their children about what concerns them and what is going on with them. They need also to establish a spiritual foundation where they read the Bible and pray for their children.

Lawmakers must ensure that they do not force parents to be working on their day of worship - whether Saturday or Sunday - because this is destroying families and turning the hearts of our children cold and insensitive. New Age principles or tenets cannot replace the authentic presence of God.

We have to understand that every decision that is made within a nation has an impact on and will affect our children. Even schools are quicker to suspend or send the children home rather than seek to find the root of the issue. There could be verbal or sexual abuse or a breaking up of the family because of economic hardships. That is why there should be a greater emphasis on welfare - not just in terms of the financial aspect, but even more so regarding the human aspect of things. I hope one day to see the establishing of a Ministry of Family Affairs.

Parents need to begin to understand that the children are not secondary in the scheme of things. They are primary. We can't simply give them an iPad during service to occupy them while we get filled up. We need to utilise prophetic gifting to minister to them in the same way we minister to adults and deal with the hurting that is taking place within them.

Pray for the children each day for protection, and remember, "... Children are a heritage from the Lord ..." (Psalm 127: 3)

- Steve Lyston is a biblical economics consultant and author of several books, including 'End Time Finance' and 'The New Millionaire'.