Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.
—Psalm 127:3

This week, as we wrap up our study of the family, we will talk about how to parent with success. We will use the word S-U-C-C-E-S-S as an acrostic for seven biblical and practical principles for successful parenting.

The first “S” in the acrostic is this: successful parents SEE their children as gifts from the Lord. Let’s admit it–parenting can be frustrating at times. I think about the young mother who was having coffee with a friend and lamenting what a stressful time it had been to get her kids ready for school that morning. She said, “Things got so hectic, I said, ‘The next person who screams in this house is gonna have his mouth washed out with soap!’” Then the mom admitted, “I can still taste the stuff in my mouth.”

Being a parent is stressful at times, but it is important to understand that our children were sent to us from God as gifts. Psalm 127:3 says, “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord.” That word “gift” can be translated “inheritance.” It is same word in that God used to describe the land He gave the Israelites. He said, “This land is your inheritance, Israel. You did not earn it, and you don’t deserve it. I am giving it to you as a gift.” And in the same way God says to parents, “Your children are a gift from Me.”

Why is it significant that our children are gifts from God? First, it means they have tremendous value. Second, it means our children are gifts for which we will be held accountable. One day believers will stand before the judgment seat of Christ, and each of us will be rewarded for what we have done in this life (2 Corinthians 5:10). What did we do with the children He gave us? Did we give them the skills they needed to succeed in life? Did we model for them that the most important thing in life is following Jesus Christ? One day we are going to give an account to God for our children. And third, our children are temporary gifts. They will not always be at home with us. A successful parent understands the time he has with that son or daughter is limited. Because our children are in our homes for so short a time, we dare not take it for granted. Successful parents see their children as gifts–gifts of real value, gifts that are temporary, and gifts for which they will one day be held accountable.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Parenting with S-U-C-C-E-S-S” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.