Updated: Feb 14, 2022
Parenting has to be THE hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.
Knowing the right thing to say at the right time…
using discernment and wisdom.
When I’m quick to lose my temper…
needing self-control and patience.
Knowing how to balance truth and grace.
Parenting can be a tremendous test of our fruits of the spirit.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23a
I’m a work in progress, and now I’ve got to shepherd these kids as well?
There are millions of parenting books out there, but often times, keeping it simple and taking baby steps is the quickest way to success. Here are 4 basics to help us move toward healthy, biblical parenting today.
Model the behavior you expect to see in your children. Boy is that a shock, the first time you hear your toddler say something that sounds just like you… and it isn't pretty. Nurturing your own relationship with Jesus will help you model the fruits of the spirit and impact those watching eyes.
Give your children a foundation of knowledge. We put such a high value on our children’s education: reading, writing & math. Get them into their Bibles; engrain God’s Word on their hearts. Do they know the gospel? Even if you think the answer is yes, I challenge you to ask them directly. One tool I personally like to use in my own parenting is the Child Training Bible. It’s a simple kit you can buy to transform your Bible into a topical parenting resource. In difficult parenting moments where I require the belt of truth (Ephesians 6:14), I will have my children reference this Bible. Because… “Because I said so” just doesn’t cut it for most kids, it’s important to give them absolute truth as a compass.
Require obedience. Be consistent. This is hard to do, but we know it in our hearts when we’re taking the easy road. Just remember, we pay for it in the long run when we let those opportunities for reinforcement slip away.
Pray for your children, and also for wisdom and discernment in your parenting. God is sovereign and He wants his good will for those who love Him (Romans 8:28). Rest and take heart in His supreme power and authority over us, and our children.
I need to do better at all four of these things, but I don't plan to do it alone.
“Rest in the sovereignty of God over your children. We cannot bear the weight of their eternity.”
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9