As a Christian parent, it can be very overwhelming to raise our children in today’s world. It can feel like everything is getting more complicated and corrupted, and that our kids are going to have to fight through to stay close to Jesus. However, the Bible gives us direct instructions on parenting God's way, thus making the journey easier.
"And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise." - Deuteronomy 6:6–7. "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord." - Ephesians 6:4.
Here are 4 tips for parenting God's way:
1. Look to His Word for instruction
The Bible has a wealth of knowledge about parenting God's way, and how we are to raise our children for Christ. The Bible teaches us in Proverbs 22:6 to “Train them up in the way they should go and when they are old they won’t depart from it.”
I have seen this in so many situations when kids may go off on the wrong path but those raised in Christ, always come back to the truth. The Bible instructs us on the importance of discipline (Proverbs 12:1) and teaching our children about what is most important in this life. It teaches them how to treat someone who doesn’t treat them well (Luke 6:31) and gives them guidance in hard situations (Joshua 1:9).
Truly everything we need to know, from what lessons and values to teach our children, how to train them and raise them to be men and women of God, is all found in God’s word. As parents, we tend to get stressed and overwhelmed rather than realizing we have the answers for every parenting situation in the Bible. We tend to look for answers on parenting God's way everywhere but, there.
2. Seek the Lord continuously.
Raising godly children starts by seeking the Lord. It is truly impossible to be a “good” and “effective” parent without constantly seeking the Lord for His help and guidance. Every day I pray that He will show me how to parent each child the way that they need so that they will become all that He has intended them to be.
Humility is the key to raising children God's way. To be able to realize that you do not have all the answers and, that you need God’s direction and wisdom daily to train your children in the way that they should go.
Prayer is very powerful and is so important for our kids. Daily they need prayer for resisting temptation, to make good friendships, for dealing with the opposite sex, to deepen their relationships with Christ, to not be consumed by the things of this world and so on. They need our prayers because we may be the only ones praying for them.
3. Practice what you preach.
Parents love to talk about what is right and wrong and can be quick to judge their kid’s actions, but many times they don’t look at themselves to see if they are even modeling what they are teaching. The simple lessons that we teach them about forgiveness, kindness and how to react when they are angry or hurt, tend to be the lessons we struggle with the most.
Our kids are constantly watching us, to see how we react in challenging situations, how we speak with our mouths and how we treat others. We have to focus on practicing what we preach so that we are being a “light” to our children as we train them to be a “light” in this world.
4. Be consistent in discipline.
We all love our kids so much and, many times our love for them can make us let many offences go that should be disciplined. I find that my lack of energy after a long day can also affect how consistent I am with discipline.
This is so important because a major life lesson they will learn is that every action has a consequence: good or bad. This is how the real world works but, it’s best to show them and talk to them about these things in a godly way and let them learn what God says about whatever issues they are dealing with.
It is so crucial that discipline is always connected with love, that a child realises we still love them no matter what they do but there are still consequences for bad choices. This is just how Christ treats us and how we should treat our children.
Prayer is probably the most powerful tool we can use in our children's lives. They deal with the same temptations that we do and sometimes much more. God can guide them better than we ever could. The best gift we could ever give them is Jesus and pointing them to Him because He alone will be their source of joy and peace when the world seems to be too overwhelming.
All parents want the best for their children and, want to raise them to have a big impact on their world. The amazing thing is that we have a God that doesn’t leave us clueless to figure it out on our own but gives us a guide in the Bible. He loves our kids more than we ever could, and we can trust in Him to guide us.
Mind On Jesus