Parenting, like any other area of our life, should be done by faith. Meaning, we should listen to God’s instructions, believe and trust that He knows what He is talking about, and follow His instructions to the best of our ability! When we stray from biblical parenting and start following our own intuition, the opinions of friends, or the advice of experts we are no longer parenting by faith!
That is kind of a radical concept today! But when is walking by faith not a radical concept?! Here are a few principles to parenting by faith:
1. Love Your Children! Every parent claims to have love for his or her children, but many merely have a fond attachment. The difference between love and a fond attachment is laid out in 1 Corinthians 13. If you love your children you will be patient and kind, you will not be rude, and you will always seek what is best for your child! Giving your son what he wants may very well be unloving; if what he wants is not what is best for him.
2. Discipline Your Children! Often we quote, “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” I’m not sure, that may be Shakespeare, but it is certainly not from the Bible. What the Bible says about sparing the rod is more serious than, “You’ll spoil your child.” God said, “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him” (Proverbs 13:24). If you are not diligent to discipline your child, by God’s definition you hate your child! Hey, I didn’t say it; God did!
That doesn’t necessarily mean that every time a child misbehaves he needs a spanking. It simply means that children need boundaries and parents to enforce those boundaries. If you are not establishing and enforcing biblical boundaries for your children start today! There is no better time to start loving your children than right now!
3. Train your children! On the link to Brad Harrub’s recent article someone commented, “Let them make up their own mind. Stop trying to force beliefs on them. Wait till they are mature enough to talk rationally about it, rather than young and underdeveloped mentally.” That sounds pretty consistent with conventional wisdom. But again, those who follow Christ cannot follow conventional wisdom; we must parent by faith!
The Word of God says, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). God did not specify an age at which you start teaching your children how to be Christians. Begin immediately praying with them, reading the Bible to them, and talking to them about what God expects and how much He loves them. Like God commanded the Israelites, be constantly talking to your children about Him and His Word (Deuteronomy 6:6-9).
It is fine to listen to the experts, as long as the experts are in-line with biblical principles. Whose instructions are you heeding? Remember, God created your child. He knows the best way to raise her!
I love you and God loves you! Have a wonderful day!