Showing posts with label Parenting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Parenting. Show all posts

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Foundations for Christian Parenting


Parents want to do what is best for our children. We want to create an environment where our children can thrive and mature into responsible, compassionate, and faithful people.

The task of raising children to be disciples of Jesus is a difficult one. We often find that the culture that we live in is not supportive in our desire to pass our faith to our children. TV shows, movies, social media influencers, peers, and even family and friends often teach or model values and beliefs to our children that are out of alignment with what we believe.

The Bible provides the wisdom and the guidance we need to faithfully parent our children well as we live in a culture that is opposed to our beliefs and values.

Here are seven biblical principles that will help form the foundations for our parenting:

1. Love

Love is the central command of Christianity. Jesus said, “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35, CSB)

While we love our children, we don’t always show that love the best. Rather than loving them well we can take out our anger and frustrations on them. It is crucial that we remember that our love for the world starts at home.

It is important to remember that sacrificially loving our children lays teaches them that they are loved. Our children experience God’s love through our love for them. It also teaches them how to love people. Our loving behavior will teach our children how to love more than anything we will say. As parents, we can love our children sacrificially by giving them our time, attention, and money to provide for their needs and create a loving environment that will help them grow.

2. Respect

We often talk about showing respect to people in authority. From a biblical perspective everyone is deserving of respect. James taught this truth in James 2:1-7 when he talked about the evil of showing favoritism for the rich over the poor.

Since everyone is created in God’s image, everyone deserves respect, that includes our children. We are to treat them as fellow image bearers. This means that we consider their feelings, we encourage them in their interests, and we nurture their talents.

Showing respect to our children creates an environment of safety and trust, where everyone feels heard and valued. It is this type of environment provides the space a child needs to discover their unique personality and allows them to be put on the right path to become the people God created them to be.

When we show respect to our children, we teach them to respect us and others. This is an essential skill to have in a world of diversity because it allows them to see the best in others.

3. Intentionality

In a world that is hectic and busy, it is easy to put things on auto pilot. To get a few minutes of rest allowing our children to watch TV or play on their devices is simple. Yet, we are missing valuable time interacting with our children and we are allowing other people or things to influence them.

It is crucial that we are intentional in our parenting. We can’t afford to be passive. In order to be intentional we need to create and environment that promotes good things, that benefits learning and development, and that is founded on faith. The discipleship of our children, just like our personal discipleship, requires intention and effort.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (CSB) states, “These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” As parents, we need to make the commitment to intentionally teach and model our faith and values in our daily activities.

4. Boundaries

All of us need boundaries. We need deadlines to know when our work needs to be finished, we need budgets to know how much money we can spend, and need schedules to know where we need to be and what we need to do.

Setting godly boundaries creates a loving and safe environment where children can succeed as they grow in wisdom and faith. The right environment is crucial. This is why the Apostle Paul wrote, “Fathers, don’t stir up anger in your children, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4; CSB) Any Family where one or both parents are angry, worried, or fearful is an environment that discourages children. Instead, Paul wrote, parents are to create proper boundaries for their children so they can become the people God created them to be.

Boundaries are necessary in every family to create a secure and nurturing environment. By setting godly boundaries, we teach our children self-control and discipline. Proverbs 22:6 teaches, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Setting boundaries that align with our Christian values and priorities help our children develop faith and a strong sense of character.

5. Gratitude

Gratitude is a crucial quality for emotionally healthy people. Being grateful helps us to appreciate the blessings of life and to see everything as a gift from God. In a culture that teaches entitlement, gratitude reminds us to be thankful for what we have and to give thanks to God for the blessings He has given.

This means teaching our children to be grateful is one of the most important thing we can do. And like everything else, the best way to teach our children to be grateful, is to model gratitude in our lives. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude requires us to show gratitude first to God and then to each other. This happens as by saying thank you to people who do nice things for us and it happens as we point out the good deeds each other does.

Being grateful helps us see the good in the world, opens our eyes to the good things people do, and reminds us of the graciousness of God. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (CSB) the Apostle Paul wrote, "Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." As parents, we can model gratitude by expressing appreciation for our children, pointing out to them God’s blessing, say thank you to people who bless us, and encouraging them to do the same.

6. Patience and Encouragement

I would bet the one thing every parent would say that would like to improve it would be patience. Because we forget our children are still learning and growing, it is easy to loose patience with them when they don’t listen, when they make a mess, or they do anything that throws a wrench into our plans.

Patience is a choice that we make. It requires us stopping, taking a deep breath, and praying. If we don’t make this choice we will find ourselves getting angry at the littlest things.

Colossians 3:21 (CSB) reads, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they won’t become discouraged.” When we lose patience with our children we create an environment where it is easy for them become discouraged. Paul’s warning to parents here is that a family environment that lacks patience, love, and understanding will lead to children becoming discouraged. When people, children included, feel discouraged they will stop caring and quiet.

Patience and encouragement are essential components of building a strong and healthy family. As parents, we need to be patient with our children as they learn what it means to follow Jesus and mature in their faith.

In Galatians 6:9, we are reminded, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." When we are patient and encouraging, we help our children develop perseverance rather than discouragement.

7. Forgiveness

Forgiveness is an important part of building healthy relationships and dealing with hurt and pain in our families. As imperfect people, we all make mistakes, and forgiveness allows us to move forward and restore relationships.

Colossians 3:12-13 (CSB) says “Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive.”

As parents, we need to model forgiveness and teach our children how to forgive others. This happens in two ways. First, it happens when our children do something wrong and we tell them that we forgive them. This helps them to know that while we may be upset, that we still love them. Second, it happens when we do something wrong, and we treat our children unfairly, and we ask them for forgiveness. This helps teach them that it is important to own up to your mistakes and take the first step in making things right.

Forgiveness is necessary for a loving family and it an essential skill to teach our children.

Christian Parents seek to raise their children to have a personal faith in God and to teach them what it means to follow Jesus. To do this in a culture that is not supportive requires faith, sacrifice, and commitment. To help us in this process it is crucial that we follow the biblical principles of love, respect, intentionality, boundaries, gratitude, patience and encouragement, and forgiveness. This is how we create an environment where our children can flourish and develop into the people God created them to be. As parents, we help build for God’s kingdom by discipling our children well, and that requires that we turn to God for help and guidance.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Parenting Matters

Parenting is one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of life. From the moment a child is born, parents are faced with the responsibility of raising them to become responsible, compassionate, and productive members of society. Christian parents also have the added responsibility of raising their children to be faithful disciples of Jesus. 

While parenting may seem overwhelming at times, it is a critical part of our lives that has a profound impact on the future of our families, churches, and communities. As stressful as parenting can be, it is important that we remember why we do it.

Children are a gift and a responsibility from God

Children are a precious gift from God, and they come into our lives as a result of His plan and design. Because of this we know that each child is unique and has his or her own God-given purpose and potential. As parents, it is our responsibility to nurture and guide our children, helping them to grow and develop in all areas of life.

Since children come from God, we need to remember that He is entrusting them into our care. They are not a burden or inconvenience, but a blessing to be cherished and celebrated. Psalm 127:3-5 says that children like arrows in the hand of a warrior, meaning that parenting children is one way that God will increase His influence in the world. Just as an archer takes careful aim and shoots an arrow towards its target, parents must aim to raise their children in a way that honors God and helps them fulfill their potential.

Raising children is a significant responsibility, and it requires a great deal of effort, sacrifice, and commitment. Proverbs 22:6 teaches us to "train up a child in the way he should go," indicating that we must be intentional and deliberate in our approach to parenting. This involves teaching our children about God and His ways, modeling a life of faith and obedience, and providing them with the guidance and support they need to navigate the challenges of life.

As parents, we have a profound influence on the spiritual development of our children. We are called to be their primary disciplers, helping them to know and love God, and showing them what it means to follow Jesus. Our decisions about how we raise our children have eternal consequences, and we must take this responsibility seriously.

Parenting is filled with challenges and opportunities

One of the biggest challenges of parenting in today's world is managing the impact of technology on our children's lives. Social media, video games, and other forms of technology can be both a blessing and a curse. While they provide entertainment and educational opportunities, they can also be addictive and contribute to a sedentary lifestyle. Even worse, as studies seem to suggest, the role technology has the the social, emotional, and even spiritual development of children is huge. As parents, we must be vigilant in setting limits and boundaries around technology use, and provide our children with good alternatives for entertainment and social interaction.

Another challenge of parenting in today's world is helping our children navigate the complexities of relationships and social dynamics. Peer pressure, bullying, and social isolation are all too common in our society, and they can have a profound impact on our children's emotional and mental health. As parents, we must be attuned to our children's emotional needs and provide them with the guidance and support they need to navigate these challenges.

A third challenge, especially for Christian parents, is teaching children what it means to follow Jesus in a culture that does not accept the values, beliefs, and commitments of God’s Kingdom. Teaching them how to love people even when you don’t agree with them or approve of what they do. Teaching them how to communicate truth, but in a way that is gracious and loving.

Despite these challenges, parenting also presents many opportunities. As parents, we have the opportunity to shape the lives of our children and help them become the best versions of themselves. We can provide them with a strong foundation of faith and values, teach them important life skills, and encourage them to pursue their passions and talents. We can also model healthy behaviors and attitudes, showing them what it means to live a life faithfully following Jesus.

Parenting is crucial for the future of society and the church

Since our children are the future of both our society and the church, it is important that we are intentional in how we raise them. Children who are raised with strong values and a sense of purpose are more likely to become responsible and compassionate adults who make positive contributions to society. By raising children who are committed to serving others and making the world a better place, we can help them see that they can make a difference in the world.

At the same time, parenting is also crucial for the future of the church. As Christian parents, we have a unique opportunity to pass on our faith to the next generation. This means not only teaching our children about the Bible and the doctrines of the faith, but also modeling a life of love, truth, humility, and service.

By living out our faith in front of our children, we help them develop a deep and lasting relationship with God that will sustain them throughout their lives.

In addition, parents have a responsibility to equip their children to be effective witnesses for Jesus in the world. This requires us to be intentional in teaching them so they can have the skills and knowledge they need to share their faith with others in a winsome and persuasive way. By raising up a generation of young people who are passionate about living the Gospel, is one way we are completing the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations.

Parenting is one of the most important responsibilities we have as adults. It is a calling from God that requires us to be intentional, patient, and prayerful as we seek to raise our children to become the men and women God created them to be. As we fulfill this calling, we can trust that God will be with us every step of the way, guiding and empowering us to be the parents our children need us to be.

Prophetic Revelation and the Gospel

  1 Peter 1:10-12 (CSB) Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who prophesied about the grace that would come to you, searched and careful...