What are the qualities of a godly parent? Is there anything in Scripture that talks about parenting? There are many answers to these questions, but we’re overthinking it! Building your family on biblical principles merely mirrors how God parents us!
Get Right. Are you, as an individual, right with God? Is Jesus in your heart? Before we can even consider getting our kids right with God, we must get right with Him. Until you spend time with God, being a godly parent is just a saying; actions speak louder than words. Check yourself before you check your children. Spending time with God in prayer will allow us the patience, faith, restraint, and wisdom to tackle the challenges a Christian family may face.
The Bible is Your Authority. It’s often tempting to seek solutions to our problems from neighbors, social media, and other sources. The Bible is our authority when it comes to solving any troubling puzzle! The Bible has a lot of advice regarding parenting, such as…
Colossians 3: 21: Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
2 Timothy 3: 16-17: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Philippians 4: 6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Be an Example. A core principle of biblical parenting is leading from the heart. However, you can’t teach what you haven’t learned; change yourself before your children. What sort of person do you want them to be? Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in being the change you want to see for your children. If you expect behaviors from your children, expect them from yourself too! Take your children to church instead of sending them. Show them what it means to be vulnerable and spend time with God in prayer and Scripture.
Set the Standard. Biblical parenting means setting up clear expectations for our children, with logical consequences for when they disobey. However, if the Holy Spirit guides us we will not discipline our children with anger but with love. Be consistent in your rules, and be careful in your considerations. Was this action just a kid being a kid, or was it knowingly disobedient?
Win Their Heart. As Christian parents, we’re great at setting expectations and boundaries. Often, though, our children’s hearts stray as a result of our own hearts. To win the hearts of your children, we must discipline them not with punishment in mind but as a shepherd tending to their flock, guiding and correcting them with love. Don’t pursue perfect behavior, but rather godly behavior. Teach them and show them what it means to be patient, kind, humble, and loving.
Be a Family of the Word, Not the World. As God says, “My kingdom is not of this world,” so must Christian parents remember that our families are not of the world but the Word. Be skeptical of pop culture, and don’t be afraid to say, “that’s not for us.” Explain to your children why. Show them that people mean more than things and love the Gospel and others by walking as Jesus to the best of our ability.
Be Present. By showing your children that people are more important than things, you show them that the presence of those they love is worth its weight in gold. The opportunity to walk with God is always there, so the chance for your children to walk with you should also be. Spend time with the Lord together. Eat dinner together. Get involved with what interests your children so you can also learn from them!
Honor Them. Show and tell your children that they are invaluable to you and God. Pray to realize God’s plan for them and lift their strengths so that they can fulfill it. Never criticize them in front of others and discipline them privately and gently through the Holy Spirit. Respect them not just as individuals but as sons and daughters of our Lord.
Be United. Parenting biblical principles emphasize creating a loving, safe, and compassionate environment for children to grow. Yet, faith is a team effort. God designated you and your spouse to fulfill essential roles, and a united front in His Word can set the standard for your family. Find ways for your children to be part of the team as well! When believers, particularly in the family, are united, their faith can move mountains!