Biblical Parenting

QUESTION: What are the basics of biblical parenting?

ANSWER:

The basics of biblical parenting involve more than simply raising a child. Parents are directly responsible to God for more than providing food, shelter, and protection. When we adopt God's standards as our own, we produce quality character that is different from a child's natural inclinations. Proverbs 22:6 emphasizes the significance of biblical parenting: "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." As parents turn to the Bible for instruction they are able to open up channels in their children's lives so that God's grace can flow in.

What are the basics of biblical parenting, and what hinders that flow? As parents we shape our children's attitudes, actions, and associations. When we are inconsistent in delivering godly instruction and wisdom to our children, we practice ineffective parenting. When we place unreasonable demands by abusing our authority, we practice ineffective parenting. When we make anything more important than our children, we take another step away from love, and a step away from effective biblical parenting.

What are the basics of biblical parenting in responding to conflicts? Let's say your five-year-old wants that "just before dinner" treat. Your "no" prompts whining and temperamental tears. Before raising your voice or threatening to take swift measures, take a moment to ask the Lord to calm you and bridle your tongue. We need to establish an atmosphere in which God's wisdom, patience, and grace can be applied. As parents we have an opportunity and a responsibility to exercise self-control and obedience.

Many parents are caught off-guard and later regret how they responded when their rules and regulations were challenged. It is certainly easier to apply the basic "if/then" approach, while demanding immediate obedience. But it is far more beneficial if we parent our children as God parents us. "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age. . ."(Titus 2:11-12). As we focus on God, our parental authority should encourage self-control and obedience in our children.

What are the basics of biblical parenting and authority? Parents must understand that parental authority is never manipulating children with a few choice phrases or standard punishments. It is impossible to force children to behave appropriately. We may see brief periods of responsibility and obedience, but when children reach adulthood, they often reject authority; their godly character is as yet undeveloped. It's been said that "character is who you are when no one else is around." Children generally know that their parents are wiser than they are. They also know there are times when they need guidance and authority. The proper application of parental authority will help children to appreciate and benefit from their parents' wisdom and experience. In the Bible, Eli spoke to his sons about their bad behavior. He even instructed them in how they should serve God. Yet God rejected Eli's house because Eli failed to restrain or exercise authority over his sons (1 Samuel 2:22-25; 3:12-13).

What are the basics of biblical parenting and setting priorities? When exercising authority, a parent makes the most loving choice they are capable of at that moment. A single disciplinary action may have non-dramatic outward results, yet still have spiritual effects that are cumulative and strong. When a child is given an opportunity to recognize authority, or change their past behavior, they are trained in biblical principles. Warnings were issued to the Israelites before judgment fell. They were given chances to repent and change their behavior. Effective parenting is applying methods of discipline that focus on biblical principles and on training beyond punishment. Appropriate discipline serves to assist children in making the correct choices - even in our absence. "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it" (Hebrews 12:11).

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WHAT DO YOU THINK? - We have all sinned and deserve God's judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.

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