Raising Children According to the Bible

5 Mins read

One of the greatest responsibilities that anyone can take on is that of being a parent. When God blesses you with a child, He is entrusting you to not only care for the physical needs of that child, but also his or her emotional, mental and spiritual needs as well. When all of those factors are combined, parenting can be an incredibly stressful proposition. Fortunately, God provides plenty of direction in His word to help in the journey of parenting.

It’s important to remember that God understands parenthood. Not only do we know Him as the Father of Jesus (John 3:16), but Paul also says that God takes on a paternal role for all of His children (Ephesians 4:6). Once we begin to realize that God understands the parental mindset, we can be even more confident in looking to His word for help in raising our own children.

Psalm 127:3 (ESV)
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.

When you have your first child, your priorities automatically change. Suddenly, the wellbeing of the child that you are responsible for becomes the most important thing in your life. While it’s possible to let the concern and stress associated with childrearing overwhelm and isolate you, it’s crucial to realize that you are not alone in this journey of parenting. God desires to be deeply involved in your family. Once we change our perspective in parenting, we can begin to operate under the authority of God’s leadership for our homes.

The child or children that God has given you are a blessing from Him. Sometimes, it’s easy to lose sight of that fact, especially when those little blessings become teenagers with big attitudes. However, the psalmist in Psalm 127 goes on to compare children to a quiver full of arrows in the hand of a warrior and details how the man with these arrows “will not be put to shame” (Psalm 127:5).

When we view our children as a blessing from God, we realize that we are called to be stewards of those blessings. Stewards are not solely responsible for every aspect of the blessing; instead stewards simply operate in submission to the One who blessed them. Your children are your blessing, but Godly parenting involves operating under God’s word and within His plans for your parenting.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (ESV)
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.

One of the primary commands that God gives to parents is that we constantly expose our children to God’s word. Just like we only want what is best for our children, God wants what is best for His children and their families. Long before any parents were dealing with the myriad of distractions that are present in our lives today, God made plans for how His people could keep their families focused on Him. Early in Israel’s history as a free nation, God highlighted the importance of parents keeping their families focused on God and His word.

God told the parents in Israel that they should talk to their children about God’s word when they were sitting in their homes, when they were out in the fields, before they went to bed every night and when they woke up every morning. Similarly, God wants parents today to keep their children pointed towards His will for their lives. What does this look like in modern times? Very much what it looked like in Deuteronomy!

While you should spend time talking to your children about what’s going on in their lives, you should also spend time discussing God’s word with them and illustrating a life of prayer. Instead of time around the table during family dinner being spent on cell phones or with the TV on, talk about how life is going and offer Godly solutions to any problems the family may be facing. Instead of spending the car ride to school or sporting events either in silence or listening to the radio, take that time as an opportunity to pray with your child. God expects us to consistently expose our children to His presence, even in the middle of a busy, chaotic day.

2 Chronicles 17:3
The Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the earlier ways of his father David. He did not seek the Baals,

As a parent, you are the greatest example of God’s love that your children will see. The way that you walk out your faith in your daily life will have a direct impact on how your children grow in their own. That is part of why it’s so vital that you work on developing your own faith. When your children see that you are committed to daily times of prayer and Bible study, they will understand the importance of applying those principles to their own lives.

All throughout the two books of Chronicles, we read about Godly kings who walked “in the ways of their fathers.” Conversely, wicked kings often mimicked the wicked ways of their fathers. The way that you live out your faith will have a direct impact on how your children live their own faith. If you commit your life to God and live in obedience to His word, it will help mold the way that your children behave. When you allow the Holy Spirit to constantly change and shape your own life, your children will see the reflection of Godliness in your own life and accept that as the norm in their lives as well.

If you truly want your children to understand God’s love for His children, allow God to cultivate the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) in your life.

Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Many people take a look at this verse and assume that it guarantees that if they raise their children the right way that they will never rebel or fall into the traps of sin. However, we all know that all humans have free will to make their own decisions. Based on that premise, we have to accept the fact that we cannot force our children to commit their entire existence to God. Instead, we are simply responsible for being a living example of God’s love for His children to our own kids while they are under our care.

There is no way to guarantee that your children will always live their lives in a Godly way. People make decisions, and some of them are contrary to God’s word. However, when you commit to consistently exposing your children to God’s word and to your own illustrations of prayer, worship and general obedience, those lessons remain inside them.

As a human, you cannot save your child’s soul. Eventually, they have to make their own decision in regards to their faith and their own salvation. When you plant the seeds of faith in the soil of your child’s heart, he or she will always have that truth inside of them. As Christians, we trust in the power of the Holy Spirit to call our children to repentance, even if they stray from the teachings of their youth.

A Closing Prayer

God, I want to be a more Godly parent. I want to raise my children in a way that they will recognize Your presence, experience Your power and trust in Your word. I realize that in order for those things to happen, I need to completely submit my life to You. Help me Lord to walk out what I say I believe. Help me to recognize opportunities to talk to my children about Your goodness in my own life. Give me the boldness to pray with them, discuss Your word with them and to show them what it means to be a Godly man or woman. You’re my Heavenly Father, and I want to be the embodiment of Your love to my earthly children. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen!

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