Parenting reflects what we believe about God more than anything else. Mothering is a thumbnail portrait of our theology.
The Crux of Christian Parenting
Do we believe in salvation by grace alone by faith alone, or do we believe in salvation by works? Do we believe God is at work in each person’s life?
Do we really believe that
“… all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
and are we
“…confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: ” (Philippians 1:6)?
What we believe is more revealed in how we live and how we react to what is going on around us than in what we say we believe.We show what we believe more in how we react to what is going on around us than in what we say we believe. Click To Tweet
Can We Trust God? Even with our Children?
I know a mom who feels she has failed. She lamented decisions made by her 19-year-old daughter. This mom pointed out her failures as a mom. The young lady didn’t reject God. She wasn’t rebelling against her faith. This young woman just had a different career goal in mind than what her parents wanted for her.
Mom wanted her to also desire motherhood. Daughter didn’t aspire to make the hearth and home her life’s goal.
Guess what? At her age, I didn’t either.
The mom felt she had messed up so bad in her daughter’s earlier years that she laid a wrong foundation. She believed her daughter couldn’t change because of this. On that point, I disagree.
There are many principles of parenting and child training found in the Bible.
The Bible teaches about training up a child in the way they should go. This means giving them a taste for the right things. When they grow old, Proverbs teaches, they will still have a desire to live for God (based on Proverbs 22:7). We should build good habits and weed out bad habits early on. We should address sins early so that that garden of their hearts will thrive.
We should focus our parenting in early childhood on this kind of practical training.
Christian Parenting of Older Children Isn’t Like Parenting Toddlers
In some ways, parenting older children is just like our own walk with the Lord, though.
As believers, we live by faith, trusting in Jesus’ finished work on the cross. We seek Him all day, every day, growing more in His likeness.
It’s essential that we point our children to the Savior early on. This way the One who began a good work in them will continue to work with them. (Philippians 1:6)
We are to teach our children right from wrong, of course. As they grow older we then trust God to guide them to make the right decisions as they enter adulthood.
Christian parenting isn’t laying down the law. Christian parenting involves helping them learn to seek God for themselves.Christian parenting isn't laying down the law but helping them learn to seek God for themselves. Click To Tweet
Why? When someone yields their life to Jesus, He will be the guide of their lives. That’s the goal, isn’t it? To raise up young people whose lives glorify God?
That’s my goal.
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6)
Christian growth doesn’t mean attaining perfection. There is no level of discipline to where we are pleasing to God on our own merit. Our Christian growth comes as we surrender to Him, and walk after Him.
This is the hardest part of Christian parenting for many of us:
Trusting God not only with our salvation but with our children. We have to trust God to build on the foundation that we have laid. God will correct our inadequacies as parents. He will sand off the rough edges, and working in their lives to His glory.
Trust Him with your children.