God is the author of the family institution. We know this because he is the one who created the first family. He started by creating a man (Adam) to illustrate that he wanted him to take responsibility for his family. He then created the woman (Eve) to illustrate that she would assist Adam in doing God’s will. One of the remarkable things that God expected from Adam and Eve was to procreate to fill the earth. But the work was not just getting babies – he also expected them to raise their offspring the right way.
What Is Godly Parenting?
Godly parenting recognizes that children belong to God and parents are just stewards. Your role as a parent, therefore, is to raise children not to be all they can be but to be all that God created them to be. This means that the goal of every parent should be to direct their children toward a solid relationship with God.
Characteristics of Godly Parenting
The Bible offers invaluable advice on how to raise godly children. Here are some of the principles we can glean from the scriptures on raising children.
Children Are a Gift
Behold children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward, Like arrows in the and of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. Psalm 27:3-5
It is natural to think of your children as your own. However, the Psalmist makes it clear that they are not. On the contrary, they are a gift from the Lord. The dictionary defines a gift as something given willingly to another without payment (e.g. a wedding gift). God gives children to parents as gifts and they should be treated as such. For instance, not taking good care of a gift demonstrates that you do not value the giver of the gift. If you love God, you will demonstrate it by taking good care of the gift that God gave you. You will want to raise them just the way God prescribes.
Raise Children In the Lord
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Ephesians 6:1a
Christian parents should raise their children in the Lord. This means that you should not follow the standards of the world but the standards of God when raising your children. God has given you the authority of parenthood over your children. This means you can act on behalf of God in raising your kids. There are many things that society may embrace which are contrary to what the word of God teaches. It is your duty as a parent to instruct your children in the ways of the Lord. Remember the words of the wise man Solomon,
Train up a child in the way he should go [teaching him to seek God’s wisdom and will for his abilities and talents], Even when he is old he will not depart from it. Prov. 22:6
Children who are instructed in the ways of the Lord will remain in those ways even into adulthood. Children are like blank pieces of paper and the lessons they pick from their parents will remain marked in permanent ink on their once-blank pages. You have a great opportunity to ensure you raise your children the right way.
Correct and Discipline Children
As we have already established, it is your role to raise children in the ways of the Lord. And one of the ways the scripture teaches is through correcting and disciplining them. Disciplining your child means showing them the right way to conduct themselves and discouraging them from bad behavior. Through discipline and correction, you will teach your child important values and help them develop the fruit of the holy spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control).
It is human nature to error – and your children are bound to do lots of dumb things. You have a God-given role to correct your children when they make such mistakes. Some parents are afraid of correcting their children because they think the children will feel unloved. Ironically, the Bible teaches that correction is a demonstration of love.
For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.
Just the same way God disciplines and punishes his children, every parent must also discipline and punish their children. The result will be a well-mannered child who not only knows rough from wrong but has a strong moral compass that will guide them through the murky waters of life.
Each Child Is Unique
God has made each of us unique – and the same goes for children. One of the mistakes parents make is trying to force all children to be the same or comparing them. Just because one child is excelling in a certain field doesn’t mean you force the other one to follow suit. Remember, your responsibility is to nourish and nurture what God has already put in the life of your child. If you work with God, you might be pleasantly surprised at how unique and special each child is. The Psalmist understood this and that is why he wrote:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalms 139:13-14
In conclusion, Godly parenting, rooted in the divine origin of the family, entails recognizing children as gifts from the Lord. The primary objective is not just to nurture children to their full potential but, more significantly, to guide them in fulfilling the purpose for which God created them. The scriptural principles of godly parenting emphasize raising children within the framework of God’s standards, instilling values, discipline, and correction. This biblical wisdom ensures a transformative impact, shaping children into individuals who carry these lessons into adulthood.