Christian parents today face the difficult task of raising children in a world that has become almost void of God. But in the past, children grew up in a society that clearly defined what was right and what was wrong. Parents were recognized as the primary authority figure in their children's lives and for the most part were treated with respect and honor. This is no longer true today. Now as the world continues on it's downward, morality spiral, where prayer has been removed from the schools, and there is extreme religious persecution on almost every front, parenting has become a huge challenge.
Parents show increasing concern as their children are encouraged to shun strict rules and biblical truths. Whenever the application of God's laws is mentioned, liberal parents begin a campaign to stop anything in a school which might mention God. The Bible speaks of the "insolent, arrogant, and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents. . ." (Romans 1:30). Rebellion and disobedience are just as pervasive today as parental authority disintegrates. Today, parents must choose who and what shapes their children's lives. Without a doubt, God still holds parents responsible for their children - to instruct them and to discipline them.
Christian Parenting - To Instruct
In the Old Testament, Moses reminds the Israelites of their responsibility to their children and grandchildren. "Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them" (Deuteronomy 4:9-10). We would all like to believe that our children will make the right choices based on lessons taught. But unfortunately that is not often the case.
When we instruct our children, we are not simply presenting a list of rules to follow. We are letting our "actions speak" by training them according to God's standards. By living a righteous life, parents provide their children with the understanding of how God's rules govern all our lives. Then, as our children mature, they develop a habit of doing right, serving God by making their own decisions.
Children need to learn that there will be consequences for the decisions that they make in life.
It is the goal of every parent to see their children accept responsibility for their decisions. If our children learn from their mistakes and accept godly correction, then we are on the right course. One father tried to take a short-cut in explaining responsibility by saying, "It's not what you do, but whether or not you get caught. And if you get caught. . .be willing to pay the consequences!" This was not teaching consequences but it was teaching " If you are going to do something wrong, make sure that you don't get caught."
Christian Parenting - To Discipline
Theories on "correct" discipline change every few years - the Bible never changes. If children do not obey, they must receive correction. The Bible teaches this should be done by using a rod of correction. "The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother" (Proverbs 29:15). Often parents become weary disciplining young children. At times, a typical day seems to consist of nagging and scolding. Parents wonder if they have ruined every chance for a loving relationship with their children. They may even be tempted to give up altogether. "Only God knows what to do with this child," they groan. YES GOD DOES!!
God chooses each parent with great care. "For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just. . ." (Genesis 18:19).
What are the basics of biblical parenting?
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 is our guide to biblical parenting: "Train a child in the way he should go, and whenhe 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.
Whatt 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?
First, establish an atmosphere of love and kindness, so that when you discipline your child, they will have an open heart to your discipline. We should parent our children the same way that God parents us. And He does this, by explaining the rules of living to us, and then he tells us the consequences if we do not follow those rules. And then , most importantly he consistently gives us those consequences for bad behavior until we get the lesson straight.
As we focus on God ourselves and follow the rule that he laid out for life, we demonstrate self-control and obedience to our children. "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 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).