Parenting is not an exact science. Each child is diverse in temperament, interests, abilities, preferences, and responses to rules and discipline. This devotional is designed to help you navigate the challenges of parenting God’s way.
- Proverbs 22:6
YOU ARE THE EXAMPLE
Children come into the world as a blank slate with genetic propensities. We introduce them to society through our family structure and interaction. We are their model of Godly behavior. They communicate the way we do. If our speech is harsh and unsavory, our children repeat what they hear. If we express our anger through violence, they will also. We shape the lives of our children.
Conversely, when children see our acts of kindness, respect, and love, they reflect the same behavior when interacting with others. It is incumbent upon us to live a Godly life that they can emulate. Children follow what we do, more than what we say.
There are no guarantees in life. We can do everything in the best way and our children may disappoint us. However, the Father has promised if we teach our children His statutes, even though they may choose a different path, at some point, they will return to Him.
QUESTION: How is your example shaping the life of your children?
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, may I be the example my children need to become healthy adults who will honor you and bless the lives of others.
- John 14:15
- Philippians 4:19
GOD IS YOUR SUSTAINER
Our Heavenly Father wills for parents to be in a healthy marriage, working together to provide, protect, and support their children in every way. Whether that is the case or not, we must depend on God to sustain us as we raise our children.
The ability to trust and depend on God comes from having a personal relationship with Him through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. It requires us to possess a level of faith which empowers us to obey God. Obedience to God’s Word is a key component to pleasing Him. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15).”
As parents it is essential to develop a consistent prayer life, study the Word of God, and to live according to His commandments. Our dependence upon God to sustain us, and our praise of Him for His provision will teach our children to trust and believe God for all things.
QUESTIONS: Do you trust God to supply all of your needs? Are you living an authentic God-fearing life that your children can follow?
- Ephesians 6:4
BALANCE DISCIPLINE WITH AFFECTION
“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4 KJV
You do not want to be the parent who only communicates with your children when they have done something wrong. Your little ones need to receive love and affection from you, as well as discipline. This rule is especially true as they get older. Random hugs and kisses, words of encouragement and affirmation, or an unexpected treat, is guaranteed to bring positive results.
Being raised in a household with three sisters and a twin brother taught me the importance of children having alone time with their parents. In addition to strengthening the bond between you, it will help the children feel visible in the family unit and recognized as an individual. Spending time alone with you tells your children they are wanted, loved, and have value.
Our expressions of love and caring toward our children helps them to embrace and reflect the love of God in their life.
QUESTION: What do you need to do to have quality time for each of your children on a regular basis?
- Titus 2
- Genesis 1
In Genesis the first chapter, the Lord God brings order to His creation and dispels chaos. Likewise, when we operate our homes in an organized manner, our lives run more efficiently. Children need structure and consistency. Having a specific time for them to get up in the morning, eat their meals, attend school, and go to bed will cause them to thrive. Developing a routine takes patience and continuity on your part. However, once it is established you will reap the benefits.
Parenting can be overwhelming. Allow the children to assist with age-appropriate chores. Their help will lighten your workload and enable you to designate time for yourself during the day. Incorporating the children in your housekeeping, if no more than picking up their toys or removing their plates from the table, will prepare them for responsibility and begin to take care of themselves.
If you struggle with being organized, ask God to help you to develop the discipline you need to honor Him in that area of your life.
QUESTION: How can you become better organized and operate more efficiently?
- Ephesians 6
TEACH THEM TO RESPECT AUTHORITY
“Children, do what your parents tell you. This is only right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it, namely, “so you will live well and have a long life.” Ephesians 6:1-3 MSG
Teaching your children to respect authority is an important factor in parenting. It is our responsibility to teach our children to honor and respect authority and the leadership of others. Begin by demonstrating your submission to the authority of God in your life. Also, establish your place as the authority in your children’s lives as early in their development as possible.
Respecting your authority means your children understand, as you submit to God’s authority, they are to respect your leadership and obey your instructions. Their obedience is crucial because it could become a matter of life or death for them. If they are accustomed to ignoring you when you call them or disobeying your directives, they could end up in the hands of the wrong person. Something as simple as disregarding your instructions to stand still or stay close might lead to a devastating situation. You may feel it is easier or more convenient to let them get away with being disrespectful. If you do not teach your children to respect your authority, you will spend precious time repeating yourself, and it could possibly lead to you experiencing public humiliation and embarrassment. Teaching authority in your home will make your life easier, create opportunities, and open doors for your children in their future academic and professional careers.
QUESTION: Am I teaching my children what is best for their future or what is convenient for me now?