Does the Bible Have Anything to Say about Parenting?
Each one of us of us was born into a family, but not all of us know the beauty of a Christian family. Some of us were raised in homes that were healthy, loving and centered on Christ, and some of us were raised in broken homes or broken situations where we experienced more pain and sadness than joy. Regardless of our past, we are free and equipped to set the tone for our family and raise our children up in a Godly environment.
At the center of God’s plan for humanity is the concept of family, and as such we have the responsibility to parent well. Jesus himself was born into a family, and regularly compared the Church to a family. In Romans 8:17, Paul refers to us as “co-heirs” with Christ, and in Galatians 3:26 we are called children of God. God is regularly referred to in Scripture as our father.
Essentially, God, as our Father, has created families as a means to teach children how they should live in him, and he equips us through his word to parent effectively and consistently.
What Does the Bible Say about Parenting?
From the best to the worst, the Bible gives us examples of every kind of parent. From well-known accounts from the lives of people such as Abraham, Jacob, David, and others, we see these believers – known for their powerful faith – making wonderful decisions, and then turning around and making horrible decisions in their parenting. It happens.
We will all make mistakes. We will say or do the wrong thing and feel horrible about it later. We are human, and even when we are seeking Christ fervently, that humanity will still show up. Yet the Bible teaches that when we are following Jesus and seeking to live for him, he is powerful enough to reach our children in spite of us. Our mistakes and poor decisions will not ruin our children when we are actively seeking Jesus in all we do.
We do well to remember that we are the best parent for our children! They are a precious gift and in his eternal wisdom and providence God has entrusted them to us!
The Bible also shows us that every child is different. Jacob and Esau were different, and Joseph and his brothers were different. This was okay, and all a part of God’s plan. Even in consistent parenting, our children will respond to discipline and encouragement differently than their siblings. In my home, we had some children that could be brought in line with a stern look or a head shake. Others needed more than that to learn what is right. Parents should spend much time in prayer over each of their children, and most importantly, parents must seek God in their own lives so that this will shine out in all they do. Those kids are watching and learning from you every day, parent!
5 Encouraging Bible Verses for Parents
Although the Bible is not a “parenting guide,” there are numerous encouragements for parents throughout Scripture. As parents, we are not left alone to figure out this journey, but given the tools and direction we need in the Bible - the same place we receive direction for every other aspect of life.