Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What Does the Bible Say About Parenting?

Did I ever mention that I was mean and annoying? I stink, am unreasonable, and crazy, too! These are some of the best compliments I could ask for…from my teens. They tell me that I'm doing my job as a parent right. I'll be their friend later. Being detested by the very souls I would give my life for is not an easy pill to swallow though, even when taken with the knowledge that it is temporary. Over the last seventeen years I have fumbled through at least a dozen parenting books looking for help. Of course I never thought to open the book my Heavenly Father gave me. I suddenly felt like a child myself, so I thought I would take a look at what the Father of all of us has to say about parenting.

God gives special blessings to parents who raise their children in His ways. (Proverbs 23:24&25) He also blesses children who obey their parents. (Exodus 20:12) However, if all we talked about were the blessings, we would be missing the just as consequential other half..the cursing. (Proverbs 17:21) We must assimilate the example set by our own Father in Heaven in how he punishes our wrongdoings, as well as rewards us for our good. The Bible makes it very clear how important correcting your child is. (Proverbs 23:13&14) 

Love isn't always a hug. It's also a boundary, and at times a disciplinary action. In fact gifting your children with a consistent set of rules and punishments for breaking them is the maximum expression of love you can give to your children. Even at their tender young ages, they instinctively know this. Children and teens become very frightened when so many important decisions are left up to them to make. It is actually quite cruel to not help them through the temptations that even our mature selves struggle to fight off. Therefor it is best to let our children explore new territories within a controlled environment before setting them completely free. 

The very first action we should take when our children disobey us, is what we ourselves yearn most for and graciously receive from God our Father…forgiveness! Letting your kids know that your love for them is unconditional is crucial to their well-being. Only once your forgiveness is established should a punishment be given. This act of love and mercy is the very Grace that God gave us when He sent His Son to forgive our sins. 

They say it takes a village to raise a child. While it is wonderful to have the positive influence of others, such as school teachers, counselors and pastors, God has placed all the responsibility on the parents. Together, the father and the mother are the one and only authority over their kids, no questions asked. It is best that we then keep in mind the words of Jesus from Luke's Gospel, "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required."

Without God, we wouldn't even have our children. He has gifted and entrusted them to us, and it is our responsibility to teach our children exactly who our Creator is. Being Godly parents means that we must love God with all our hearts, and teach our children His word. My ultimate goal is to instill in my children the unfeigned faith that Paul commended Timothy for in 2 Timothy 1:5. His faith was instilled in him by his mother, who's faith was instilled in her by her mother. My five siblings and I are so very fortunate that our parents did the same. There is no question that I can speak on their behalf and proclaim… Mom and Dad - Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts!

"What the Bible Says About Child Training" by J. Richard Fugate

Please remember, BIBLE BAIT is written by a novice Bible study student, not a Bible scholar. If something doesn't look quite right to you, do some digging. One thing you won't get is bored!