I claim no expertise in parenting but rather, I claim a strong desire and passion to raise my children to know and love God through Jesus Christ. And that is why I am so drawn to the above verse. I am constantly thinking about ways to be a good example but also thinking about what my children are seeing in me. Children are going to learn about God from their parents. Hopefully they learn a lot at Sunday school and Bible camp and vacation Bible school, but children will learn about loving and living with God by watching their parents.
So parents be mindful.
But not just parents. Church, be mindful. The children are watching you too. Whether you have children or not, they are watching you. When you are in worship; children are watching you. When you are interacting with others; children are watching you. Whether you like it or not you are being recorded by a child’s built in video camera in their brains, so be mindful.
But one of the biggest misconceptions in parenting is that as parents we need to be their child’s “best friend”. Children don’t need that. They have plenty of people to be best friends with. According to scripture, children need parents that will discipline them and teach them to know the Lord.
Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. (Proverbs 13:24 ESV)
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t share this verse in order to advocate beating your child. This verse is about a parent’s God-given responsibility to discipline a child when they go astray. How a child is to be disciplined is something for another blog post. But here, parents are not called to be best friends. Parents are called to raise their children to walk the narrow path; disciplining their children out of love not anger.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6 ESV)
And a parent may actually do this but see their child stray from the faith. If this happens, be patient, you have planted a seed. So don’t lose heart. Keep training them in the way they should go. How this training goes will vary from parent to parent but the common thread is, don’t be their best friend, be a faithful example of the Christian life. Love your children but even more than that, love God.
I have said this a number of times but it bears repeating:
The best thing a parent can do for their child(ren) is to love God more than them.
That right there says a lot. Love God above all things and all people and as a parent, you will do fine 🙂
Father God, parenting is hard work. Grant Your Spirit that parents and other adults may have the wisdom it takes to pass the faith on to the next generation. In Jesus name, Amen
The Pastor -|—