Family Ministry

advice, thoughts, and discussion


on May 8, 2012

Parenting, there’s so many styles. You can decide to make lots of rules and enforce them. You can decide to not make any rules and let your children come to conclusions and learn lessons on their own. But, what is the Biblical and most effective way of parenting?

Here are some verses about parenting:

Deut. 21:18-21 – “stubborn and rebellious sons…should be stoned to death”
Prov. 13:18 – “poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline”
Prov. 19:18 – “discipline your son while there is hope, and do not desire his death”
Prov. 22:6 – “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Prov. 22:15 – “foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of discipline will remove it far from him”
Prov. 23:13,14 – “do not hold back discipline from the child. Although you smite him with the rod, he will not die…”
Prov. 29:15 – “the rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother”

Sounds pretty harsh, huh? But these are all Old Testament verses… Let’s see what God has to say after Jesus sacrifices His life for us and makes a new covenant to be in relationship with us –

Eph. 6:4 – “fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
Col. 3:21 – “fathers, do not exasperate your children, that they may not lose heart”
I Tim. 3:4 – “an elder must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Heb. 12:5-11 – “what son is there that the father does not discipline?”

This sounds much more like a balance, doesn’t it? And it makes me think about what our staff devotional was today. Ephesians 4:15-16 – “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Are we supposed to discipline our children? Yes. But how are we supposed to do it? With love!

Here’s an excerpt of an article on the Focus on the Family Website that I think would be very beneficial to all of the Christian parents out there: “Many people believe every parent’s job is to make sure his or her children turn out “right.” Even though most of us don’t quite know what that standard means, we feel obliged to meet it.  But if it were true, it would mean God messed up.  In Genesis we read about a place called the Garden of Eden. It was a perfect environment, a perfect “home.”  In this perfect place there were two perfect people — God’s children, Adam and Eve. Wouldn’t that be nice to have perfect children?

And there was a perfect God — the perfect parent.

There was also a rule: “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Genesis 2:17).  You’ve probably heard the rest of the story.  Adam and Eve chose foolishly, defying what God had told them. Our human decay and ultimate death are stark reminders of that wrong choice — made by perfect people in a perfect environment with a perfect parent.  So what did God do wrong? If He “trained them in the way they should go,” why did Adam and Eve choose the other option? If Proverbs 22:6 is a guarantee of success for parents, why wasn’t it a guarantee for the Author of the Book?  Enter free will.  I’m talking about a God-given freedom to choose — part of being created in His image. Adam and Eve exercised it, and your kids exercise it today.” Read the whole article here.



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