What makes good parenting?
What IS good parenting? And what part does faith play in good parenting?
Are we passionately devoted to raising our kids in godly, Biblical ways?
When Abby was born, I realized that TV was a big part of our day. It was easy to turn on any time she was fussy or needed to be nursed. The two stations in our house were nickjr and Playhouse Disney. The girls would watch Dora, Backyardigans, or Blues Clues.
All great shows, but I found out that they knew more wiggles songs and Dora stories than they knew Bible songs and stories.
I made a decision that day to make sure God was a bigger part of their young lives.
I made small changes like playing children’s Bible songs in the kitchen while they ate or choosing Veggie Tales over Dora. I have seen a dramatic change in the way they play and the things they talk about. I’m thankful for that wake-up moment because it has had an impact on how I parent.
I want to parent by God’s guidelines and that means giving Him a prominent place in our day.
We have to follow God’s guidelines to raise our kids the way He would want, but we have to know what those guidelines are to begin to parent that way daily. Knowing God’s guidelines will help us establish the home we want to raise our kids in – a godly environment to build people that love God.
Are we devoted to making our children know and love God?
Or are we just focused on good parenting?
Are we building homes that serve God in everything?
Being devoted to our kids, whether we work or stay at home, is our God-given responsibility as their parents. At times, that job seems too big to handle. Raising kids is hard work.
Good parenting with faith is hard work.
Raising kids to be healthy, happy, responsible adults who love the Lord is our goal, however difficult that may seem.
I was reminded of the story of Joshua and the commitment made between God and the Israelites before Joshua’s death. In Joshua 24:15, Joshua tells the people that if serving God is undesirable to them, they can choose to serve other gods.
Then he says, “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
He committed not only himself, but his entire household, his whole family.
Are you willing to commit your family to serving God?
Are you willing to do more than just good parenting and make sure that faith is a vital role in your home?
Commitment to God is something we must start teaching our kids now. Families who choose to serve God must continually make a choice to pursue the things of God. That requires teaching our children a reverence for God, the importance of church faithfulness, a firm commitment to God’s truth, a sincere desire to fulfill His goals and a strong determination to resist the appeal of sin.
How do we do that?
We live it. We show them by our example.
Read your Bible in front of them, choose church over something else, listen to music that talks about God, tell them Bible stories before bed… make God a part of your day! Make sure your kids know that a relationship with God is important in your life and in your family. It will become a lifestyle for them. When they see your faith in action, it will build a desire for the same in their lives.
You see, we could argue over the best discipline tactics, the benefits of scheduling your child’s day, or the wonders of potty training early… but you can’t argue over building a firm foundation on the truth of the word of God in your children’s lives. That is non-negotiable in godly parenting. It is our responsibility before God to train our children to love and know God.
Although we may use good parenting skills and teach them all the right things and lay a strong foundation, our children may ultimately choose something else.
Like some of the Israelites, they may reject their personal commitment to God.
But what I’m asking myself today is, “What am I doing right now to prepare them to make the right decision? How am I equipping them to choose God for their entire lives?”
I read this quote in a book called Raising Kids for True Greatness by Dr. Tim Kimmel.
“Our children were born with a natural inclination toward accommodating their own desires. Left to themselves without any moral limitations or directions, our children would grow into self-destructive nightmares.”
“When Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel, he said to them, “Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. They are not just idle words for you—they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.” Deuteronomy 32:45-47