Her tears reflected her broken heart and unconditional love for her children. She deeply desired to raise godly children, but felt caught in a tug of war with all of the parenting information filling the airwaves. Seeing the current attitude and behavior of her children, she knew something needed to change.
After a firm hug and a napkin to dry her eyes, I sympathized how overwhelming parenting has become in the 21st century. Society has removed the absolutes in discipline and clouded what used to be must easier.
She looked at me and said, “But which parenting style is right?”. I believe that there are three questions that will help decide this answer.
How is My Personal Relationship with God?
We state that God is to be first in our lives, yet how we spend our time truly shows what we value. If your parenting style is negatively affecting your quiet time with the Lord, changes need to be made.
Are you so busy doing for your family that there is no time for church?
How is My Marriage?
God created marriage to make us more like Him and to be a representation of Jesus and His church. But yet in the busyness of raising children, it is tempting to put our marriages on hold thinking that we can pick up where we left off when things get easier.
In reality, our marriages are like plants, either growing or dying. You cannot set a plant to the side with the plans to come back to it in 18 years; nor can you your marriage. If your parenting style is negatively affecting your marriage, changes need to be made.
Do you need to train your children to sleep in their own rooms to provide focused time for mom and dad?
Do your children need to learn patience while mom and dad talk about their day?
Is My Child Learning to Love God and Love Others?
When asked what the greatest commandment is Jesus replied, “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
If your parenting style is not teaching your children to love God and love others, changes need to be made.
Does your child obey God’s commandments? The first time?
Is your child learning patience and kindness?
Does your child envy others, boast, and have a prideful spirit?
Does your child dishonor others and seek his own desires?
Does your child get easily angered and keep records of others’ wrongs?
Does your child delight in evil or rejoice with the truth?
Does your child protect, always trust, always hope, always perseveres?
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Swim or Stand?
The tears and her discouraged face answered each question. She wasn’t spending daily time in the Word and in prayer. Her marriage wasn’t what it needed to be to survive. And her children were not learning to love God through obedience or love others.
How about you?
If you negatively answered any of these questions, the enemy would like you to swim in guilt and condemnation.
But the Lord is reaches down to lift you out of the quick sand and stand you on solid ground. There is hope and joy for your parenting journey.
Here are some resources to help you get on the biblical parenting path.
Personal Relationship with God
Having a Marriage that Reflects Jesus
- 4 Tips to Divorce-Proof Your Marriage
- When Your Marriage Isn’t Matching Your Expectations
- When You Can’t Love Your Spouse
- A Lifelong Love by Gary Thomas
Training Children to Love God and Love Others
- ABCJLM YouTube Parenting Playlist
- Parenting Book List by Paul Tripp, Dr. Kevin Leman, and Love and Logic