All parents identify with these words from John Wilmot: “Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children, and no theories.” How true!
In a day when talk show hosts and Hollywood celebrities are presented as authoritative family counselors, more than ever, believers need to know what the Bible teaches about parenting–and put those principles into practice.
Dr. Scott Turansky, founder of National Center for Biblical Parenting, writes, “It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of family life. The daily job of parenting usually spins around three important tasks: giving instructions, correcting children, and providing for physical and emotional needs. These are all important and learning how to do them well can mean all the difference between a child who is responsive and one who is resistant.”
Launching Your Child’s Faith
The most important task for parents and teachers is to pass on spiritual truth and godly values to their children. Obviously, this is accomplished to some degree through day-to-day parenting, but we find that parents and teachers must be intentional about passing on spiritual truths to children.
The Bible says a great deal about how to raise children to become godly men and women. One of the first things to understand is that kids need faith (Hebrews 11:1,6).
These verses provide the key to unlocking the Gospel of John: “Jesus provided far more God-revealing signs than are written down in this book. These are written down so you will believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and in the act of believing, have real and eternal life in the way he personally revealed it” (John 20:30,31, The Message)
John’s purpose in writing this book is twofold. First, he provides evidence why any person can wholeheartedly believe that Jesus is the Christ. Second, he affirms that Jesus is the Son of God. Seeing is not believing, believing is seeing – a matter of faith.
Children ask, “Can you prove it?“ Some kids are taught to believe that the scientific method is the ultimate test of validity. In their worldview, people who believe in miraculous events are simple-minded and uninformed. Faith is a weakness that cannot stand up to scientific reasoning.
In reality, faith forms a bridge that connects truth and hope. At one end, the bridge of faith rests securely upon the tangible foundation of Scripture. The events revealed in the Bible are factual and historically reliable. On the other end, the bridge of faith reaches toward God’s intangible promises yet to come. Because we know certain things that are true, we have faith. Because we believe, certain things will become true.
Faith is like a muscle—the more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. Expressing faith doesn’t require a long leap, but it does include short steps. Children do learn a great deal through direct teaching, but they learn much more by watching others. This is why parents must be intentional in the spiritual disciplines of our faith–meditation, prayer, and study that lead to a consistent, unwavering, walk of faith. Practice small steps of faith with your kids. Read frequently (Romans 10:17). Pray expectantly (Matthew 21:22). Walk uprightly (Galatians 5:16).
Parents can do nothing more important than follow God’s ways. When God is in the center of our personal lives, our parenting efforts, and our marriages, He transforms our families and churches from the inside, out. “…faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
7 Biblical Parenting Verses
Practical Idea: share these Biblical truths with your parents and team
1. “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when he said to me, “Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children” (Deuteronomy 4:9-10).
2. “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9).
3. “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 11:18-19).
4. “Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death” (Proverbs 19:18).
5. “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
6. “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
7. “Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged” (Colossians 3:21).
As you consider what God desires for your children, take a look at our complete Children’s Discipleship System. This precept-on-precept System ensures that kids achieve balanced growth in Bible knowledge, Christ-like character, and faithful conduct—everything children need to live as devoted Christ-followers. Or, take a look at DiscipleLand’s online catalog or request a copy.