Parenting According to Our Theology

More than anything else in our Christian walk, I’ve come to see mothering, parenting, as a sort of thumbnail portrait of what we really believe in our theology.

The Crux of Christian Parenting

Do we believe in salvation by grace alone by faith alone, or do we believe in salvation by works? Do we believe God is at work in each person’s life?

Do we really believe that

“… all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

and are we

“…confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: ” (Philippians 1:6)?

What we believe is more revealed in how we live and how we react to what is going on around us than in what we say we believe.

What we believe is seen more in how we react to what is going on around us than in what we say… Click To Tweet

Can God be Trusted? Even with our Children?

A mom recently was lamenting decisions made by her 19-year-old daughter and pointed out here failures as a mom. The young lady hadn’t gone totally off the rails or anything of that sort, but just had a different life goal in mind than what her parents wanted for her.

Mom wanted her to also desire motherhood. Daughter didn’t aspire to make the hearth and home her life’s goal.

The mom felt she had messed up so badly in her daughter’s earlier years that she laid an irreversibly wrong foundation in her daughter’s life, and on that point, I disagree strongly.

There are many principles of parenting and child training found in the Bible.

There is much said about training up a child in the way they should go (literally, giving them a taste for the right things), so that when they grow old, they will still have a desire to live for God (based on Proverbs 22:7). It’s about building good habits and weeding out bad habits and sins out early so that that garden of their hearts and lives can achieve maximum productivity.

Parenting in early childhood is focused on this kind of practical training.

Christian Parenting of Older Children Isn’t Like Parenting Toddlers

In some ways, parenting older children is just like our own walk with the Lord, though. As believers, we live by faith, trusting in Jesus’ finished work on the cross, and seeking Him all day, every day, growing more in His likeness.

It’s essential that we point our children to the Savior early on so that the One who began a good work in them will continue to work with them. (Philippians 1:6)

We are to teach our children right from wrong, but then trust God to guide them to make the right decisions as they enter adulthood, as they leave the nest, and even as they start families of their own.

Christian parenting isn’t laying down the law. Christian parenting involves helping them learn to seek God for themselves.

Christian parenting isn't laying down the law but helping them learn to seek God for themselves. Click To Tweet

Why? When someone is His and is yielded to Him, He will be the guide of their lives…and that’s the goal, isn’t it? To raise up young people whose lives glorify God?

That’s my goal.

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6)

Our growth as Christians doesn’t come from us achieving some kind of perfection, or a certain level of discipline to where we are suddenly pleasing to God on our own merit. Our Christian growth comes as we surrender to Him, and walk after Him.

This is the hardest part of Christian parenting for many of us:

Trusting God not only with our salvation but with our children. We have to trust God to build on the foundation that we have laid, correcting our inadequacies, sanding off the rough edges, and working in their lives to His glory.

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