Parents want what is best for their children. As a Christian parent, you want your children to live a life that honors God. There are many ways to be a godly parent, but here are five that set your children on a path for success.
Continual Focus on the Bible
As a parent, you must make an effort to continually dig into God’s Word. When you focus on the Bible and God’s teachings, the lessons you learn will naturally pour out into your lifestyle. It is a natural habit to talk about things you are passionate about, and the more time you spend in God’s Word, the more you will talk about it in your daily life. Your children will pick up on this and your desire to please Him. You can’t force your children to love God, but you can lead by examples.
Cultivate Godly Relationships
Children need to learn what Biblical love, as opposed to worldly love, looks like (1 Cor. 13:4-7). They need to learn how to resolve conflicts in a godly way (Eph. 4:25-32) Someone should show them how to talk each other up instead of down (Eph. 4:29). Additionally, they need to be shown how to serve others, both through discipleship and evangelism.
Give them Financial Responsibility
One thing children need to learn is the need to take care of and respect the possessions and property God has given to them, and to respect the property of others.This should include a biblical perspective on being managers of the finances God entrusts to them. Give them tasks to start earning money to teach them how to get a job and be good workers. Additionally, teach them about spending, giving, tithing, and budgeting. Before they move out of the home they need to learn about checking accounts, investing, and the dangers of debt and greed.
Teach Them to Respect You
Respect comes from loving discipline. You must discipline as God does, “for our good, that we may share His holiness” (Heb. 12:10). When children are young, you deal with their behavior, and can deal with their attitudes as they get older. A few things to keep in mind:
- Your child’s good, not your selfishness or anger, must be the basis for your correction. Just venting your anger out by hitting your child isn’t accomplishing anything. Do not take their disobedience personally. Correct them and move on.
- We are called to discipline our children diligently (Prov. 13:24). Often times, we can get lazy and don’t discipline at times we should. As a result, children will often try to see what they can get away with.
- Distinguish between immaturity and defiance. A two year old may have moments of “terrible twos” that you may have to train or correct, but you should treat these instances differently than if they defying your authority.
Respect Your Children
Each of your children is a unique human being, and should be treated as such. Your child does not belong to you, they belong to God who has uniquely made them for His purposes (Ps. 139). Your job is to train them up to be servants for God. So many Christian parents try to force their children to excel, so that the kids will make the parents look good, or they’ll make a lot of money, or so that the parents can boast in their children. You should instill the value of hard work into your children (Col. 3:23), but let them be their own person.
No one is a perfect parent, but if you pray for them every day, lead by example, and demonstrate God’s love, you are on track to being the best possible parent you can be.