People scanning the internet for advice supposedly want things broken down very simply. Unfortunately, Christian parenting requires a lot of purposeful, intentional, proactive, godly work. It is not easy. There is not a pill you can give your kids or one quick thing you can do in two minutes a day that will help you raise children who become adults after God’s own heart.
The good news is that there are three basic areas where you need to focus your attention each day. If you can work on each of this areas with each of your children on most days, you will greatly improve your chances of raising a child who becomes a faithful, active, productive Christian.
- You need to show your children how much they are loved every day. This includes physical touch and verbal expressions of love and affection. Your eyes should light up when you see your child. Your child should feel your love through your words and actions. Your child should feel your support and nurturing of her gifts and talents from God. He should know that you love him so much that the most important thing to you is that he ends up in Heaven. Each of your children should get your undivided attention for a significant amount of time each day. In addition, they should be able to expect your undivided attention (whenever humanly possible) if they are struggling, questioning or need parental guidance. They need to know you believe they are a gift from God to you, and your most important ministry is training and preparing them to be active and effective servants for God. Remember, what you teach your children about love will be what they expect from God.
- Your children need to have consistent rules and consequences. Your rules should be based on godly principles. They should be fair and the purposes behind the rules easily explained. Your children should understand rebellion against your rules and God’s rules will result in consequences. The consequences should be natural and not abusive, but designed to help the child understand the importance of obedience. Remember, if your children cannot be trained to obey you whom they can see, they are unlikely to obey God whom they cannot see.
- Your children need to learn about God and His Words and Principles every day. Your children need to hear, see and discuss God’s Words so many times, they become a natural part of their thinking. Your children need to see how God works in your life. They need to understand how God has changed your life. They need to learn how God impacts everything you say and do. They need to be taught what the stories in the Bible have to do with their lives and how they are to live out the principles taught in the Bible in real and practical ways. Remember, if your children don’t understand what God expects of them and how God can radically change their lives, they are more likely to view God as someone who is trying to keep them from having fun and reject Him.
There are no guarantees in life, but if you focus on these three areas in your parenting each day, your children may become the strong Christians you pray they will be. Do you have other important “must” rules for Christian parenting? I would love for you to share them in a comment below.