Have you ever tried to find a book on Christian parenting? There are dozens of great ones on the market. Have you asked a parent – who raised children who are faithful, productive Christians as adults – what they did? Or did you attend one of our Christian parenting seminars filled with ideas and tips?
Many of those sources may have listed a few characteristics of a successful Christin parent. Maybe they emphasized love, patience or godliness. There are three qualities though that are often implied in Christian parenting advice, but rarely stated plainly enough for most people to understand their true importance.
The one thing all of those sources have in common is that they expect you to be intentional in your parenting. You can read all of the books and attend dozens of seminars. You can read the Bible from cover to cover for God’s wisdom, but if you aren’t intentional about your parenting, most of those bits of great advice will never be used.
Being intentional means you have a rough plan, a schedule or lists to put things into action. In fact, those create another necessary Christian parenting quality that is usually implied – structure. All kids need structure to feel safe and grow in healthy ways. Structure is important too, because it allows us to plan. And planning allows us the freedom to add all of those important spiritual things to our family life. They aren’t lost in the chaos a lack of structure creates.
The final characteristic is often mentioned in the areas of correction, but it really applies to every area of Christian parenting. Christian parents who raise kids to become adults who worship, serve and obey God are consistent in the spiritual things their family does. They don’t attend church sporadically or teach their kids about God only around Christmas and Easter. They don’t pray only when grandma comes to visit. They aren’t hospitable only for birthday parties. These families do every area of Christian parenting consistently. Yes, we all have those weeks, but successful Christian homes don’t let one of those weeks become months and even years with no effort to make God a vital part of their home life.
Struggling with your Christian parenting journey? Do a quick self assessment. Are you being intentional enough? Do you have enough structure in your family life? Are you doing the important spiritual things consistently enough? Focusing on improving your parenting in those three areas may be what you need to be more successful on your Christian parenting journey.