Parenting is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as: “the raising of a child by its parents; the act or process of becoming a parent; the taking care of someone in the manner of a parent.” These definitions are pretty clear what parenting encompasses, right? However, if you are parent, these definitions don’t come close to helping us understand all that God asks of us.
Do you feel lost at times not really knowing or understanding what you are supposed to be doing? As followers of Christ, we need more clarity on what it means to parent our children according to God’s ways. Thankfully, the Bible does provide more clarity on the role of parent. In Deuteronomy 6:4-9, the Bible states:
“Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
These verses contain the purpose of our parenting, the “big picture” of our parenting, and it is God. Let’s take a look at the order of verses 4-6.
We start by remembering that God is Our God according to verse 1. We belong to Him; He has adopted us into His family. When we place our trust in Jesus Christ, He becomes our God and Savior.
Next, verse 5 tells us that now WE, as parents, are to love Him with our all of our heart, soul and might. This means we spend time in His presence, reading His word, praying, and in faith obeying God’s Word. This helps our love and faith to grow.
According to verse 6 we must also commit; we are all in with Him, and we are wholehearted. Now, we give the Word of God to our children. We take His Word, and we teach our kids all about God. We do this during intentional times, sitting down to have a devotional as well as in the course of everyday life as we are riding to school, running errands, or whatever else we happen to be doing. We look for opportunities, and we take them.
I know this call can seem overwhelming and unattainable. Life is hard, busy, and distractions flood in and take away our time and energy. Here’s how we can do it, and not perfectly I might add. We remember, God did not leave us to this alone. He gave us His very Spirit when we believed. He is giving you the power to do it!
I would also like to recommend a book that has been helpful for me in better understanding my call as a parent. The book is titled, “Parenting, 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family,” by Paul David Tripp. It provides great insight to help you feel more confident and intentional as a parent.