As parents, we do not have the power to convert, save, sanctify, or make our children disciples of Jesus.
If we are not careful, we can fall into the false belief that our children’s futures as wise, godly adults rest solely on our shoulders. Sadly, this mindset only sets us up for failure: if our children “turn out well,“ we become prideful, take the credit, and think we are the ones responsible for their success (and we look down on parents whose children are struggling). If our children stumble or do not follow God, we carry the burden of guilt on our shoulders, thinking it is entirely our fault.
God has given us certain responsibilities, and it is incredibly freeing to find out exactly what those responsibilities are.
- Teach your children about God. Ask God to help you see the teachable moments throughout the day. (Proverbs 22:6, Deut. 6:7-9)
- Be an example to your children by loving and respecting your husband, living in wisdom and purity, and making the care of your home a priority. (Titus 2:4-5 )
- Discipline and instruct your children. (Proverbs 13:24, Proverbs 19:18, Proverbs 23:13-14,)
- Discipline and love your children. Both discipline and love should be present so that you do not discourage or provoke them. (Prov. 22:15 Ephesians 6:4, Col. 3: 21)
- Do not forsake fellowship with other believers. Living life with other believers is important. We need to learn how to function as the body of Christ. We need each other. (Hebrews 10:25)
- Work hard, teaching them the importance of diligence. (Genesis 2:15)
- Teach and show your children that Christianity is more than a list of rules, and that joy comes from walking with and obeying God. (1 Timothy 4:1 )
- Pray with and for your children. (Colossians 4:2)
- Live and share the gospel with your children. (John 3:3)
No parenting program can guarantee our children’s godliness. Our children’s greatest need is to hear and receive the gospel, and nothing we “do” can make them God-followers. But as we faithfully obey the Lord’s calling, He will use us in the lives of our children. We will honor Him, guide our children to the one true God, and ultimately create a place where they can grow in their relationship with Him. You can be faithful to point them in the right direction and be a living example of God’s grace!
We are in this together. Please join me in my journey toward an increasing fixation on God and His glory, so that our children might see Him in our lives and actions, and so that He might use us as He draws them to Himself.
This post first appeared on Gina L Smith’s site. Thank you Gina for being willing to share it with us!