11 Biblical Parenting Principles: Empower Yourself to Raise Godly Kids in a Broken World
Search the world, and it will leave you empty. Search the word, and you’ll find a cup that overflows. The biblical parenting principles tucked away in the Bible are a treasure begging to be hunted.
Biblical Parenting Principles for Behavior
This biblical parenting principle is the driving force behind everything I do at Faithful Parenting. The book of Titus is an excellent representation of the directive and gift of training.
Training is the key to disciplining less, establishing healthy standards, and creating predictability in your family that helps children thrive.
The Bible describes discipline as an act of love. And warns us that parents who withhold discipline are setting their children up for heartache, failure, and sorrow.
Discipline and love are not contradictory. If someone you loved was walking toward the edge of a cliff, you’d warn them to stop. If they didn’t listen, you’d warn them more severely. And if they still kept walking, you’d run as fast as you could and tackle that person to the ground to stop them from going over the edge.
You didn’t tackle her because you wanted to be mean or oppressive or demonstrate control. You tackled out of love.
Jesus wants our child’s heart. He is a God who seeks relationship. During his time on earth, everywhere he went, He invited people into relationship with him. That is the nature of salvation.
As image-bearers of God and disciples of Christ, we should yearn to reach our child’s heart in the same way. To know, understand, and nurture the children gifted to our care during their fleeting childhood years.
The influence you impress upon your children in the first ten years of life will set the course for much of the rest of their lives. The life a human lives is shaped primarily by how that person was parented. Good or bad. Relationship or connection is the key to positive, lasting, and substantial influence in your child’s life.
Therefore, relationship and influence cannot be exclusive of one another. They will go together. It is guaranteed. Establishing healthy relationships, as mentioned above, is vital, and using that healthy relationship to influence well is glorious.
Obedience is often misunderstood and always undervalued. Throughout the Bible, we are shown the importance of obedience. Revisiting our cliff example from above, let’s consider if we told our children, or if God told us, not to walk toward that cliff to begin with.
He doesn’t desire control (it’s already His) or to keep us from something good. In the same way we want only good things for our children, God is the giver of every good and perfect gift. He knows the cliff is covered in loose gravel and that walking toward it results in death. Obedience is divine protection, and we’re wise to observe it in our own lives and teach our children to in theirs.
Biblical Parenting Principles for Character
Our family motto is “It’s Not About Me” – We adopted this motto years ago when the children were still very young. We strongly felt the children would benefit most if putting others first was part of their DNA. Woven throughout every world issue currently facing us, you see Entitlement. Around every corner, people are screaming, in one way or another, “What About ME?”
Dying to ourselves, considering others more important than ourselves, and doing all things unto the Lord are scriptural edicts that will produce a blessed harvest for parenting and our children’s success.
God creates in order. He reigns in order. He created us to thrive among order. The days of this life are few, and we are prudent to spend them well. Children thrive with structure, predictability, and order. Spontaneity is welcome. Adventure is a fun blessing in life. And order will always yield more peace, less anxiety, and better parenting.
Honor is a biblical parenting principle that shows itself equally dear in the give and take of both the noun and the verb. The Bible provides instruction to honor the Lord, parents, and yes, our children too. In 2 Corinthians 12:14, Paul tells the church at Corinth that he won’t accept financial support from them when he comes for his third visit.
He uses the analogy of parents providing for their young children instead of young children providing for their parents. When paired with the biblical charge to train up our children and Jesus’ command to let the little children come to him, it’s clear to see our children’s lives are worthy of the same honor we give other adults.
Contrary to the dishonor we often see displayed by parents posting photos of their children during a temper tantrum. Those are opportunities to answer God’s mandate to train, not a time to drag our children through the mud.
You can find the biblical parenting principles of excellence in Colossians 3:23, James 3:1, and Titus 2:7. We don’t have to look far in today’s day and age to see a celebration of complacency. One of my favorite quotes is from Vince Lombardi. He said, “Perfection isn’t attainable, but if we chase perfection, we catch excellence.”
The excellence we are wise to pursue is excellence of character. Greatness has almost nothing to do with performance and everything to do with the heart. This is an admirable goal for our kiddos.
Biblical Parenting Principles to Take Action On
Your children were created on purpose, for a purpose. As were you. The simple fact that God provides an abundance of instruction in scripture is evidence of our need for intention. Great kids aren’t born, they are raised. Raised by parents who intentionally invest in educating themselves and implementing what they learn with consistency and longevity.
Just recently, I was having a discussion with my child about grace. Together, we were trying to define it. While using the word in a parenting tool I created for the kids, my child expressed concern over whether or not I might be misusing such an important word. (Big hallelujah for a kid that values God’s word over mom’s.)
In most definitions of Grace, you’ll find a whiff of favor. A grace period to pay your house payment means they’ll do you a favor and give you a few extra days. Giving a friend grace on a bad day means you’ll do her a favor and not hold her sass against her. And God’s grace extends us the most tremendous favor of all. He is our perfect parenting example. His grace is forever complete, His mercies new each day, and rarely are we released from the result of sin without having to bear the consequence. Of all the biblical parenting principles, pay special attention to this one.
Finally, Biblical Parenting Principles are Fundamental
Lastly, biblical parenting principles are the fundamental truths we need to steward our children well. They are our GPS for navigating the sometimes rocky waters of raising kids. When the rest of the world fails us, His word never will.