I often have this conversation with my children where I ask them, “why do you think God gave parents to children? Why didn’t He just let them come to the world on their own?”
Funny question, but it’s my way of reinforcing for them the importance of the presence of their parents (us) in their lives.
Dear Christian parent, there’s a reason God gave you to your child and gave your child to you.
If you ever find yourself in a position where you doubt your ability to be the right kind of parent for your child, let this be your comfort. God has given you all you need to be the right parent for your child.
When it comes to our responsibilities as parents, especially as Christian parents, I’d love to share some of my favorite thoughts on the lessons God has been teaching me on spiritual parenting with you.
Before I share them, let me clarify what spiritual parenting represents because it’s easy these days to be misrepresented when we speak about spirituality.
When we say spiritual parenting, we refer to parenting based on God’s standards and biblical principles. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s share some thoughts together:
Our parenting is a privilege given to us by God.
It is a privilege that God has allowed us to be custodians of the children he gives to our care. Our children are God’s gifts to us, not that we would flaunt them or assume them to be some form of social status marker, but that we would cherish this gift we have received from God. This is why the Bible says, “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. – Psalm 127:3
Our parenting is stewardship.
God gives our children to us as caretakers, to care for, nurture, raise, shepherd, on behalf of their Heavenly Father. We are merely stewards of this divine responsibility, and we must see ourselves in that light.
“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.
– 1 Peter 5:2-3
Our parenting should be Spirit-led.
The moment we acknowledge the truth that we have our children in our custody only as stewards, then we must submit to the instructions of their true owner, God.
To be led by God when it comes to our children on the single most important step we can choose to take. He made them and so He knows the best pathway for their lives. What better way to lead them than to ask God to show us what to do?
“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” – Romans 8:14
Spirit led parenting is taught, modelled, and caught by our children.
Those three elements must be present when we are raising our children. We must actively teach them God’s laws, model it to them with our lifestyle and pray that they catch what we do as we expose them to living as followers of Jesus.
Children learn more from what we do than what we say, and this is why we must have a balance of all methods to lead them.
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
– Deuteronomy 6:6-9
The results of our parenting cannot be dependent on us but on God.
I need to emphasize this because, once we have done our part in raising our children to follow the way of the Lord, the results are not ours to decide. Each child must still grow to make their own choices, we can only pray for them to make the right choices.
It is up to us to follow the Lord, and train our children to do the same, but the ultimate choice is theirs to take.
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” – Proverbs 22:6