There’s a lot of parenting advice out there. Hundreds of new parenting books flood the market every year but have you considered the one that’s over two thousand years old? The Bible is a wealth of parenting advice and lessons for all stages of life. How can new parents incorporate this tried and true resource into their own parenting style?
Raising your child in faith means balancing family values, personal values and God’s values. It’s raising your children with loving boundaries so that they grow to understand respect, gratitude and grace. It’s the most important work you’ll ever do and maintaining faith through it all will help both you and your child develop the trust you need to navigate these years together.
What is Faith Based Parenting?
Faith-based parenting uses your faith in God to inform every aspect of your parenting. From the way you conduct yourself around your children to teaching them to disciplining them, faith informs everything you do.
At the foundation of faith is trust. As you teach your child about God, they will begin to understand his character, his direction and most of all his love. Children raised in families of faith will learn to trust God as they do their parents. Trusting God’s plan is a life-long gift that can give us true comfort in difficult times. As stated in Proverbs 22:6:
“Direct your children onto the right path,
and when they are older, they will not leave it.”
How To Study The Bible with Your Children
Christian parenting relies on the words and actions of Jesus as laid out in the Bible. But how do we translate these into actionable lessons for our children when so many people interpret the Bible differently?
Age appropriate bible lessons will help your children develop their sense of faith. Getting to know the Bible, how it is written, what the main stories are and how to navigate its pages will give your child a valuable skill they can use the rest of their lives. Many of the lessons within make great bedtime stories for younger kids. The letters and wisdom in books like Matthew offer older students a platform to discuss and understand more complex issues.
Be open to your children at every age. Listen to their questions, have thoughtful discussions and encourage them to seek answers that make sense for them. Remember that respect goes two ways. The more you respect and validate your kids, the more they will trust you.
Model Godly Behavior
You’re your child’s biggest influence. Do as I say not as I do never works. Children quickly pick up on our contradictions and learn from our actions. As a parent it is your job to establish rules, consequences and routines. By doing this, you keep them safe, healthy and happy.
Modeling Godly behavior requires you to work on your own faith so that you can present a strong role model. As a new parent, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Be kind to yourself. Many new parents let their new child overshadow their own needs. More than ever you need to get rest, stay healthy, manage stress and be able to enjoy your new family. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Your 3 Parenting Superpowers
Fortunately, you have three parenting superpowers to help you be the best for your children:
These virtues are all found in the Bible and were exemplified by Jesus. Just as God teaches us how to become better people, you can teach your children the lessons they need using a similar blueprint.
The foundation of any relationship is connection. With children, the first weeks are formative as you develop a strong bond with your baby. As your child grows, your connection will grow and change too. While it may feel like you’re not always connected, the foundation you build in the early years of parenting will ensure your child knows that you are always there for them. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 speaks to the power of connection:
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
Maintaining empathy for your child is easier than many parents think. When your child has a hard time, struggles or feels hurt, you don’t need to make the pain go away. You just need to be present. Empathy can be as simple as sitting with your child, holding them and listening. Don’t underestimate the power of being present to whatever your children are going through. Just as God listens to our prayers and comforts us, you can listen to your children and be a comfort to them. As they grow, teach them to trust in God as well as you and you will have given them a lifetime of support. Romans 12:15 sums it up elegantly:
“ Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.”
Be kind and be patient with your children and yourself. Parenting is hard work and there will be challenging days ahead. Children will test you. They know you better than anyone else and they will push your buttons. If your child upsets you, remember the power of forgiveness. Modeling forgiveness is one of the most powerful lessons we can teach. As Ephesians 4:32 states:
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Make The Church Your Coparent
Raising a child is easier within a supportive community. Parents and children alike benefit from a strong group of peers that nourishes their souls throughout life’s transitions. Make King of Kings Lutheran Church in Woodbury your extended family. We offer education and spiritual guidance for children at all ages starting with preschool and continuing through grade school, confirmation, high school and into young adulthood. Learn more on our education page.