Parenting is one of the hardest things we’ll ever do. Add being a Christian in a culture that can be openly hostile toward the Christian faith, and that kicks the difficulty level up a few notches. Teaching our kids comes naturally. Teaching them to walk with the Lord, speak with kindness, and wield grace and humility is much harder than teaching them to walk, talk, and use a spoon. Everywhere we turn, our culture is telling them (and us) quite literally the opposite of what the Bible teaches.
What if we mess up as parents? That’s a bad news/good news scenario. Bad news: we’re going to mess up. Good news: there are no perfect parents. Adam and Eve didn’t have kids until after sin entered the world, so not even they were perfect parents. But our purpose as a parent is clearly defined in the Great Commission. Yes, that applies to parenting, too. In Matthew, Jesus says we are to make disciples of all nations. Nations begin at home. Discipleship happens when we, as parents, are diving into God’s Word and spending intentional time with our kids, purposely creating an atmosphere for God to speak to them.
We find examples of just how to do that in Jeremiah and Deuteronomy. God gave specific instructions to His chosen people on how to teach their children His principles. If there is anything we know about God, it’s that His principles are timeless. The practical applications may change over time, but God and His Word never do.
We’re not perfect, but we do have a perfect example – our Heavenly Father. He is all the things we are not. Thankfully, He shows us by example how we can love our children and defeat the regret of being imperfect. He has never ignored us, minimized our pain, withheld affection, or even regretted the time spent with us. Isn’t that who we want to learn from? Thankfully, He is an amazing teacher. He left His Word for us and it contains everything we need to know. Let’s dive in.
We are not perfect parents, but we are called to be purposeful parents.