A Christian's Guide to Parenting
Parenting Does Come With Instructions—It's Not Easy, but it Is Rewarding
I have been a parent for over twenty years. I remember the day when the doctor shared the news that I was expecting. I sat in my chair at work. My first thought was, Oh, my! I am going to have a child—now what? I don't know how to be a parent.
Remember to Breath, and Take It One Day at a Time
The first step is to realize that you are not alone. Many parents have been right where you are. If they did it, so can you. Always remember that there is not a single situation that you will face as a parent that someone else hasn't already encountered. That means that there are instructions. The first step is to know that there are resources for every situation. You are not the first parent to be faced with a challenge but you can learn from the previous parents experience.
Remember You Are Not the First—There Are Resources
Other Christian parents have gone before you. The first pitfall Christian parents fall into is believing the lie that they are all alone. You are not alone. Other parents have been where you are. They probably felt lost as well. Perhaps even felt overwhelmed by the responsibility of being a parent. Those are all normal feelings.
There are many books to help you as you go about parenting your child. Don't wait until the actual birth. Start talking with them now. Praying over them. Blessing them. I only wish someone would have shared that with me. Hence my reason for sharing it with you now. I truly believe that the connection between the child and the parent starts at the point of conception. The bible tells us that the Lord foreknew us before the foundations of the world. If we are to follow God's example then we should build a relationship with our children at the point of knowing that they are to be born.
God Chose You
Some may ask themselves why me? Why did God choose me to parent this child? I am inexperienced. I lack knowledge. I don't know how to do this? The truth is that God chose you because he believes that he can trust you with his most precious gift. Children belong to God but he entrusts us with their care to lead and guide them in the Lord's ways. You have been chosen to take care of God's most precious treasure.
Ten Steps to Build a Solid Parenting Technique
I can't promise you that you will never face challenges as a parent. What I can say is that if you follow these ten steps you will be well on your way to building a strong foundation as a parent.
Christian Parenting 101: Ten Steps to Building a Strong Parenting Foundation
Pray always and trust God for the outcome.
Remember that you are the parent. They are not the boss of you.
Set aside family time. Communication is important.
Be present in the moment. Don't act like you are hearing what they are saying. Stop what you are doing. Pay attention. Really hear/listen to your children when they have something they want to talk about.
You are your child's biggest advocate. Never betray their trust.
Take time to teach them the basics about God's word until they are old enough to be able to do it on their own.
Make certain you are parenting by example. If you want them to pray then you pray. If you want them to go to church then you go to church. If you want them to read the bible then you read the bible. You can not set an expectation for them that you yourself are not abiding by. If you do that they will call you out on it.
Don't yell. Teach your children that their are good/bad consequences to their good or bad behavior. If you ask them to clean their room and they do it remember to say "Great Job!". If they don't do it. Don't yell. Go into their room with a garbage bag and throw out everything that is out of place. I guarantee you the next time you ask they will clean their room.
Take time to relax, refresh, and reflect. We all need time away from the hustle and bustle of parenting. If you are co-parenting then ask your spouse to step in to give you a break from time to time.
Never give up. It may be challenging at times but when they finally grow up it is all worth it!
To Your Children You are the Reflection of God in the Mirror
Your children see who God is through the reflection of God in your life. If your relationship with God is weak then their relationship with God will be weaker. If your relationship with God is strong then their relationship with God will be stronger. They will demonstrate the God that they see you reflect because you are the one teaching/guiding them.
The Love You Demonstrate Toward Them Shows Them How God Loves Them
We use the word "love" so loosely. We say we love food or we love sports etc. But how can you love something that never loves you back? Love is a verb, which means that it requires you to act. You show your children you love them by your actions. Everything you do from this point on should demonstrate to your children how you love them. Every action whether it is a hug, a kiss, or even loving correction are all ways as a parent you demonstrate your love for your children.
You are the Potter, Your Child is the Clay
God tells us in his word that we are like clay in the potters hand. I love that analogy because I can relate to it as a parent. As a parent you have the unique privilege and honor to train up your children in God's word. To mold them just like clay in the potters hand. God could have picked anyone to do it but instead he chose you. He hand picked you because he knew that he could trust you with his most precious child. I pray that after reading this you feel just a bit more encouraged. Whether you are a first time parent or a tenured parent always know that you are not alone. God goes before you!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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