Being a parent is hard work. It takes a lot of time, knowledge, wisdom, patience, money, and so much more. However, it is worth it because, “children are a gift from the Lord” (Psalm 127:3).
God wants us to treasure these gifts and point them to the Gift-giver, God. God desires that our children know Him and walk in His ways, but there is an enemy who wants to discourage and frustrate us in our teaching and training in godliness.
In an article by Callie Grant, she gives several myths that “block effective Christian parenting.” Don’t believe these myths but rest in the truth.
- I can’t teach my child about God because I myself am a big hypocrite. The truth is that to some degree we all are hypocrites. We profess one thing and live another. Although being hypocritical shouldn’t define us, we all fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). In those moments, we confess our sin and cling to the cross. We keep working out our faith in front of our children.
- I have to know (and believe) much more before I can shepherd my child. We don’t have to know everything about God and the Bible before we start sharing. We should share what we do know, and keep growing and learning so we can share more in the future.
- The first years are just about taking care of my child’s physical needs. Yes, at the beginning, there are many physical needs to take care of – food, clothes, baths, protection, etc. However, we should also meet their spiritual needs and lay a foundation of seeking God in prayer and Bible reading. Tedd Tripp says, “Give our children big truths they can grow into.” Even in the early years teach them the Word and point them to Jesus.
- I can protect my young child from the sin of this world. While we cannot provide a perfectly safe environment, we can ask God to keep our children safe. “The best way to protect your child from the sin of this world is to pray over him or her every day.”
- Taking my child to church each week covers all the bases. Attending church is valuable, but parents are the biggest influence on their children. “Know that [we] must invest daily in being [our] child’s spiritual mentor.” Others can come alongside to help, but God gave our children to us.
Since God gave our children to us, He will equip us and help us as we parent. But we probably won’t get everything right. Just as our children are growing, so should we in our relationship with God. We need to remind ourselves of the Gospel and trust God’s faithfulness. Parent well!