As I tread deeper and deeper into the rushing waters of motherhood, I keep finding solace in this truth: God’s Word is not silent on parenting.
Across the Old Testament all the way into the New, the Lord highlights the critical relationship between mothers, fathers, and their children, using real-life testimonies and His own direct commands to bring clarity.
In a world packed with parenting books, psychological theories, and cultural ideals, the Bible’s instructions for us stand beautifully simple: tell them about the Lord, about His ways, about His Gospel.
As parents and grandparents our first priority is to disciple our little ones, to lead them in the truth in a world crowded with lies.
Yet what does that look like? How do we foster faith in our family?
Discipleship is teaching, correcting, and modeling with God’s Word. It’s active and constant, and driven out of Christlike love.
Here are a few practical steps from Scripture for building godly homes and ministering to our children well.
1. Hold the Bible as the Highest Authority
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
From transgenderism to feminism and evolutionary theories, our society is becoming more and more confused.
Our children need to know that truth is unchanging, secure, and pure. Where does that truth come from? Not from Facebook, popular opinion, or even past family tradition, but from the Word of God.
As we share about Jesus and form principles in our family, all our beliefs, ethics, and rules must stem from Scripture. Our methods of discipline, our stances on cultural controversies, our view of humanity can be centered around God’s redemptive story.
By referring our children to the Bible in everything we do, esteeming it and applying it, we show that it is sufficient to answer the deepest questions of life.
This especially includes upholding God’s design for marriage and gender as outlined in Genesis. We cannot compromise His truth, but must preserve it in order to establish order in our homes.
ACTION STEP: Create a list of family rules based off specific verses in Scripture.
2. Speak About God All Day, Everyday
I’ve always loved this passage in Deuteronomy:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9
What inspiring imagery!
In telling Israel to love and obey the Lord, it’s amazing that Moses immediately follows this with a command to saturate their children with the same teaching.
The Word of God and its Gospel should be so dear and near to our heart that we can’t help but pour it into the next generation.
Establishing a godly heritage ought to be at the forefront of our minds. Throughout Deuteronomy, Joshua, and other books, God repeatedly tells Israel the importance of remembering God’s work, reflecting upon His Law consistently, and passing it on.
We can intentionally take moments throughout the day to do this, especially during:
-car rides or walks
-before we start the day
From this passage and others God shows that repetition and visual reminders are necessary – both for us and for our children. We will forget otherwise.
We cannot afford to become comfortable, and only speak of God on Sundays. He should permeate our lives throughout the whole week.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Sharing God with our children should be a way of life. ” quote=”Sharing God with our children should be a way of life. “]
ACTION STEP: Be alert to opportunities to bring God into conversations, and fill your home with reminders of God’s faithfulness.
3. Emphasize the Importance of Wisdom
“Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction,
and be attentive, that you may gain insight,
2 for I give you good precepts;
do not forsake my teaching…
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
and whatever you get, get insight.
8 Prize her highly, and she will exalt you;
she will honor you if you embrace her.
9 She will place on your head a graceful garland;
she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.” Proverbs 4:1-2, 7-9
The Book of Proverbs is a tremendous gift from God to parents! Solomon wrote it to prepare his sons for kingship, and we can use it in a like manner.
Proverbs tells us three core things about wisdom – it is of infinite value, it comes from fearing God, and it helps us distinguish good from evil. It addresses subjects like choosing friends, purity, marriage, finances, justice, and more.
One of our primary responsibilities as parents is to show our children the contrast between the way of wisdom and the way of foolishness, and to see the beauty of rebuke and righteousness.
When our children fail, we not only address their outward behavior, but graciously counsel their heart. We point them to the cross. We can tirelessly offer grace and truth, knowing that we may not see immediate impact but are sowing eternal seeds.
Sometimes as parents we focus too much on investing in material things for our kids – such as clothes, extracurriculars, and academics – rather than the precious, everlasting investment of wisdom. Let’s not make that mistake.
ACTION STEPS: Read a chapter of Proverbs a day as a family, using some verses to use when disciplining. Take time to share with your kids about your past choices, and how they affect you still today.
4. Model God’s Character
“…be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2
We are God’s children, and so are to be like Him. As we imitate Him, our own children can imitate us! Kids are so quick to learn and follow. Often we underestimate what they see and understand.
Our parental teaching of God’s Word must be paired with us bringing it to life. Hypocrisy will repel our children from the Lord, but faithfulness will draw them to Him!
We should know God’s attributes by reading His Word, and commit to reflecting Christ to them.
[To learn more about God’s character, see my 30-day devotional Adoring His Attributes.]
The more we treasure our own personal walk with the Lord, the more our children will see the closeness that can be had with God. As they see us consistently study our Bibles, pray, sing, and exercise the fruit of Spirit, they can grasp that He is real and good.
ACTION STEP: Pick a fruit of the Spirit you are struggling with, and memorize a verse that can encourage you in that area.
5. Model Joyful Service and Hospitality
Jesus said: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Jesus 13:25
Branching off the above point, we can show the love of Christ by serving heartily in our churches and loving His people. Faith doesn’t grow well in isolation, but in community.
Remember, until God allows otherwise, our children are unbelievers. We demonstrate our devotion to the Lord when we partake in rich fellowship with others in the family of God.
As we engage in Christ-exalting conversations and worship with believers, our children see the blessedness of hearts transformed by faith. They see selflessness, generosity, and eternal thinking as we open our homes, pray for others, and do life alongside other Christians.
ACTION STEP: Invite one family or more in your church over for dinner. Don’t stress about having a perfect meal or agenda, just enjoy the company! Do an easy casserole, or do pot-luck style.
In all this, don’t lose sight of the importance of prayer. We can persistently disciple our children, but ultimately the Spirit must be at work for them to receive it. Their salvation is in God’s wise, loving hands.
His grace saves, not our parenting, but we can be vessels of His truth and compassion that reinforce the Gospel. May we be faithful to that end!
In His Love,