Bible Verses about Parenting

What's Covered

One huge part about parenting is constant self-doubt and questioning every decision you make on behalf of your children. Parenting methods are unique to a person and their beliefs, they have also evolved over time but the basics have remained. There are four main styles of parenting depending on one’s character.  As a Christian parent the bigger question is whether your parenting method aligns with what the bible says. Let’s take a look.

What the bible says about the relationship between parents and their children.

The bible describes in the many ways that a parent’s main job is to teach their children about God, how to follow his commands, how to live in the society. Its is also a parent’s job to provide physical, emotional, spiritual and financial support util they are able to stand on their own. No matter the kind of parenting style you use, it is important for a child to feel that they are loved and cared for. In different chapters of the bible God refers to himself as “the father” and people as “his children” or “his sons and daughters”.

How to teach obedience to Christian children.

In the bible, the first commandment that has a promise is the fifth one it says that children should honour their mother and father so that they get to live a long-life Christians believe that becoming a parent is a blessing as well as a responsibility that is God-given, to take care of a child and raise them according to the word of God. For children to grow up learning how to be obedient, they should not only be told but also shown through example. The parents should teach their children obedience by they themselves being obedient to God. Since God promises rewards to those who obey him, children will grow understanding how impactful following God’s word is. [1]

When it comes to reaching children about God, parents need all the help they can get. Here is a book that helps parents get to a child’s understanding and pass the message.

Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side
How to build your child’s faith in God and keep his commands

What rewards are promised to those who are obedient

From the very beginning the various authors have described the importance of obedience. In Genesis, God gives the commandments to Moses who then brings the commandments to the Israelites. The commandments are Ten specific rules that God has given to his people that will guide how he expects them to live according to his will. The first reward that is promised is a long life that is prosperous. The same way that parents provide, protect and guide their children is the same thing that God does for his people. When God gave the commandments to the Israelites through their leader Moses, he also explained his expectations to allow them to understand his word. In both the old and new testament, different authors of the bible urge children to be obedient to their parents. In the new testament in Luke 2:48-52 after Jesus was found after he was left behind at the temple, the bible describes that he went home with them and he was obedient to his parents. This particular example has a lot of significance. By Jesus Christ taking human form according to God’s plan, it allowed for all human beings to be redeemed from their sin. By taking in human sin, Jesus Christ paved the way for redemption. In Christianity, the biggest form of love that God has shown is by letting his only son die on the cross for all human sins and by him resurrecting it shows that Jesus Christ defeated death allowing for our sins to be forgiven.  

Parents duty to their children according to the bible

Raising children is never an easy task, but for Christians parents, the bible is a helpful tool in ensuring that parents are raising their children according to God’s will. The Bible describes children as a reward from God as it says in Psalms 127:3 “Behold children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” Parents are told to love their children, there are different ways to show love, such as providing for them, teaching them what God expects of them and disciplining them when required.

How the bible tells parents to discipline their children.

When it comes to discipline the holy word of God is insistent on that parents should discipline their children. Proverbs 23:13-14 says “Don’t withhold discipline from your children, if you strike him with a rod he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul…” For believers of Christianity, God is their father and they are his children and by being obedient to his commandment that makes him happy and he rewards those that keep his commands. In that same way, a parent who is obeyed and shown respect will be happy and reward his children. In Proverbs 10:1 it says “A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.”  However, by instilling discipline the reward is not only to the parent but the child as well. A disciplined child is an asset both as a child as well as an adult. When trained on the right path to follow they grow into dependable adults. When the Israelites were given the commandments, God commanded them to teach his rules to their children and instructed that every generation that followed was taught the wonders of God that he performed and what he expected from his people.[2]

How to be an effective parent according to the bible.

In 2nd Corinthians:13-15 it says “… For children are not obligated to save up for their parents but parents for their children.” It is God’s will that parents provide for their children in material things as well as non-material items. By providing for their children, parents are able to bond with their children and show their children how they love them. For children who are raised in the Christian faith their relationship with God depends on how they relate with their parents. A good relationship requires effort from both the parent as well as the child, in the bible, as the it encourages children to listen to their parents it also tells parents not to provoke their children because that will discourage them.

Effective parenting should not only be about morals, prayer and material things it should be about a deeper sense of purpose. Therefore, before a parent starts to teach their children about Godliness and the will of God, the parent themselves should have a deep understanding of God’s will themselves. That will prevent shallow teachings that will lead a child to have a high moral compass but lack empathy and conviction for what they believe in, this can lead to someone being labelled a hypocrite.[3]

Children’s duties to their parents.

Apart from being obedient and respectful according to the word of God, the bible has more expectations of what a child’s duties are to their parents. According to the bible, God expects children to show godliness and love for him by taking care of their parents in their old age. The book also talks about widows and how society should take care of them but it also mentions that before the society takes on that responsibility, the children of the widow and the rest of a family are supposed to take care of their widow, this shows love not just to the family member but to God as well. A recurring theme in the bible is love and in the new testament one of the disciples explains that God is love and as Christians we can’t claim to love Him if we don’t love each other.  Since children represent the future, they have a duty to uphold the lessons passed down to them by their parents. By doing this, children make their parents happy and proud, and that pleases the Lord and fulfils his plan for his people. Being obedient and respectful also provides order in the society while disobedience and disrespects creates lawlessness in the society. That is one of the reasons why discipline is extremely important to children it is a guide on how to behave in society. [4]

What the bible says about discipline and punishment.

For Christian parenting in the most part, disciplining the children has always meant getting physical with a child. Now in some parts of the world no matter their religious beliefs, beating a child is either completely normal or completely frowned upon by the community. For those who agree with beating as a form of punishment, verses such “spare the rod, spoil the child” are commonly referred to defend their actions.

Does the bible really encourage spanking of children?

Now it such a topic is not exactly black or white (no pun intended) as each side has their own reasons for carrying on in what they believe is best for the child. It should be noted however, that discipline does not always have to be a physical act, it can also be in form of talking to the child to understand why they behaved in a certain way especially with older kids, another way is to take away something that they enjoy or extract them from an activity if there are other children. It is important that children growing up in Christianity feel a connection of their earthly parents to God in heaven who is seen as their heavenly father. By a parent being fair, compassionate, kind, loving and also forgiving it gives the child a chance to grow up learning these traits and incorporating them into their everyday life. [5]

What God does to punish disobedience.

The biggest punishment when it comes of indiscipline in the bible is death, not just death painful deaths. In the old testament one of the ways that has been described as punishment for a man who does not listen to his parents is stoning to death by the city gates in front of all the elders in the community. Another way to die that is described is in the book of Proverbs 30:17 where it says “…that anyone who mocks their father and scorns their mother shall be picked out by the ravens of the valley and eaten by the vultures” This explains that one could die out in the field and be left to rot there and be eaten savagely by the birds of the sir. God had given the Israelites instructions on how exactly he wanted a body to be buried depending on the cause of death. By allowing a body to rot and be eaten by animals in the wild was a way to show that even in death the person would not be given any respect. People who did not obey were seen as “unholy and ungrateful” such people were not pleasing to the Lord’s sight that’s why there were such harsh punishments. In the book of Exodus, it says that “…anyone who strikes his mother or father shall be put to death.”  These harsh punishments in the past were used to prevent people from veering of the righteous path that God had put in front of them.

Christian parenting in today’s world.

If you say right now that you will parent your child exactly according to the bible, not only will you sound funny to some people, others could declare you legally insane. Not that parenting has always been easy but in today’s world, it could be considered even harder. There was a time when parenting was much simpler and it literally took a village to raise a child, but today it’s not the same everyone is individually responsible for their children.  For instance, punishment for disobedience such as spanking or swatting your child which was a norm for many societies would not be acceptable in many countries and could even land a parent in jail or worse the child could be taken away from the parent and placed in another home. [6]

How to maintain your sanity as a Christian in this crazy world.

Even though tactics have changed the aim of most Christian parents is still the same, to raise God-fearing disciplined children. In the bible, the book of Timothy described ways that believers of Christ will know that the end of the world is near. One of the signs that was described was that children would be disobedient to their parents, unholy and ungrateful. Most believers believe that the end is near and are preparing for it by ensuring that they are spreading the word of God and calling all those who are not believers to come and repent their sins and accept God into their lives.

How to explain religion and faith to your children

Modern Christian parents are navigating how to raise their children in a materialistic world and still ensure that they are still in touch with their spirituality. As children transform from childhood to adulthood and the various stages in between, that is when one is able to know how much the child has learned and is willing to incorporate into their lives. We should still note that even in modern parenting we can still ensure that we are continuing God’s will and at the same time respecting earthly authority such as government laws. The good thing is that God’s word has proved to be dynamic meaning that it is able to fit different situations even from different eras. The bible also encourages Christians to follow the rule of law, therefore, avoiding conflict. [7]

Here is a book that helps guide you on how to talk to your children about God

Talking to Your Kids about Jesus
This book helps you understand how to speak to your child on a level that they will understand about God

Challenges facing modern day Christian parenting

During biblical times dangers that children faced were not less dangerous than the dangers children of today face, they are just of a different kind. The biggest challenge facing specifically adolescents is social media, even though this technology has its benefits the dangers out way it a thousand times. It is very addictive and through people known as influencer who glorify materialism these young ones barely have a chance before they are absorbed into that world. Right now, we are living in a world where material things and social status define you as a person rather than character. Younger children are also affected by technology buy in different ways, most of these younger kids are raised by screens from tablets to phones to tv’s. Again, these young ones struggle with addiction to the screens and once they hit adolescent years they are trapped in the cycle of social media and other destructive habits such as video games. Parents however should not lose hope because of these scary statistics, they can take this opportunity to find ways to engage their children in family-friendly activities that allow bonding so that parents can understand what is happening in their children’s lives and also create time to have conversations with the children. [8]

Challenges Facing Modern day children

One of the reasons that children varying ages have found solace in technology gadgets is because parents are very occupied with other things, creating time for the family to spend together will not only be good for the children but also the parents as well. During family time that would be a great moment to have discussions and conversations what God wants for his people to the children and also reading the bible together as a family this will enable parents to know what their child is thinking or feeling in regards to their growing spirituality. Different moments should be used to the children how to serve and please God, another way to teach children is by taking them to church and letting them hear and understand teaching for themselves

How to create family moments in today’s world

Even though parenting is a difficult task, God wants people to understand is that he is a forgiving and compassionate God. That means, that even when people fail to keep his commandments, he gives people other chances over and over again to do the right thing. This is also the way God wants his people to be forgiving and compassionate towards each other. For parents it is especially important that they mimic God’s actions so as to be an example that children can follow. As a child grows, it has been proven that the way they relate to their parents directly represents how at first, they will relate to God. When the bible discusses disciplining through caning it is not encouraging people to be violent towards their children or other people’s children. There is a difference between discipline and abuse, parents are encouraged to talk to their children in order to understand why they are being disobedient or being disrespectful. Finding other ways to discipline children that don’t require getting physical has proven to be more effective in the long run and maintain a better relationship between a parent and child. Other punishments such as stoning to death no longer happen as it is considered a crime to kill others. Christians should read the bible for themselves to understand exactly what God says about certain topics. That will prevent believers from taking in information the wrong way and using it to support their own selfish ideas and thoughts.

The bible is a holy book and should be treated as such. That this life is only one life to begin with for them and that how they live their lives now will determine how their next life will be. [9]

Final thoughts

Christian parents should not be afraid to look for advice outside the bible, there are many resources out there written by experts as well as experienced parents that provide in-depth insight that one can lack in the bible. The society as well needs to stop negative judgement and provide moral support to parents. That is what the bible urges people to do, in order to provide a positive environment for children to grow.

[1] Sampson, Robin. What Your Child Needs to Know When: According to the Bible/According to the State. Heart of Wisdom Publishing Inc, 2009.

[2] Shaw, Perry WH. “Parenting that reflects the character of God.” Christian Education Journal 13.1 (2016): 43-58.

[3] Ingram, Chip. Effective Parenting in a Defective World. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2014.

[4] Anthony, Michelle. Spiritual Parenting: An awakening for today’s families. David C Cook, 2010.

[5] Huckel, Matthew. “The god who spanks? Biblical perspectives on divine punishment and Christian parenting.” Lutheran Theological Journal 50.2 (2016): 155-166.

[6] Sandberg, Lynn. Heaven on Earth: A Biblical Model for Parenting. WestBow Press, 2015.

[7] Bunge, Marcia J. “Biblical and theological perspectives on children, parents, and ‘best practices’ for faith formation: Resources for child, youth, and family ministry today.” Dialog 47.4 (2008): 348-360.

[8] Ganahl, Andrea Drew. “Parenting: Does Research Support Biblical Principles: A Review of the Literature.” (1994).

[9] Nienhuis, Lee. Countercultural Parenting: Building Character in a World of Compromise. Harvest House Publishers, 2020.

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Vivian Perry

Vivian Perry

Mother of 3 kids. Enjoy reading parenting books and studied child care degree. Vivian loves to learn and write about parenting tips and help her kids to grow positively with grit mindset.