Have you ever wondered what God says about how you have been raising your kids? According to Matthew 18:10, every child on earth has an angel(messenger) in heaven that stands in the presence of God. These messengers give account for every child on earth before their maker.
As a parent, your responsibility in biblical parenting is far more than just providing your children with food, shelter, clothes, and protection. It also involves adopting God’s standards and following His instructions in raising your children.
Discussed in this article are biblical parenting tips that will produce quality character in your children.
Instructing Children in Biblical Parenting
Every parent needs to provide proper information and guidance to their children. This ensures that the children are always in the know of what is expected of them. Parents should teach their children about the various aspects of life and most importantly the application of God’s Word in their lives. Children in turn are expected to observe and heed these instructions.
For effective biblical parenting, a parent should first know the truths about God, apply those truths into their lives then instruct the children accordingly.
How then should you instruct your children?
Word of mouth
The word of God in Deuteronomy 4:9-10 requires parents to make known to their children that which they know. It is expected that God’s law is passed to every generation for fulfilling lives.
Every parent should have time to talk about God’s word with their children. Explain the principles and the teachings in the Word of God. Discuss with them, let them ask questions, ask them questions as well and provide the answers.
Have a thorough understanding of God’s will about your children. This will guide you on the Words you will be sharing with them.
Lead by example
Human beings learn by imitation. People learn new jobs by observing others do them. This is the same for children. They will want to talk like their parents, dress like them, behave like them, and so on. They will imitate both the good and the bad. Therefore, being a good example to your children makes passing instructions to them far easier.
Your children should see you live by the principles in the word of God. Apostle Paul in the Bible is very pleased by the faith in his spiritual son Timothy. This faith was passed down to young Timothy from both his mother and grandmother.
If your children are to imitate you, will they be liars, fornicators, drug abusers, drunkards, gossipers, dress indecently, careless with God, and ignorant to fellowship with saints? Or will they be loving, honest, hardworking, and diligent in prayer, bible study, and winning souls to Christ?
Are there aspects in your life that you wouldn’t want your children to take after? Then this the proper time to do away with them to ensure that you don’t lose your children.
Observing people or listening to them on how to do things is not enough by itself. Learning becomes more effective once it’s accompanied by practice.
You need to teach and have your children help you with work. This applies to house chores, repairs, gardening, and all sorts of work. But most importantly children should learn and practice serving God under the guidance of their parents.
Human beings are known for habits and these habits are birthed from repetitions of some activities. Therefore, it is necessary that you repeat sharing of God’s Word with your children, continuously lead by example and keep practicing responsibilities them. This ensures that good habits are deeply etched in your children’s character.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 indicates that parents should continuously talk about God’s commands to their children. These commands are to be written somewhere that that can be seen frequently. All this points to repetition and constant reminders.
Parents should also be careful that this repetition may not appear nagging or as a lecture to the children. Do it in moderation or have them explain the necessities to you. While at it, always ensure that Godly lessons are ever fresh in their minds.
So, where and when should you instruct your children?
A child’s character develops from their early years. Therefore, it is important that God’s Word be planted in their hearts as early as possible. According to 2 Timothy 3:15, Timothy had an excellent knowledge of the scriptures since he was a child. Jesus is also seen recognizing His dealings with young children where He is seen ordaining their praise.
Some people are for the argument that it is not right to indoctrinate a child while they are young. They say that children can always choose what they want to believe in their adulthood. According to them, you shouldn’t make a child attend a church service or bible study. However, indoctrinating a child is unavoidable. This is because Satan himself cannot wait till a child reaches adulthood to mislead them. Therefore, instruct your child early to ensure that there is no room for the schemes of the evil one.
Instructing children early also ensures that some future problems are anticipated and the right habits are in place to deal with them.
Attend church services together
This too should start early in your child’s life. But it doesn’t mean that you and your baby head straight to church the same day the baby is born. When the child is fit to go outside, then this is the proper time to go to church with them. They might not understand anything said there but they will value those moments as they appear important to you.
Regular attendance at church meetings is a routine to be observed. Less important matters shouldn’t make you or your child miss a church meeting. It is important that you teach your children that the requirements of the kingdom of God are the priorities (Romans 12: 1-2).
Irregular church attendance when a child is young gives room for them to decide not to go to church at all when they are adults.
Conduct regular and organized studies at home
Every child should study the word of God daily at home. God asked Joshua never to allow the His law to depart from him and to also meditate upon it every single day and night. Parents should pass this habit on to their children. Memorize Bible verses together with your children.
There are also many books and recordings available that have Bible stories that can facilitate teaching your child.
Teach informally when the need arises
In as much as you prepare beforehand your studies, make the room as well for those unplanned moments that arise and require instant teaching. The following suggestions define informal teaching:
Create room for open conversations
By this, a child can hold a conversation with either parent because the parent is approachable. For example, a mother shouldn’t be the mediator between the children and their father. Both parents should be accessible.
Be available to your children during their earlier days. If a child can talk to you when they are young, talking to you when they are older won’t be hard. Each parent should seek to have time individually with the children doing things. This promotes an open relationship between you and the child.
In particular let the children find you when they come back from school, during meal times or when they are going to bed. Children are usually talkative during these times. Ask them how their day was. Bring in topics and discuss them. Aim to always have at least one meal with the family and allow for a good flow of conversations.
Get involved in your children’s interests. Be present in their school functions, ball games, and music festivals. Know their friends. Watch their favorite movies and listen to music together. Assist them to do their homework. Enquire about their passions and discuss them.
Be a good listener
Let it not be just you talking. Allow the children to talk as well to express their thoughts and interests. If the issue they are talking about seems serious to them, you are as well required to take it with seriousness. If you disagree with their viewpoints, reason with them at their level without looking down on them. This will make them know that they can always come to you for any concern.
The following opportunities will arise whenever there is an open conversation relation between parents and their children:
Responding to your children’s questions
Most of the lessons that Jesus taught were in response to what he was being asked. In the same way, children asking questions creates teaching opportunities. They could for example ask about baptism, don’t just tell them that baptism is all about being dipped in the water. Discuss it with them in detail instead.
Disciplining Children in Biblical Parenting
Disciplining your children is a crucial factor in biblical parenting. Different people hold different opinions about the proper ways of disciplining children. At times a parent can be stranded on which is the best way of them all.
Therefore, it is important that you follow the Word of God and get to know His plan for instilling the right character in your children. God has entrusted you with the responsibility of raising that child. So why would you give up that responsibility to church or the school they attend?
Disciplining children requires to be started early. Waiting until the child is battling with teenagehood issues is too late. It is usually the desire of every baby to manipulate their parent. The baby will always desire to have it all his/her way. As a parent, the way you respond to such manipulation defines the tone of the relationship between you and your child for the rest of your lives together. Waiting until your child hits their 5th birthday for you to start disciplining them, you have waited for too long.
It is important that your child learns how to be obedient as soon as possible. Ephesians 6:1-2 requires children to obey and honor their parents. It is one thing to obey and another obeying while honoring your parents.
Have it in mind that every child is unique
Children are not the same and therefore they respond to discipline differently. For example, one child will not require to be disciplined twice on an issue. They are keen not to repeat a mistake. While on the other hand there is another very forgetful child. This child will keep repeating a mistake regardless of the disciplining measures in place. They will finally abandon the mistake when the pain of discipline is finally at the peak.
Therefore, it is important that as a parent you choose an appropriate way of disciplining your children. This should be per the uniqueness of each child.
Ephesians 6:4 requires parents not to irritate or provoke their children to anger. Lack of consistency in disciplining may make children not aware of what is expected of them. This makes the children feel frustrated. For example, you cannot discipline a child for doing a task in a certain way then the following day you are disagreeing on the very way that you were proposing.
Children should be able to tell with certainty which particular matter will lead to disciplining.
The rod of correction
Not every instance of correcting a child will require spanking. Being angered by your child is not enough reason to spank them. Instead, spank them when it is right and highly necessary.
Spanking a child out of anger tells something about you. You are lacking self-control which the Spirit of God gives.
Your hands should not be the rod. Don’t use your hands to slap your child. Your hands are for showing love and compassion. Instead, you can use a belt or a wooden spoon. But again, do the spanking in moderation to avoid injuring the child.
Be calm and in control
God has given you authority over your children and therefore you don’t need to lose your inner calmness while whenever they stray. Yelling at them changes nothing. Again, start exercising your God-given authority on your children early to ensure consistency in the years that you are with them.
The goal is to help your children attain a godly character
God’s desire towards the family unit is for it to participate in His agenda on earth. The salvation of humanity is very close to the heart of God. Disciplined children can understand the expectations of God towards them as they conform to the demands of their parents. Well-disciplined children are as well able to stay away from sin thus developing a godly character.
Godly character is the main goal of discipline. Such children relate well with others and later on become very productive in society.
View discipline positively
Don’t hate discipline. The character of a child is shaped through discipline. This doesn’t mean that that you are always seeking an opportunity for spanking your child. Instead, it indicates that you appreciate the benefits of discipline.
Communication in Biblical Parenting
As a parent, it is important that you cultivate communication with your kids. Have some time to listen to them and focus keenly on their interests and concerns. Though this might not be possible with very young children, you can take some time to observe, listen and talk to them.
Here are some tips that can help a parent enhance communication with their child:
Avoid repeating yourself excessively
A child will view you as a nagging parent if you keep repeating the same old information. Instead of these repetitions, you can consider adding some more responsibilities to a child. This enables a child to have room for critical thinking instead of always seeing you as commander. For example, a child could be cleaning dishes, and water gets spilled all over the kitchen. Instead of telling the child to use the sink properly, you can tell the child “you now know what to do next”. Here the child will know that after they are through with cleaning the dishes, they will tidy the kitchen as well.
Give the child some room to make choices
There those times that will call for open-ended questions when you are speaking to your child. This normally happens when exploring their lives or while handling some particular issues. However, for daily routines, open-ended questions might not fit in well.
It is important to take note of a child’s age when presenting them with choices. For example, you cannot ask a child where they will go on a particular day yet they hardly go anywhere on their own. The kind of choices you give to your child should match up with their age.
Practice what you preach
Apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians 11: 1 asked the believers who were young in the faith to follow his conduct as he followed Christ. In the same way, I child should follow your way of life. If you are an effective communicator, then the same they shall mimic. If you expect good communication from your children, then be willing to offer the same to them.
Don’t just say “No”
Due to the busyness of parents, they drop the word “no” to anything they don’t accept about a child. They just don’t give any explanation to support it, they just end a child’s concern with that one word. This however may not be viewed kindly by the child. It can be demoralizing and might even worsen a situation.
According to a statistic published by Statista Research Department in March 2020; 4860 children were under the care of childcare services from the year 2012 to 2018. This was a result of absent parenting.
Giving some reasoning behind a decision might help a child. You can also consider giving some positive answers regardless of whether you agree with them on an issue or not. For example, you can tell the child “yes you can go play with your pet provided you first take your lunch”.
Children are a blessing from God and anything from God has no tag of sorrow on it. He created every part of that child in your womb and entrusted you with the mandate of raising him/her to serve His purposes in their generation. Therefore, when parenting gets tough, consult the “manufacturer”. It is also evident that not every child raised in church will conform to God’s image. Let this not disappoint you as a parent. You already set a solid foundation for your child. That foundation will always be beckoning that child back to track.
 Fullerton, M. Jason. Intergenerational Transmission of Faith: The Biblical Role of the Godly Parent in the Spiritual Formation of the Child. Diss. Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, 2019.
 Ellison, Christopher, Marc, and George W. “Does conservative Protestantism moderate the association between corporal punishment and child outcomes?” Journal of Marriage and Family
 Wegner, Paul D. “Discipline in the Book of Proverbs: To Spank or Not to Spank?” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 48.4 (2005): 715.
 Tripp, Ted, and Theodore Allan Tripp. Shepherding a child’s heart. Shepherd Press, 1995.