God cares about the challenges we face as parents. He knows the pain and confusion. He knows we will be imperfect in our responses and is working more in our children’s lives than we realize.
Only Jesus was a perfect “parent” as He discipled the disciples. Yet even though each disciple struggled, Jesus didn’t blame himself.
Besides blaming ourselves, other factors contribute to our confusion.
Sometimes our own past behavior as a child can negatively affect the way we respond to children. If we were rebellious in childhood and suffered the consequences, we might overreact. We might react too strongly while giving consequences because we are determined to prevent that child from suffering consequences like we did. Or if we received strong consequences yet still rebelled, we might decide we need to be more soft-hearted.
Another influencing factor is how our spouse responds to our children. If a husband/father is very strict and lacks an emotional bond, we might be lenient to try to overcorrect. Or if the husband/father is largely unavailable, we might think we have to be both mother and father and over-correct with harshness.
Many moms and dads are terrified of responding incorrectly fearing they will ruin their child.
They think they are totally responsible for all of their child’s future choices. But all children are needy because of immaturity. Parenting is a challenging role, but we can grow in dependence upon God, who is the only perfect “parent.”
Remember, our child needs to be needy so that she will need God.
Let Proverbs give you hope in your parenting. Here are some Proverbs verses. I’ve included the verse/verses and my thoughts. Think what you’re comments would be.
Proverbs 13:24: Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
Use physical discipline wisely by calmly and consistently giving a spanking. (Note: Although I believe spanking can be effective, it’s a personal decision and must never be done in anger).
Proverbs 19:18: Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death.
Disciplining by giving a consequence actually gives hope to your child. Hebrews 12:5-6 says that giving discipline helps a child feel loved and a part of the family.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
We should be careful not to think of this as a promise but a general observation about life. Most important is to know our child and what is important to him or her. “The way he should go” refers to God’s plan for him, not what we think is best.
Proverbs 22:15: Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
In the beginning of my parenting, I thought, “I don’t need to do anything. My child will learn on his own.” That’s not wise nor the truth. Every child instinctively wants their own way. Only some sort of discipline, which means giving consequences, will help them see the right way. Otherwise, the problems of life will overwhelm them as they grow.
What parenting tip could you offer to encourage other parents? Please let us know in the comment section of my blog.
This post is an excerpt from my women’s Bible study book, Heart Wisdom: Daughters of the King Bible Study Series. In that study book, I offer ten lessons on a variety of topics which are addressed in Proverbs. Learn more here: Heart Wisdom