5 Biblical Truths on Parenting

Truth 1: Raise your children to love God more than to love you (Luke 14:26)

God told the Israelites before they enter into the promised land to love Him with all their heart and with all their soul and with all their might. Not only that, God explicitly told them to teach their children to love Him the same way (Deut 6:4-7). While God told the Israelites in the wilderness to love their neighbor as themselves (Lev 19:18), He never did explicitly ask the Israelites to love their parents. Although parents should teach their children to love them since parents are the closest neighbors for the little ones, it is clear that parents should teach their children to love God more than to love the parents themselves. 

In the NT, Jesus told a scribe that the most important commandment is the commandment we mentioned above in Deuteronomy 6:4-7, which is to love God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength (Mar 12:29-30). Jesus further taught his disciples that they could not be His disciples if they love their family more than Him (Luk 14:26). 

Therefore, Christians should aim to teach their children to love God the Father and Christ the son, more than loving the parent themselves. When they love God, many parenting issues would be resolved. 

Truth 2: Raise your children in God’s word (Eph 6:5)

After God told the Israelites to love Him with all their heart, soul, and might, God told them to teach their children the word of God when they sit in their house, and when they walk on the road, and when they lie down, and when they rise up. In other words, God commanded the Israelites to raise their children in His word (Deut 6:8-9).

In the NT, Paul told the Ephesians Christians that they should raise their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Therefore one of the most important tasks for parents is to teach their children the word of God. 

The word of God is the sword of the Spirit ( Eph 6:17), equipping their children with the word of God is the most effective method to help them to fight against any temptations from Satan.

Truth 3: Obedience and honoring parents are the most important characters for parents and children relationship (Eph 6:1-2)

Honoring parents of one of the ten commandments, and the first horizontal commandment, that is it is the first commandment to deal with the relationship between human beings (Ex 20:12).

When Paul taught the Ephesians and Colossians Christians about children and parents relationship, he chose to bring up only two characters, which are obedience and honoring their parents (Eph 6:1-2, Col 3:20). That means these are the most important characters for any child. 

Therefore, it is important for parents to teach their children to obey and honor them. 

Truth 4: Discipline your children when necessary (Heb 12:7-10)

The book of Proverbs is full of teachings regarding the needs of children discipline. Children were born as sinners, they have the tendency to break rules, to disobey, and to sin. If the parent did nothing to stop his children, Proverbs 13:24 says he hates his son. A parent who loves his son is one who diligently disciplines his son. Proverbs 22:15 taught that a child is bound up in folly, but the rod of discipline could drive it far from the child. Proverbs 23:13-14 further taught that children who were disciplined with a rod could be saved from Sheol.

The writer of Hebrews taught that God and earthly fathers are alike, they both discipline their children. He further taught that children who have never been disciplined by their father are not legitimate children (Heb 12:8-9).

Therefore, even though some human-derived philosophies teach that parents should not discipline their children, Christian counselors should stand firm on the teaching of the word of God.

Truth 5: Do not provoke your children to anger (Eph 6:4)

The bible teaches that all humans are created in the image and likeness of God (Gen 3:26-27), which obviously includes children. After the fall, although the image of God on human has been marred, humans still carry the image of God (Gen 9:6, Jam 3:9), in other words, all humans are image barriers of God. 

Therefore, parents need to pay attention not to provoke their children to anger. That means although children should obey their parents, parents do not have unlimited authority over their children. The parents cannot hurt their children physically or emotionally. Parents need to be aware that they are sinners like their children, they could make mistakes in judgments, they could become angry and express their anger to their children. That means although it is biblical for parents to discipline children, they cannot abuse their children.

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