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Articles

Six Rules for Godly Parenting

6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 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 6.6–9).


Write God’s Word on your children’s hearts—The goal of all Christians parents should be to fill the hearts of their children with the word of God. The benefits of this effort are tremendous. It will aid the parents in their teaching, reproving, correcting, and training (2 Tim 3.16–17). It will direct their children’s life decisions (Ps 119.105) and encourage their children (Rom 15.4). It will lead them towards salvation (Rom 1.16). Godly parents set out to fill their children with God’s Word, lead them to follow God’s standard, guide them with God’s principles, and help them to discern good and evil based on God’s laws.


Teach them diligently—Filling a child’s heart with God’s word takes constant, vigilant, and purposeful teaching. The parents must first be knowledgeable. This means every parent should be driven to study, learn, and retain God’s words in their own hearts. Then these same parents must set out to the hard task of sharing the truth with their children. Both mom and dad must base their instructions on “book, chapter, and verse.” All physical discipline should be balanced with spiritual discipleship (Eph 6.4). A child must be constantly pointed back to the unfailing and unchanging standard of God’s Word.


Talk of them at home—So often parents expect that children will be taught by outsiders (teachers, coaches, day care leaders, etc.), when the reality is that children learn most from the examples and teachings  given in the home. The strongest, most important, and longest-lasting lessons are learned at the dining room table in conversation. Or they are learned through the standard set on the television in the home. Or they are learned by the bible readings and study in which they see their parents participating (or neglecting). Better yet, they are learned from the parents who actively teach the Bible in the home.


Talk of them when out—Those lessons learned in the home are often supported or destroyed by how life changes outside the home. Is the same lesson of patience exemplified when yelling at a referee? Is the teaching of honesty displayed when shortchanging a clerk? Is the principle of generosity practiced when speeding up to pass a homeless beggar? These situations, and many others, are opportunities to teach and reinforce teachings.


Talk of them in morning and evening—A special time with children is early in the morning and late at night when there are fewer distractions. These early morning times should be times of peaceful preparation for the day, filled with study, prayer, and focus on God. These late evening moments are great times to reflect back on God’s blessings and grace.


Make God’s Word visible—Lastly, it is good to put up constant reminders in the home of God’s Word. Print scripture out in pretty pictures and hang them around the house. Write scripture on cards and tape them to the bathroom mirrors. Write out the weekly memory verse on a piece of paper and place it on the refrigerator. Find ways to put God’s Word before the children’s eyes to remind them of what life is about and Who comes first at every moment of every day.