Series: Growing with the Lord

Action File

Parenting Children

"As children copy their fathers you, as God's children, are to copy him. Live your lives in love - the same sort of love which Christ gives us and which he perfectly expressed when he gave himself up for us in sacrifice to God" Ephesians 5:1-2 (Phillips translation).

Treat All Children Equally

Parents should treat every child with equal love and attention. It is horrifying to see, as a common practice, parents showing favouritism to some children above others.

Keep Your Word Proverbs 12:17; 8:6-9

It is a very important principle for parents to keep their word to the children. If we break promises we make to them it will not only disappoint and discourage them, it will also destroy their ability to trust. This will ultimately effect them trusting the Word of God.

Create Good Memories

It is good to find activities to do as a family which create good memories of childhood. Each child needs to know that they are special and unique and loved for who they are. This can be expressed in special times spent with each one individually. For example, the father may wish to take out each of the children individually from time to time so that they feel that they have him to themselves occasionally, or he may write a special letter expressing the value of the child and what they mean to the parents.

Listen and Encourage 1 Thess.2:11; Col.3:21

It is important for parents to be good listeners as the children express the events of their little world. This always needs to be backed up with lots of encouragement and appreciation for the things they are attempting to learn and do, and their value as a person. They should be encouraged always to do their best in whatever they do and if they fail from time to time that's okay.

Don't be Afraid to Say Sorry

As parents, we are learning as we go in bringing up our children and we will always make some mistakes. When this happens we need to be ready to apologise to our children because they usually have a keen sense of justice and fairness (Prov.16:24).


Discipline with Love Prov.13:24; 23:13-14; 29:15

Proper discipline provides banks for the stream of their life and is an expression of love giving them security when administered properly. Discipline them for their sake not yours - not out of anger or annoyance but for the need to train them. Children should know what they are being disciplined for, but should not be disciplined in front of others. The parents should always stand together and never disagree in front of the children or allow the child to play one off against the other. Don't stop a child crying when disciplined but John Wesley's mother gave great advice. When disciplining her children she would tell them "When I discipline you you can cry - but cry quietly". If a child screams its head off it ends up winning the battle.

Guide Their Development Prov.1:8-9; 4; 22:6

It is good to hold family conferences from time to time to enquire as to where each child is in their development and desires in life and what can be done to help them. Parents need to help each one discover their unique interests and gifts and the training that might be necessary for that.

Teach Them to Experience God Prov.20:7

Parents should teach their children, in a real sense of joy, how to know the Lord, worship, pray and understand the Word of God, in particular the Gospel. Rather than abdicating this responsibility solely to the Church and, in some cases, the Christian school, parents are given by the Lord the wonderful opportunity of being the front-line trainers of their children in their relationship with the Lord. Thechildren should be included in the praying process of making major family decisions. Even small children can learn how to get guidance from the Lord to help them in their future life (Eph.6:4; Deut.6:4-9; Ps. 34:11; Is.38:19).


Copyright 1981,1996 Paul, Bunty and David Collins. All rights reserved. This study may be freely used and reproduced, wholly or in part, by the Christian Church for the non-profit purposes of study and training only, provided copyright and contact information is included.

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