Parenting On Purpose

The Power Of A Godly Parent

“Train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old, they will not depart from it.”

Proverbs 22:6

It is so important for the body of Christ to raise families. The enemy is after the family; he wants marriages to be broken and to prevent children from knowing the love of God. We are going to do spiritual warfare in a different way than we normally do on Sunday mornings.

We need to talk about building culture and dynamics. What we have been called to do on earth as believers is to change culture. We are not here just to do our own will but to bring God’s will here on earth. God wants to accomplish that not only on Sunday morning but every day of the week through our families, parenting and child rearing that we do.

What It Means To Parent On Purpose

I want to share some things to help you be intentional and proactive in your approach so that you may be a light to your home and bring continual, effective change.

“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts and press them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road. When you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbals on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframe of your houses and on your gates.”

Deuteronomy 6:6-9

This instruction was given just after Israel had received the commandments of God. When I look at this, what I see first and foremost is intentionality. When God gives a command, it is not just for you; it is for your family. God is a family oriented God. God expects us to be intentional.

When it says we should bind God’s instructions on our hands, to me that speaks of when we work. Our hands should be symbolic of God’s will. The scripture commands us to bind it to our foreheads meaning when people look at us, they should be able to see God’s will. When my children look at me, they see God’s desire.

The verse then turns to the doorframes of our houses and gates. This means that our homes should reflect God’s command and will. We may not be able to control what is going on in the world today but we can decide that our house will be a place where people can experience the presence of God. I want the holiness, righteousness, and presence of God to be evident in my home. This only comes intentionally.

The Urgency Of Intentionality

“That entire generation passed away; a new generation grew up that had not personally experienced the Lord’s presence or seen what he had done for Israel. The Israelites did evil before the Lord by worshipping the Baals. They abandoned the Lord God of their ancestors who brought them out of the land of Egypt. They followed other gods – the gods of the nations who lived around them. They worshipped them and made the Lord angry.”

Judges 2:10-12 NET

We are always one generation away from a spiritual legacy being lost. Do you understand that? It is important that we talk about parenting today because of this. We are one generation away from the spiritual legacy in our home being abandoned. This was a common experience throughout the Book of Judges. A Judge would rise up to liberate and lead the people of Israel but it was always followed by this phrase: But they did not teach their children to obey the Lord and their children fell away.

God expects us to be intentional in our parenting. Share on X

What does intentionality look like? I want to share several things with you that will stand the test of time no matter the age of your children.

Be Parented By The Lord

Our prayer as parents should be God parent me, so I can parent them. Most parents, especially new parents are very focuses on the methods or tips and tricks they can use to raise their children but there is nothing more important than your experiencing the parenting of God yourself. Our best parenting comes when the think less about being great parents of children and instead, think about being great children of God.

Discipleship is the core of what it means to be a parent; parenting is discipleship. It is our responsibility to disciple the children that God has given us. We cannot do this unless we are following the Lord first.

“Lord, You are so kind and tenderhearted, and so patient with people who fail You! Your love is like a flooding river overflowing its banks with kindness. You don’t look at us only to find our faults just so that You can hold a grudge against us. You may discipline us for our many sins, but never as much as we really deserve. Nor do You get even with us for what we’ve done… The same way a loving Father feels toward His children- that is but a sample of Your tender feelings toward us, Your beloved children, who live in awe of You.”

Psalm 103:8-10 , 13 TPT

This passage alone can teach you so much about what it is to be not only a son but a father, not only a daughter but a mother. When you see how the Lord treats you, it is so easy to turn around and do the same to your children. With this, none of us have an excuse for not knowing what to do. If I follow in the way the Lord is leading and teaching me, then I have the perfect example of what it means to raise and disciple my own children.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children, but raise them up with loving discipline and counsel that brings the revelation of our Lord.”

Ephesians 6:4 TPT

In other words, don’t just reprimand or frustrate your children but train them and raise them up in discipline. Don’t just tell your children, coach and show them what it means to live for the Lord. Some of us are really good at telling our kids what not to do whereas we should be focusing on what they should do.

As a parent, you are a disciple-maker in your home. So focus on being a good disciple. Everything else comes as a byproduct. You don’t have to come up with everything, you don’t have to invent the greatest method or carry the final burden of parenting – God has already done that. We just have to follow God.

The wonderful thing s about being a child of God is that we have the ultimate example and if we follow Him, so will our children and family. They will see by our example because it is bound on our foreheads, tied on our hands and fastened to our home environment.

Your Childhood And Parenting

You have to be parented by the Lord or else your childhood will play into your parenthood. We first have to address our childhood before we can address our parenthood. Until I understand my own upbringing, I cannot understand what I need to do as a parent in the home.

Parenting is about building legacies. For some of us, it is about tearing down strongholds and generational curses. In this way, we are tearing down the wrong kind of legacy and establishing new ones.

Not everyone had a great childhood or upbringing. Even those who did still have things they would prefer to do differently. In our efforts not to do to our children what our parents did to us, we often go to unhealthy extremes which is not the right solution. This is why we have to address our own childhood before we can address our parenthood properly.

Take Notice Of Your Norm

It is great to have a lot of good ideas when it comes to parenting but what is the experience your children have of your execution of those ideas. For example, you can pray with your children every night but if before the prayer happens, you have to get angry and shout at your children for 45 minutes before they calm down and get into bed so that you pray for them for 2 minutes, this is not a good norm.

We need to look at what practices we have in our home that are shaping our children’s view of God either by default or on purpose. It is not just about the significant thing you do but what is normal in your experience of doing it. Don’t let bad moments become normal in your home. Pay attention to what is normal in your home.

What are you teaching your children by accident? If you want to change your normal, you need to go on a journey of reflection. Communication is always happening even when you are not speaking. Your actions speak louder than your words and how you do things can communicate to your children more than you realize.

Don’t Punish The Telling Of The Truth

We need to make our home a safe place to share things. I decided in my home not to punish my children when they told the truth. I am not being soft but I believe confession is an act of a repentant heart. If your child comes to you and confesses something, it shows they already have a weight of guilt on their conscience. I don’t want to punish my children for doing the right thing, even if they did the wrong thing first.

I want to create this culture in my home that my kids can come to me to talk about things. The way most children learn about sex and drugs is from their friends, not their parents. I would rather be in the position where my children can feel confident to come to me about those kinds things. How much better would it be for my children hear it from me than from the internet or another random unfiltered source.

I would rather have the reaction from my children when they make mistakes to be, “I have to tell my dad; he will know what to do” instead of, “My dad will kill me if he finds out.”

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Romans 10:9

If it is good enough for God, it should be good enough for us. God doesn’t punish us for our sins when we confess, (1 John 1:8-9). Confession does not mean that there are no consequences for what we did but punishment for the confession is another thing. We need to combat the fear that our children’s relationship with us as a parent can change negatively if I confess what I did. We should not have that sentiment in our homes.

Discipline Is An Act Of Love

“My child, do not despise discipline from the Lord, and do not loathe His rebuke. For the Lord disciplines those He loves, just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights.”

Proverbs 3:11-12 NET

Discipline should be an act of love, not anger, retaliation, or exerting your dominance in the home. Some of us grew up only associating the word discipline with anger or our parents lack of self-control. Discipline has to do with instruction, correction, guidance, and leadership.

Our consequences can either lead to correction or alienation. If my consequence leads to alienation, then it is a punishment. If my consequence leads to restoration, then it is discipline.

God’s Parenting Of Adam And Eve

Many think that how God put Adam and Eve out of the garden was an example of retaliation, disgust, or punishment, like an angry parent telling their child to get our of their house. That is not the case.

“And the Lord God said, “Now that the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil, he must not be allowed to stretch out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”

Genesis 2:22 NET

The enemy is pushing the narrative that God doesn’t really love us because if He did, He would have let us stay in the Garden of Eden. The reality explained by this scripture cancels this because it shows that if Adam and Eve had eaten from the tree of life, they would have made their sin nature permanent. The damage they did would become permanent.

God removed them but He also clothed them. God had to set boundaries so that man would not continue to destroy himself. Over the next few thousand years, God developed covenants with man to restore humanity, culminating in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ to fix our mess permanently and restore us to right standing with God. Now, the very thing that was damaging us has become our victory in Christ. We can have constant communion with God through the finished work of Christ.

The Level Is Important

God’s discipline matched the transgression. The consequence should always match the level of transgression – nothing less, nothing more, otherwise, it is not love. When parents get too annoyed by what their children do, they tend to over-discipline with unnecessary punishments to restore our broken sense of justice.

If I only change my children's behavior, I am punishing them; if I also change their belief, it was discipline. Share on X

Discipline doesn’t deal only with their hands; it must deal with their hearts. The purpose of discipline is not to have your children act a certain way in your presence. You are raising them to be good people, who follow God. This is why it is important to pay attention to how you discipline. How you discipline will determine whether or not it was punishment. Does your discipline restore your children or push them away? Discipline’s consequence should always match the level of transgression. If discipline’s consequence is below the level of transgression, it appears that we condone the destructive behavior. If the consequence is greater than the transgression, I am ruining my relationship. This is purposeful parenting.

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