Why Is Parenting So Important

I find myself writing about parenting much more than I ought to. After all, I’m not a parent. But during the years I taught school, I saw a lot of parents and different parenting styles. It was pretty easy to see similarities between those who were most effective. It was also easy to see new trends develop, and the effects on kids.

Not that any of that makes me an expert. It simply makes me an observer. The expert is God, and in the end, how we parent is important because it is important to Him.

I’ve heard before that people may form their views of God based on their views of their earthly father. I know this is not a hard and fast rule, but it should be sobering to dads. A dad who parents well is communicating not only his love and patience and consistency and justice and mercy and forgiveness, but he is making it easier for his children to see God as a loving, consistent, just, merciful, forgiving Father.

Parenting is also important because God gave parents the job of passing on their knowledge of Him and His word to their children.

You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.

One more reason I think parenting is so important, this from the side of the children. A child’s first taste of love mingled with discipline comes from his parents. How he responds sets the tone for how he will respond to God. Is he compliant? Rebellious? Responsive to correction? Willing to listen to warnings? In some ways, responding to parents is “practice” for responding to God.

But what if parents abdicate their position as disciplinarians?

God is not limited by our sin. Children who were not well-parented come to God, and He teaches them. One of my favorite verses, from Psalm 27, says, “For my father and my mother have forsaken me,/ But the LORD will take me up.” God can “take us up” by providing parent figures, disciplers, examples, direct instruction from His Word, Biblical men and women who model righteous living.

Look at the people of Israel on their way from Egypt to Israel. The parents spoke against God, supposedly on behalf of their children, bemoaning the danger they would face. What they should have been doing on behalf of their children was teaching them to trust God. The result? Not the bad things for the children that the adults feared. Rather the adults lost out on the blessing God intended for them and the children still enjoyed the promised land.

I conclude good parenting is good for the children, good for their relationship with God, and it’s good for the parents, for their own obedience and blessing.

Published in: on February 10, 2011 at 6:41 pm  Comments (3)  
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