I cannot imagine life without our three children. The joy that Kate, Keegan, and Ellie have brought to our lives is beyond the ability to describe. Parenting is certainly a challenge, and we are discovering this to be more and more true the older our children become and the busier our lives get. However, even in the challenges I am grateful that God chose me to raise our three precious image bearers of His. We have an immense responsibility to intentionally train our children to the glory of God. Here are six goals that have helped us daily navigate that responsibility.
1. Give them a godly example.
We can’t fake it and succeed. When my life sends an inconsistent message to our children they are more prone to disregard my instruction. The most important parenting responsibility I have is to sincerely walk with God and humbly honor His Word. As parents we are the first introduction our children have to the gospel. So, let’s show them a godly example of the gospel’s work in our life.
As parents we are the first introduction our children have to the gospel.Tweet
2. Provide consistent instruction and correction.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a problem giving our children instruction and correction. My problem is doing it consistently. Be that as it may, whether it involves times of prayer, teaching, or in those moments of necessary discipline it is our daily goal to remain consistent.
3. Affirm our love for them.
I don’t want there to ever be a moment that my children question my love for them. So, how do we ensure that our children know that we love them? Spend time with them, communicate regularly your love for them, embrace them with expressions of affection, and regularly remind them that you accept them for who they are not what they do.
4. Maintain patience with their growth.
Our heavenly Father is the greatest example of parenting that we have, and among His many parental characteristics is His patience. He is so patient with me when I am behaving just like my own children behave – pouting, fussing, not listening, and repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Yet, in His grace He remains patient with my need for growth by giving me opportunities to change. I want to be a father to my children that my heavenly Father is to me!
5. Make our home a place of worship.
If I fail to take the elements of the corporate gathering of the church and incorporate them into family worship at home then I have missed a great opportunity. Our homes should be a place of worship where we continue throughout the week what we began with other believers on the Lord’s Day. The teaching of the Word, the singing of the gospel, and the glorifying of Jesus in all we say and do (see Colossians 2:16-17) is a wonderful model for making our homes a place of worship.
Our homes should be a place of worship where we continue throughout the week what we began with other believers on the Lord’s Day.Tweet
6. Devote ourselves to intense prayer.
It may be the last on our list, but not in terms of importance. The truth is, there is only so much we can do as parents. So much of parenting is in our commitment to depend completely on God to do in their hearts what we cannot do. I can model, love, instruct, teach, and prioritize, but only God can redeem my children and make them godly, and for this we must devote ourselves to intense prayer.