How to Raise Godly Children

How to Raise Godly Children

Published on 29 Nov 2023 • Planetshakers Team

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If there was an amount of money you could pay up front to get Godly children, parents would pay it! The biggest challenge and probably the one thing Christian parents worry about the most would have to be that their children love God their whole lives and make Godly decisions.

My husband and I have two amazing children. Both have made it to adulthood loving God with their whole hearts and serving in His House faithfully every week. Many people tell us how amazing our children are and ask us, “How did you parent them so well to get them to this point?” Can I tell you that if you are looking for an easy answer to this question, there isn’t one. 

Parenting well involves a lot of hard work, knowing what God’s Word says about parenting and total, utter reliance on the Holy Spirit to guide you. That said, there are so many keys we have learned over the years that have really helped us as parents and I will touch on a few of them now. However, the best advice and the foundation of our parenting must always be reliance on the Holy Spirit. In fact, the importance of the Holy Spirit as our guide in every parenting challenge cannot be underestimated. He must be the one you go to in every situation. 

So, if there was a #1 key, it would be: Rely on the Holy Spirit!

#2 Build on a foundation of Love: God’s unconditional love for us!

Our priority as parents is to truly understand the depth of love God has for us. It is only out of this understanding that we can parent our children. Before anything else, we must know we are loved unconditionally by God. Our self-worth must rest on God’s never failing, never ceasing love for us.

It is from this position of confidence in being God’s beloved child first, that we can give unconditional love to our children.

#3 Maintain a great Marriage!

One of the most destructive forces in our culture is the breakdown of the biblical family structure. 

As parents, we must protect our families from division. It is critical for us to foster unity in the home. This means laying aside our own agendas for the most important work of building a great marriage. 

Marriage won’t work unless you put your marriage and your spouse first. Great marriages make great families. Stability in your marriage will directly affect your ability to parent. Much of the security that your children feel will come from the knowledge that their Mum and Dad love each other and that their relationship is a priority in the family. Protect your relationship with your partner above all else.

Many times parents lose sight of the fact that when children enter their family, they enter an already established social structure. Many parents act as if the marriage union was only a preliminary relationship to nest-building rather than perceiving it as an ongoing priority relationship throughout the child-rearing years that demands prioritization.

#4 Cultivate a desire for Jesus in your children: Set the example!

In my years as a teacher and principal in Christian education and now as a Pastor, I have heard so many parents admit to sending their children to a Christian school in the hope that they would become a Christian. Seriously nothing could be further from the truth.

Prior to the age of 11, children cannot process abstract concepts, so when it comes to Christian spirituality, words mean very little. They believe what they see demonstrated and they comprehend what they observe predominately in their parents. Be authentic in your faith, not perfect. What they see you do and say at church, make sure you do and say at home. They are watching us as parents in everything we do.

#5 Time

Time is a love language that every child needs! It really is the basis for your children’s connection with you. The old adage that quality time makes up for quantity of time is simply not true. 

I have watched families struggle through this balance; the sacrifice is great but if you get this wrong, your children will suffer. Money, houses, and careers will all fade away, but your children will not. If you are time-poor, then give up your own time for them. 

Understanding that this eternal creation, your children, have been entrusted to you by God, will give perspective. Your greatest investment is time!

#6 Beware of Dualism

Everyone has an opinion on how to parent and families are bombarded with suggestions. The Bible is and always will be the best place to understand how to parent. Dualism is a two-world perspective: biblical and secular. It essentially combines a secular worldview on parenting with a biblical worldview. Many Christian families mix the two or take “so-called” experts’ advice. If anyone claims to be an expert, they haven’t parented for long enough! Look for good parenting fruit in the lives of people from whom you receive parenting advice.

A biblically-based home is one that understands that God’s Word is truth. As your children grow, so does their need to understand the world around them. It is our job to show them the world from the perspective of God’s Word.

Here are a couple of examples of dualism:

  • Distorted Vision.

Often our vision for our children’s lives is shaped by our culture and not by God’s Word. The more unconscious we are about our beliefs, the more our perspective is shaped by the culture we grew up in. Each culture or subculture has strong beliefs about parenting. 

For example:

High academic achievements will make you successful in life (secular)

vs.

A relationship with God and a deep understanding of the eternal perspective is the only thing that will make our lives count (biblical)

So what do you want your children to adopt as their core values? Be intentional!

  • Human Nature.

Many parents adopt the belief that mankind is naturally good. This wrong mindset greatly affects the understanding of child rearing. These parents will tend to think that their child has the will, heart, power and sometimes innate knowledge to grow up rightly. But the Bible is clear. We must discipline and correct them to help them overcome their human nature.

For I was born a sinner—
    yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things,
    and desperately wicked.
    Who really knows how bad it is?"

#7 Discipline

Discipline gets a terrible rap in our society, however, it is essential to help our children understand Godly authority. 

Critical to discipline is listening to the Holy Spirit to get the balance right. Excessive, harsh authority with no grace leads to rebellion. Child-centered overindulgences and tolerance to disobedience also lead to rebellion.

One of the most important aspects of discipline is maintaining relationship above all else. Always make this your priority as broken relationships are so hard to recover. Make it your aim to never correct your children in anger or humiliate them. 

 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.

Children need correction, however, they need this done from a position of relationship. You must maintain a relationship of trust and fairness so that correction will be received. Don’t ever let the sun go down on your anger. The process of “discipling” and correcting literally comes from the word disciple. As such, the discipline process involves training, correction, restoration and affirmation. 

Training is teaching self-discipline so that a child can eventually establish it as a life practice. Boundaries are essential as the starting point for discipling. Establish clear, age-appropriate boundaries and remember to communicate.

Consequences are an essential part of the correction process. They must be effective, age appropriate and never humiliating or cruel.

Restoration after correction is a step that can never be neglected. Teaching the power of forgiveness and restoration is so important. Our children will see God’s love and forgiveness for them through this process. As parents we must take this seriously.

Affirmation is something that builds your children up to see how amazing God has made them to be. Always reward obedience. Become your child’s greatest cheerleader. Find ways to catch them doing the right thing and encourage them. Always remember that to encourage means to “put courage in”. This is a great opportunity to build your children up!

Mark out a straight path for your feet;
    stay on the safe path.

In summary, God has not left us alone as parents in the journey to raise Godly children. Remember the Holy Spirit and God’s Word will never fail to show us the way. 

May God bless you as you raise the next generation of amazing God loving children!

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