Parents have a significant influence on the development of their children. Their influence on their children’s lives is something that stays with parents throughout a child’s entire existence, making it a very significant duty. It is essential for us, as Christian parents, to have a clear understanding of our roles, as failing to do so is damaging to the general health and happiness of our children. What exactly are these roles that we are expected to fulfill?
The biblical role of parents toward their children is that of good stewards. They must instruct the children to follow Christ’s character and attitude, strengthen their faith in the Lord, and follow His will. It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure the child’s spiritual, emotional, psychological, and physical well-being.
The Lord holds parents responsible for the manner in which they instruct their young children in matters of faith as they are raising them. In the Bible, the Lord instructs us to teach our children the path that they should follow so that when they are adults, they will not stray from the path they were taught as children (Proverbs 22:6). During childhood, a child’s brain is like a sponge; it soaks in information efficiently because it is still developing. Children are responsive and will learn anything you teach them. Whatever they see, they will mimic, and whatever it is, they will do. No matter what kind of self-control you instill in them, they will remember it. Because of this, it is of the utmost importance that they have a solid foundation in how to live a Christian life while they are still young. This should start as early as possible. If you begin when the children are young, they will carry a good foundation with them into their adult lives, and it will serve as a model for how they will conduct themselves throughout the rest of their lives. Because this is a command that God wants parents to follow, God holds us accountable to Him for this responsibility as parents.
In order to fulfill these responsibilities successfully, there are a number of facets that need our attention. It is essential that each of these facets receive adequate consideration, as they each play an equally important role in the lives of children.
1. The spiritual needs of the children
As parents, the first thing we need to do is think about the spiritual side of things. Children need to understand from an early age how deeply the Lord loves and cares for them. It is essential that this be established so that they can have a standard by which to judge the level of love that they are entitled to receive on account of the love that the Lord possesses for them. In addition, it is our responsibility as parents to acknowledge this love and to lead lives that are acceptable in God’s sight. In Ephesians 6:4, the Lord commanded that we, as parents, are responsible for providing our children with proper guidance and instruction in order for them to develop their character and lead peaceful lives.
2. The psychological and emotional needs of the children
Parents are a comforting and loving source for their children. When the children are exposed to this at home, it will fill their hearts with love, and when they go out into the world, they will also be loving toward other people. Children’s homes should be places where they are cared for and instructed in the ways of the Lord. Being a parent does not give us the right to be cruel and controlling toward our children or to be a consistent source of discouragement for them; when we act in such a way, we are responsible before the Lord just like they are (Ephesians 6:4).
3. The physical needs of the children
While we are still physically present on earth, we have an obligation to tend to our physiological requirements. In the same vein, it is the responsibility of parents to meet these requirements for their children. It is up to us to meet all of their physical requirements in a timely manner. We must provide for our own household because obeying and following instructions is directly comparable to putting one’s faith into action. It would be the same as denying one’s faith if one did not do this (1 Timothy 5:8).
The following is the list of Bible verses you can check out to supplement your readings.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
18 Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.
19 And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons
And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.
If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.
1 Timothy 5:8
But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
A wonderful blessing is to have the honor of being called a child’s parent. Being a part of bringing a new life into the world brings about feelings of joy and a sense of accomplishment for the person who has the opportunity to become a parent. However, along with this comes a responsibility that requires one to comply carefully and conscientiously. When you have children, they will look up to you as a model because you are their parent. It is not by chance that you are being given that role because the opportunity to play that part has not been given to everyone. As those entrusted with the care of children, we have large shoes to fill. Because we are children as well, our heavenly Father has been the most generous in terms of the love that He is sharing with us. As Christians, it is incumbent upon us to model that kind of love for the sake of our children so that when they grow up and become parents themselves, they will have a benchmark for how they should relate to their own offspring. Therefore, while we are basking in the joy that comes with having parental responsibilities, let us all strive to fulfill those roles and responsibilities in a manner that is exemplary, looking to Jesus as our model.