Parents come in all varieties. In fact, so does advice to parents!
1. Preach the gospel of grace to yourself. Everyday. Every hour. Every minute. If you are forgetful, place reminders everywhere. 🙂 Study the bible so you can grow in your own understanding of the gospel for your daily life.
3. As a mom, find a trustworthy prayer partner/accountability partner. Be real with them. Ask them for their opinions, advice and input. Listen well.
6. Let your kids fail and fall. Sometimes a scraped knee is better than over-protection. And as difficult as it may be, sometimes a bad grade or even a lost job teaches a lesson better than a parent’s (however well meaning it may be) interference or attempt to save the day.
7. Listen more. Ask questions to learn, not just to respond. Get to know your child – what they are doing, who their close friends are, what they are looking at and thinking about it. And remember the why is more important than the what!
8. Like them unconditionally. This is one of the most difficult ones to do, and I often didn’t do it well. Someone told me that we could love our kids without liking them. I doubt it.
10. Parent as a team. If it’s possible, do parenting together with your spouse. Talk. Listen. Share. Read. Learn. Apply …. together. Having a partner in parenting was my most valuable gift.
These are just some things I have discovered along the way. There are specific things I would have included like praying with your kids, reading the Bible to them, teaching them to have a biblical worldview, sharing the importance of making disciples, etc. But all of those you know, right? 🙂 In a way, my list is more general and practical … that’s intentional. There are very few specifics in the bible regarding parenting. So we have to depend on God’s wisdom and guidance daily. And that’s a good thing.
As I mentioned, parenting comes in all varieties. No one has the ability to corner the market in perfect parenting. Some parents live in fear of their kids and for their kids. Others have no idea what’s happening in their children’s lives. But if we are committed – deliberate and intentional – we can use the grace we’ve been given to raise up families who will make a difference in the world.