Ever wondered… how to parent as a Christian? What does the Bible say about parenting?
I like to control everything I can (shout out to my fellow perfectionists). I work hard to sow well, in hopes that I can reap the benefits later. One day I woke up and realized… my need for control and desire to work extra hard was bleeding into my parenting (and not in a good way).
As I was working hard to raise perfect little humans, I was dumbfounded when very few of my efforts produced the results I was looking for in their actions.
After some extremely difficult situations, I awoke to a few realities…
1) These little humans we desire the best for are exactly that: human. They are imperfect, growing individuals who will hopefully always progress, but will unequivocally never be perfect.
2) Our job as mommas is to teach them to make good decisions and lean on the Lord.
3) It isn’t my job to control all the controllables in their lives. If I leave space for God to take authority over their lives, they will be in much better hands.
What does the Bible say?
One of my favorite stories in the book of 1 Samuel is the account of Hannah. Have you read it? If not, check it out in 1 Samuel chapters 1-2 (and if you happen to believe the Bible is boring, I promise you it is a worthy, action-packed read!).
Here’s an abridged version:
Hannah was married to a man who had two wives (to be clear, though this was common in that day, we don’t see God ever endorsing it, but we do see it causing lots and lots of issues in Scripture). While the other wife was having kids left and right, Hannah was barren, and it destroyed her. I really hope you don’t know that feeling, but if you do, you know how devastating it is.
This emotional ruin led Hannah to cry out (literally – she was weeping bitterly) to the Lord at His temple. In fact, she was hysterical enough that the priest, Eli, thought she was drunk.
Making a vow, she pleaded, “Lord of Hosts, if You will take notice of Your servant’s affliction, remember and not forget me, and give Your servant a son, I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and his hair will never be cut.”
The answer isn’t always “yes” when we plead to the Lord for something, but in Hannah’s case, God answered her prayer and gave her a son. She named him Samuel and after he was weaned, she faithfully (and literally) handed him over to the Lord as she promised. (She basically dropped him off at church and left, can you imagine?!) Then Hannah worshipped because He’d answered her prayer (an example we can ALL learn from – I don’t do this enough).
Spoiler alert: Samual grew up to do some astonishing things! He anointed Israel’s first king (Saul), and its second (David), and the Lord worked through him in BIG ways.
Hannah’s story has a lot of great nuggets we can take away (give your worries to the Lord, respond to the Lord with gratitude), but the one I really want to call out is: place your children (and your parenting) in the Lord’s hands.
Fortunately, God doesn’t usually ask us to physically send our child off to a Biblical boarding school as Hannah did, but we should call on the Lord to help us and guide us in how to raise up our children in a Godly way. We were never meant to own the heavy burden of making sure our kids “turn out alright.” Most of us place this burden squarely on our own shoulders and the weight is too heavy for you (or me) to carry.
Friend, you have someone else in your corner! His muscles are massive, and He can bear your load. Are you letting Him?
As I’ve grown closer to God, I have tried to release the pressure through prayer, but truthfully, I have needed to amend these prayers over time. Instead of requesting they make the team or get the part, I now pray for God’s will in their life, just as I do for my own. Even if it means they strike out more than their fair share.
We often hear about moms praying for their kids, and, as I mentioned above, you absolutely SHOULD, but I have noticed many moms are more likely to pray for their kids than pray for themselves. And today, I want you to know you should also be praying for YOU:
- Pray that the Lord makes you a better, more Christ-like momma
- Pray for patience (not gonna lie, I need more of this on the hour, every hour ;o)
- Pray that the Lord would continually draw you nearer to Him
- Pray that the Lord gives you the strength to turn your baby over to Him
- Pray that the Lord would guide you in your Christian parenting and help you to have good judgment
One last little tip from me… build the habit of reading your Bible every day. This will have a transformative effect on your life, but more importantly, I have seen first-hand that when a woman takes that first step, her family follows.
I guarantee it will make you a better Christian parent.
Looking for more Christian parenting recommendations? You can snag some of my favorite resources below.