3 Ways to Bring Jesus into Parenting
By Evan Page
Raise your hand if you feel like you’re in the trenches of parenting. You can’t see it, but I’ve got mine up. Actually, I’ve got both of them up, high! It’s important to stay gospel-centered while you’re in the midst of chaos and a never-ending path of parenting, especially when it comes to discipline. Here are three things you can do as a parent to direct your children to the gospel as you discipline them:
1. Use memorized scripture.
Memorizing scripture is a great way to help your children learn God’s Word and be rooted in truth. It’s also beneficial to you, as a parent, because it can help you use biblical terms in speaking with your children. Topics such as jealousy and purity aren’t easy to discuss; but because God saw it fit to have them in the Bible, they are worth memorizing and talking about.
2. Pray out loud.
Although prayer should be a daily action, how often do you take the time to involve your children in prayer other than mealtime or bedtime? Wouldn’t it be amazing if your children saw communication with our Creator as a normal way of life? There are many times where I incorporate prayer before I ever discipline my children. I can’t count how many times I have had to sit my child down, take a step or two away and say a quick prayer such as, “Lord, I am extremely frustrated, and I pray that you can help me extend grace and forgiveness right now. Please help me find the right words and give me wisdom in this situation.” Praying out loud gives my children the ability to see that I acknowledge my need for Jesus and that I want to pursue a relationship with Him. It’s been amazing to have my three-year-old tell me he needs to take a minute and sometimes go pray out loud by himself. (Philippians 4:6)
3. Ask for forgiveness.
Apologizing and asking for forgiveness is not easy or fun, but it is a necessary step in our acknowledgement of sin against each other and against God. In doing this, I encourage my children to be as specific as possible. Not to embarrass them, that is never my intention, but to help them understand the extent of our sin and the depth of God’s love. Not only do we ask each other for forgiveness, but we also need to ask God as well. As a parent, it’s also important to ask your children for forgiveness if you discipline or speak out of anger or are being selfish.
The best parenting advice I ever received was to look at discipline as an opportunity to share the gospel. So, when disciplining your children, I would encourage you to always end on a positive note. The Bible is the ultimate source of good news; and, if our goal is to redirect our children to understanding the gospel and our need for a savior, they should constantly hear the good news that the need has been met through the blood of Jesus Christ!
Evan Page lives in Hilton Head Island with her husband, Stephen, and her two boys, Merrick (3) and Wake (2), and they are expecting their third baby in August. She is currently a stay-at-home mom and most of her days are filled trying to capture adventures with her children on camera.
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