I have read so many parenting books I have lost count.
The reason I have become a bibliophile is because I am desperate for answers!!!
Does that resonate?! I look at my beautiful, amazing kids that God has given to me and I am like, “What in the world do I do with them? How do I raise them to not be criminals? How do I help them be godly and good men?”
The task feels overwhelming.
So I look to the books for help.
And so many have been helpful. So many have changed my perspective on how to shepherd their hearts, or helped me get to the next season of their development without losing my marbles (in fact, you can see a list of my favorite parenting books HERE). Each book has its own positives, but each book also has its own ‘that won’t work with my kid.’
And isn’t that the truth? God made every kid so unique. It’s no accident that you gave birth to a strong-willed child and then the second child came out totally chill. Just when we think we’ve got this parenting thing down, the Lord usually allows something to keep us desperately seeking HIM – not desperately seeking answers.
At the end of the day, we can read the books and scour the blogs and acquire the tips and tricks, but ultimately the one thing we can stand on as parents that will never fail is…
God’s holy, perfect, and unchanging Word!
That means that everything the Bible says is applicable across the board, at all times, to everyone in your entire family.
Check this out from 2 Timothy 3:16 (NIRV)>>>
God has breathed life into all Scripture. It is useful for teaching us what is true. It is useful for correcting our mistakes. It is useful for making our lives whole again. It is useful for training us to do what is right.
In a nutshell, the Bible is one powerful tool in the hands of a parent.
Plus, when I rely on the wisdom directly from His Word, I can rest knowing that it will go forth and accomplish the purposes for which God sent it do (Isaiah 55:11). In other words, when you share God’s Word with your kiddos, you can be confident that the Lord will use it in one way or another!
So today I am sharing with you my top favorite verses that we have taught our kids and recite often in our home so that, like in the verse above, they are being trained to do what is right.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37
In context, this verse is straight from the mouth of Jesus in response to the question, “Of all the laws, which one is the most important?” And Jesus said the most important thing is to love God.
When we love God with everything we’ve got, the rest just falls into place. Whatever we say and/or do can be run through the filter of this verse. We can ask ourselves., “Does what I am about to say or do or dwell on come from a heart that loves God above all else?”
On a practical level, this verse often comes up when I can tell my kids are struggling to keep their eyes closed during prayer before a meal, or when they want to start eating while we are saying grace. I will gently say, “We get to show God we love Him with all of our mind when we close our eyes and focus only on Him!”
*HERE is a great song that teaches this verse!*
Obey God (and your parents) 🙂
“Children obey your parents for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.” Colossians 3:20
Teaching our kids to obey our voice is so important – not only for their safety, but because one day, they will need to learn to listen to and obey God’s voice.
Are my kids perfectly obedient? Am I perfect at teaching them?
No. In fact, more often than not, I feel humbled in this area. I think it is because the Lord knows I have such a propensity to become prideful and think that I am an awesome mom if my kids are well-behaved! But I am learning that a weak mother is a good mother.
I am doing the best I know how and I am constantly seeking Him about how to lead and train my children. Ultimately, they are in His hands! My hope is in Him!
But when my children look like they are about to not obey an instruction I have given them, I will remind them of this verse. Or if they have disobeyed me and they have had a consequence and we are sitting together chatting about what happened, I will use this verse as a reminder to their hearts that God’s plan for them is to obey Mommy and Daddy because He helps us to know what’s best for them. And when they obey mommy and daddy they are obeying God – which brings glory to Him!
Be Kind and Forgive Others
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
There’s no doubt about it. Your kids are going to sin against you and/or their siblings. Others will sin against them as well.
The Gospel message of Jesus Christ is that He came to teach us how to love and forgive. And boy do we need this reminder! The flesh wants to hold grudges and nurse wounds.
But Jesus did neither of those things. He forgives and removes our sins as far as the east is from the west. He showers us with His abundant kindness and shows us compassion in our weakness.
When my boys are starting to get angry with one another, or when they start to say things I know they don’t mean, or when they need to apologize to one another for something, or when I have wronged them, this verse makes its way into our conversations.
“When I am afraid, I will trust in you.” Psalm 56:3
This is a verse that seems to pop up again and again as my children (and myself!) face a variety of circumstances.
Whether it’s going to bed in the dark, flying on an airplane, being separated from mommy at school or church, hearing a thunderstorm outside, going to the doctor, etc., there are lots of opportunities for fear to try to get the best of us!
But the goal is to turn fear into faith by trusting our great, big God to take care of us.
“Be joyful always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
When things don’t go our way, or when we have to complete a challenging task (aka chores to my children), or we get sick, or others hurt our feelings, etc., it can be easy to hop on the negative train and end in a big pile of despair.
This verse encourages us to be in prayer throughout the day, thankful in every circumstance, and to practice being joyful at ALL times, not just in the times that are smooth and easy. And the more we practice this, the more we will see how He faithfully carries us through everything that comes our way! This is our act of worship!
God’s Word is a treasure trove of encouragement and counsel for the parent desperate for answers <<Ahem — me>>. 😉 Talk about these things with your children when you sit and when you rise (Deuteronomy 6:7). Give your kiddos the gift of “a lamp for their feet and a light for their path,” Psalm 119:105.
Plant the seeds, mamas! God is in charge of the harvest!
What verses do you memorize in your home?