What does the Bible say about parenting?
Parenting is simultaneously one of the most difficult tasks in the world as well as one of the most rewarding. Thankfully, the Bible has a lot to say on the subject of childrearing.
Christian quotes about parenting
“No parent gives mercy better than one who is convinced that they desperately need mercy themselves.” Paul David Tripp.
“Our greatest concern for our children should be that they grow to love God above all.”
“Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise.”
“One day they’ll walk in your shoes. Make sure they’re pointed in the right direction.”
“Children learn more from what you are than what you teach.”
“A child who is allowed to be disrespectful to his parents will not have true respect for anyone.” Billy Graham
“Show your children God’s love by loving them and others as Christ loves you. Be quick to forgive, don’t hold a grudge, look for what’s best, and speak gently into areas of their lives that need growth.” Genny Monchamp
“Parents, determine to make your children obey you, though it may cost you a lot of trouble, and cost them many tears. Let there be no questioning, and reasoning, and disputing, and delaying. When you give them a command, let them clearly see that you expect them to do it.” J. C. Ryle
“The highest privilege and purpose as a parent is to lead the child in the way of Christ.” Max Lucado
“God doesn’t provide many specific instructions about the parent-child relationship, except that parents should teach their children about God (Deut. 6:7; Prov. 1-9), discipline them (Prov. 23:13; Heb. 12:7-11), be thankful for them (Ps. 127:3-5), and not exasperate them (Eph. 6:4). Filling in the details depends on the family, the culture, the Spirit’s wisdom, and a whole lot of trial and error.” Kevin DeYoung
“I learned more about Christianity from my mother than from all the theologians of England.” – John Wesley
“In every moment when you are parenting, you are being parented. In every moment when you are called to give grace, you are being given grace. In every moment when you are rescuing and protecting your children, you are being rescued and protected. In every moment when you feel alone, you are anything but alone because he goes wherever you go.” Paul David Tripp
“Train up a child in the way he should go but make sure you go that way yourself.” Charles Spurgeon
“The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things… but rather a legacy of character and faith.” Billy Graham
“The family should be a closely knit group. The home should be a self-contained shelter of security; a kind of school where life’s basic lessons are taught; and a kind of church where God is honored; a place where wholesome recreation and simple pleasures are enjoyed.” Billy Graham
“We never know the love of a parent till we become parents ourselves.” Henry Ward Beecher
“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” Henry Ward Beecher
“You are as much serving God in looking after your own children, training them up in God’s fear, minding the house, and making your household a church for God as you would be if you had been called to lead an army to battle for the Lord of Hosts.” Charles Spurgeon.
“Fathers and mothers, do not forget that children learn more by the eye than they do by the ear… Imitation is a far stronger principle with children than memory. What they see has a much stronger effect on their minds than what they are told.” J.C. Ryle
Parents are an image of God
In the Bible we can clearly see that all mankind was created to be an image of God. Children are first taught how to view God by the way they view their parents. Not only do they see us as the primary authority they also assume that we are “all knowing.”
But we can even be an image of God in the way that we live sacrificially for their benefit – the emptying of ourselves we do on a daily basis. Children learn from how we parent – their view of God will directly come from how they view their parents.
1. 1 Corinthians 11:7 “A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man.”
2. Genesis 9:6 “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made the man in his own image
3. Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
5. Genesis 1:27 “So God created mankind in his own image; in his own image God created them; he created them male and female.”
6. Colossians 3:10 “And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”
7. Ephesians 4:24 “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
How does the gospel transform our parenting?
Thankfully, the gospel transforms our parenting. It is through the lens of the gospel that we can see who our children really are. They are sinners in need of a savior – just like we are. When they come to Christ, we can see them as the adopted heir’s of Christ and a part of the community of the redeemed.
The gospel also transforms our parenting in that it causes us to be Disciple Makers, not just Pavlovian Dog Trainers. We want a total transformation of the heart – not just focusing on making their actions comply with our standards regardless of how they feel on the inside.
Another way that the gospel transforms our parenting is by revealing how short we fall from God’s glory and it helps us to cling to Christ while parenting. At times if we’re honest, we fail our kids. We get unrighteously angry at them. We fail to love them as we should. We fail to give grace even though we praise God for His grace. There are so many different things that parenting teaches us. I encourage you to pray that the gospel transforms your parenting daily and that we cling to Christ for help in raising our kids.
8. Lamentations 3:22-23 “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
9. Matthew 19:13-14 “Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. 14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
10. Romans 10:9-13 “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
11. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 “Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”
12. 2 Corinthians 4:6 “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”
What the Bible says about parents responsibilities?
The Bible is very clear about what our direct responsibilities are as parents. Our goal is to teach them who God is (high and holy), who they are (sinners in need of a Savior,) what our sin does (separates us from God, condemns us to Hell), what God has done (sent Christ to die on the cross and pay the penalty for our sins), and what we must do in response to that (repent and place our faith in Christ alone.)
The Bible shows us that teaching our children about the Gospel needs to be a continual fluid conversation. We must not just send the kids to the Sunday School and think that we have done all we have to do – we must constantly be telling them about the Lord. We must continually be praying for our children, teaching them, loving them, having conversations with them, providing for them, disciplining them, leading them, and setting a good example before them.
13. Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”
14. 1 Timothy 3:4 “He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity”
15. 1 Timothy 5:8 “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
16. 2 Timothy 3:14-15 “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those are from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which hare able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”
17. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 6 “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
18. Proverbs 3:1-12 “My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, 2 for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. 3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. 8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. 9 Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; 10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. 11 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, 12 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.”
19. Deuteronomy 4:9 “Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.”
20. Deuteronomy 11:19 “You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.”
21. Isaiah 38:19 “It is the living who give thanks to You, as I do today; A father tells his sons about Your faithfulness.”
22. Psalm 145:4 “One generation will commend Your works to the next, and they shall proclaim Your mighty acts.”
Christian parents, raise up godly generations
Our goal is to raise up the next generation to serve Christ. To teach them to wage war against the enemy, which is to stand for what the Bible proclaims is true and to defeat every vain argument against it. To teach them to love God and to obey Him.
23. Proverbs 1:8-9 “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.”
24. Ephesians 6:1-4 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ which is the first commandment with a promise – ‘so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth’ Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
25. Psalm 22:31 “They will come and proclaim His righteousness to a people yet unborn–all that He has done.”
26. Acts 20:27 “For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.”
27. Psalm 78:1-7 “My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old— things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.”
28. Joel 1:3 “Tell your sons about it, and let your sons tell their sons, and their sons the next generation.”
29. Exodus 10:2 “and that you may tell in the hearing of your son, and of your grandson, how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and how I performed My signs among them, that you may know that I am the Lord.”
Setting a godly example in the home
One way that children learn is by watching the examples around them. It is imperative that we watch to make sure that our children have godly examples in their life. Children are constantly watching us – watching what we do, watching how we respond to our frustrations, watching how we treat one another – we must be the godly example for them.
They learn far more from what they see than from what we tell them. We have to do BOTH: constantly tell them about the Bible, and live according to it.
30. Proverbs 22:6 “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
31. Joshua 24:15 “And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
32. 1 Peter 5:2-3 “Be shepherd of God’s flock that is under your care, watch over them – not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.”
33. Joshua 4:20-24 “And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He said to the Israelites, ‘In the future when you descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.’”
34. Titus 2:2-8 “Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. 6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.”
Bible verses about parenting with love
We love our children well when we do what is best for them. Many parents love their children for how they make them feel: that isn’t love, that’s selfishness. Love is selfless. It is wanting what is best for the children – not just what is fun and happy. Love them by raising them to be godly. Love them by praying for them.
Love them by listening to them and caring about their lives. Be present with them. Tell them that you love them and hug them. Smile at them. Let them know that you care about them. Compliment them at times. Do family activities together. Pray and have Bible study together. Let’s grow in loving our children. Let’s also pray that we reflect the love of God to them.
35. Psalm 127:3-5 “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. 4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. 5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.”
36. Psalm 103:13 “Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.”
37. 1 Corinthians 13:13 “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
Parental discipline in the Bible
Let’s talk about disciplining your children. A part of loving our children well comes with discipline. If we want what is best for them – their being conformed to the image of Christ – we will discipline them. The Lord loves us and will discipline us : so we must discipline our children. This doesn’t mean that we are to beat them, but discipline must sting a little.
The methods of discipline will evolve as our children grow and can vary according to situation and even our children’s temperament will play a factor. But discipline we must. For we are waging war against the flesh, and we must learn not to live according to it but according to the Word.
38. Proverbs 13:24 “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”
39. Proverbs 29:15 “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”
40. Proverbs 29:17 “Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire.”
41. Hebrews 12:7-11 “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
42. Proverbs 13:24 “Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children.
Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.”
43. Proverbs 19:18 “Discipline your son while there is hope, and do not desire his death.”
44. Proverbs 23:13 “Do not hold back discipline from the child, although you strike him with the rod, he will not die.”
45. Proverbs 29:17 “Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind
and will make your heart glad.”
Provoking your child to anger
One important thing to note: when we parent we must not provoke our children to anger. This doesn’t mean that they will never be upset, but rather, we must not treat a 16 year old like we would a 4 year old. We need to treat them like human beings and not like a pet. There are several ways that you can prove your children to anger.
Here are a few ways. We treat them unfairly and harshly, we try to live our lives through them, we are too strict, we neglect time with them, fault-finding constantly, never listen to them, comparing them to other children, showing favoritism, etc. As Ephesians 6 says, let’s be careful to not exasperate our children, but instead “bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
46. Colossians 3:21 “Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.”
Relying upon Christ as a parent
It is very easy to get discouraged as a parent. There is so much hard work – and often the fruit of our labor is not visible for YEARS. But we work hard not for our own benefit, and though our child benefits the real goal is to glorify Christ. When we feel discouraged and weak – when we don’t think that we can stand a moment more, when we don’t think that we can possibly respond lovingly and patiently, when we think that we are failing – we must rely on Christ. There is not anything in this world more sanctifying than the process of parenting. We cannot parent well on our own strength. We must rely on the strength of Christ to sustain us.
47. 2 Corinthians 4:16 “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”
48. Matthew 6:33-34 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
49. Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God; which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
50.Psalm 5:3 “In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.”
The process of disciple making will vary from home to home – and even from child to child. Each one is a special and precious gift from God and must always be viewed as such.