RAISING GODLY CHILDREN
Parenting Out of Faith, Not Fear
By Hannah Goodwyn
Parenting is a daunting task, one that requires great patience, wisdom, and love. Being a mom or dad begs a certain amount of selflessness. For Christians, the mantel of parenthood commands a greater commitment because of the God-given responsibility with regard to the lives and souls of our children.
Believing that God’s Word is the source of the guidance we need in life compels us to look to it for direction in how to parent. It’s from a biblical perspective that we gain an understanding of how our Heavenly Father sees parenting. The key principle parents must adopt is the faith over fear mentality. God is not the author of fear (II Timothy 1:7), and He doesn’t want you to parent out of it either.
Our world can be a dark and tempting place, but God is sovereign. He is trustworthy as we walk out our lives with Him, so He should be able to handle our kids. The tendency to worry about our children can be strong; resist it. Do not allow anxiety to guide the way your raise your children. For if it does, they will sense that trepidation, and either rebel against you or adopt the same fear mindset.
Release Your Children
As a barren woman, Hannah knew her only option was to pray to God. She felt like an outcast as a motherless wife, and she took her time in the temple as the chance to pray for God’s blessing (I Samuel 1:11). The answer was her son, Samuel. Fulfilling her vow, Hannah gave Samuel to Eli, the High Priest, so that her son could serve God. Samuel's difficult beginning shaped his life as a prophet of God, leader in ancient Israel, and anointer of kings, Saul and David, who is in the birth line of Jesus Christ.
If Hannah had not released her son to God’s work and into His protection, Samuel would not have lived God's full will in his life. His childhood in the temple built his faith at a young age, instilling in him a love for the Lord that guided his ways. Hannah had faith God would lead her son when she could not. In that same way, parents must release their children into God’s will. It is easier to resist fear when you put your trust in the Lord by giving your children over to Him.
Parenting out of fear can make you an overbearing, controlling parent. Raise your children to honor God, and He will guide them. Too many times, controlling parents react to life -- when it comes to their children -- out of fear and end up damaging their relationship with them.
Allow the Holy Spirit and God's Word to guide you in how to raise your kids. You will not be let down, as Hannah’s song so perfectly says.
"My heart rejoices in the LORD!
The LORD has made me strong.
Now I have an answer for my enemies;
I rejoice because you rescued me.
No one is holy like the LORD!
There is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.
For all the earth is the LORD's,
and he has set the world in order.
"He will protect his faithful ones,
but the wicked will disappear in darkness.
No one will succeed by strength alone.
Those who fight against the LORD will be shattered.
He thunders against them from heaven;
the LORD judges throughout the earth.
He gives power to his king;
he increases the strength of his anointed one." I Samuel 2:1-2, 8-10
Pray and Rejoice Over Your Children
If you’re not praying for children on a daily basis, start. Shower them with God’s blessing each morning, even before they wake. The Holy Spirit will comfort them when they need it and guide them when they rebel against you. Angels will protect them, when you cannot.
Rejoice over your kids. They are a blessing from God. Remember, you are responsible for your children in every aspect, not just their physical and financial needs, but also their emotional and spiritual needs. Teach them faith, by showing them how it’s lived day in and day out.
“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.” - Charles R. Swindoll, pastor and author
“There's not much practical Christianity in the man who lives on better terms with angels and seraphs, than with his children, servants and neighbors.” - Henry Ward Beecher, clergyman, social reformer, and abolitionist
Take what these spiritual giants have said to heart. Release your children to the Lord. He will hold them in the palms of His hands, as He does you. Pray for your kids, blessing them in Jesus’ name. Rejoice in His creation and the uniqueness found in each of your children. And do it openly so they see God in you and want that faith in their lives. Trouble will undoubtedly find them, but faith, not fear, will help your children overcome.
Hannah Goodwyn is not yet a parent, but she has seen firsthand how faith shaped her and her sibling's lives through the godly example of their parents, David and Susan.
She serves as the Family and Entertainment producer for CBN.com. For more articles and information, visit Hannah's bio page.
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