4 Tips Parents from the Bible Have for Parents Today

4 Tips Parents from the Bible Have for Parents Today

Diapers, swaddles, onesies: all words that parents, whether first-time or seasoned caregivers, know very well. Having a baby is one of the most rewarding and challenging aspects of life, testing everything in a parent mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

My husband and I recently joined the ranks of other parents, welcoming our first child in the spring of this year. And while we waited and prayed a long time for our little miracle to come into our lives, that doesn’t mean we were more ready to be parents than those who waited a shorter time.

Thankfully, God has guided every moment of our lives with our child, and He has given us the greatest resource He could for parenting: the Bible. It includes several pieces of advice and parenting examples (both dos and don’ts) that are more helpful than a lot of parenting guides out there.

The following are a few parenting tips from the Bible that I have found useful in my first foray as a mom. Hopefully they can be just as useful to other first-time parents, as well as parents of all ages.

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1. Cover Your Children in Prayer

mom and toddler praying together

From the news of learning I was pregnant to hearing our child’s first cry in the delivery room and even now, I have regularly prayed over our child. Going to the Lord in prayer over your child, whether with folded hands or face down on one’s knees, is a true mark of humble parenting that we all could do more of.

When I think of someone who prayed fervently for her child, I think of Hannah. The story of this mother of the prophet Samuel is briefly shared in 1 Samuel. What is amazing about her story is that she was one of two wives to her husband Elkanah, but she had been barren for several years. Constantly tormented by the other wife’s abundant fertility, Hannah regularly went to the temple to cry out to God for a child, even promising God that she would give the child back to Him for service if He blessed her.

A priest overhearing her prayers granted her prayer, and the Lord blessed her with a child. She honored the promise she made to God by returning her son, Samuel, back to God in service to Him, and the Lord continued to bless her the rest of her life.

Even before she knew she would have Samuel, Hannah prayed for him. Even in her sorrowful waiting, she continued to pray for him. She prayed as he grew within her, when he was born, and as he went on to serve the Lord. No matter what you are facing as a parent, prayer opens the door for God to come into situations you face and help you handle it best for you and your child.

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2. Let God Lead Your Method of Parenting

Dad carrying two little girls in a field

Determining how you want to parent your child could be something you figured out when you were a child yourself, or it could be something you are figuring out on a daily basis. I for one didn’t have a clue how I would parent, but I base a lot of my parenting strategy on how I was raised. I appreciated what my mom and dad did to raise me, mirroring the sentiment of Proverbs 22:6:

“Raise a child in the way they should go and when they are older, they will not depart from it.”

The apostle Paul gives us a great example of good parenting when he mentions the mother and grandmother of his servant, Timothy. Eunice, his mother, and Lois, his grandmother, were mentioned by Paul for how they raised Timothy through aspects of their faith in God (2 Timothy 1:5). Paul thought a lot of Timothy and his faith, and the Bible features two books with his name on them.

This example shows that how you parent makes an enormous impact on your child, especially if you are parenting through the steps of God’s Word. How you express your faith to others, especially as your child watches, will not only resonate with others but with your child as well. If your child sees you handle your emotions appropriately through the words of the Bible, they will do the same in their own lives. So, train your child to live for God through your parenting!

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3. Give Your Child Room to Grow and Explore

Mom and toddler daughter having a picnic

Though our child is still very, very young, it is amazing to see life through a child’s eyes again. Even watching beloved child-friendly movies or seeing life around us seems to have new meaning. With that mindset, a great parenting tip from the Bible is to let your child grow and embrace where God is taking them.

No biblical parent is a better example of this than Mary, the mother of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. At a young age, she was told by God’s angel that she was to take on the biggest parenting role imaginable: raising the Savior of the world. However, even being tasked with such a huge endeavor, Mary gave Jesus room to grow and be led by God. Remember the story of when Mary and Joseph took Jesus to a festival, but upon leaving the city, they discovered He wasn’t with them. They later found Him in the temple, learning and “going about My father’s business.”

Mary knew that the best way for Jesus to become who He needed to be was to have the freedom to grow and explore, led by God. Even going to the cross – something Mary would have done anything to prevent – she knew this was the role Jesus was born to fulfill. Though we may not be asked by God to do the same with our children, we must follow Mary’s example, allowing our children the freedom to explore the world and learn what God has planned for them.

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4. Give Yourself Grace

Mom tenderly hugging her child

When you become a new parent, everyone wants to offer advice on how to be a great parent. But the best advice I have received so far is from my sister-in-law, who told me to give myself grace while being a parent.

Unless your hospital gives you a parenting manual, all of us leave with our little bundles of joy and differing senses of what to do once we are home with them. And nine times out of ten, we are already afraid of failing them before we open the door.

Turning again to Jesus' parents, we see yet another encouraging example. Although Mary had a huge responsibility as the mother of Jesus, her husband and Jesus’ adoptive father, Joseph, had an even bigger task. Even though Jesus had the ultimate father already in Father God, Joseph had to guide and raise the Savior of the world as His earthly father.

There probably were several times where Joseph felt he wasn’t measuring up or acting as the parent he needed to be for Jesus. But he willingly accepted the responsibility of becoming both Mary’s husband and Jesus’ father. He had to give himself grace for what lay ahead. It wasn’t going to be easy, but we can safely assume Joseph was a positive influence in Jesus’s upbringing.

None of us are perfect parents in any way. We lose our tempers, forget things at home, and show up late to parent-teacher conferences. But when we give ourselves grace as parents, we remind ourselves that God has given us this role for a purpose, and if we allow Him to guide our steps, we will produce good fruit. So give yourself grace, knowing you’ll mess up, but you can always pick yourself up and try again.

Though these are only a few parenting tips from a first-time parent who is just getting started, what I hope you gain most from this is a new perspective on the Bible and parenting. It is as relevant as when the stories actually happened, showing us that no matter what happens in our lives – especially as parents – God always has the best advice to give.

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Blair Parke 1200x1200Blair Parke is a freelance writer for BibleStudyTools.com and freelance book editor who wrote her first book, "Empty Hands Made Full," in 2021 about her journey through infertility with her husband. She previously worked for eight years with Xulon Press as an editor. A graduate of Stetson University with a bachelor's in communications, Blair previously worked as a writer/editor for several local magazines in the Central Florida area, including Celebration Independent and Lake Magazine and currently writes for the Southwest Orlando Bulletin. She's usually found with a book in her hand or enjoying quality time with her husband Jeremy and dog Molly. You can order her book at Christian Author Bookstore - Xulon Press Publishing and visit her website at Parkeplaceediting.