What is your goal in parenting? Is it to have well-behaved kids? Is it to produce good citizens? Is it to make sure your kids get a great education so that they may do well in school and land a great money-making job and have a fulfilling career?
Perhaps you have a noble, Christian goal like seeing your children profess faith in Christ. What does the Bible teach us regarding the role of biblical parenting and its goal? Allow me to answer this question by first addressing two other related issues. Before we can even talk about the goal or purpose of biblical parenting, we must understand a specific pre-requisite.
The Pre-requisite of biblical parenting: The truths of God must first be on our hearts.
We cannot pass on to our children what is not first in our own hearts (Deut. 6:6). This means that moms, dads, grandparents, teachers, ALL of us must saturate ourselves in the Word of God. We must seek God and thirst after God as in a dry and weary land (Psalm 63:1). And where has God revealed Himself but in His Word? We must continually listen to and receive God’s instruction in His Word as illuminated by the Holy Spirit of God. When we stand firm in God and His Word, when we are saturated in the Word of God, when we are embracing His will, then we can share that with others; only then can we practice biblical parenting.
The Practice of biblical parenting: We must pass on what we know about God, His Word, His work, and His ways to the coming generations.
God has established His testimony; He has given us His word; and He has commanded that we teach these truths to our children (Psalm 78:5). As a matter of fact, we are to teach these truths to our children with great diligence, taking advantage of every opportunity the Lord grants us (Deut. 6:7).
Just what exactly should we be teaching our children? The psalmist answers: we are to teach our children God’s Word, work, and ways not just for the sake of Bible knowledge but for the sake of a personal knowledge of a powerful God. We are to share with our children the praises of God; we are to remind them of His strength in delivering us from death and for daily struggles; we are to tell them of His wondrous works from creation to redemption to personal answered prayers! Do you share with your children the wonders of God’s glory and might? When we show and teach and tell our children of the awesome God of Scripture who is alive and at work in our meager lives, we are practicing biblical parenting and approaching its goal.
The Purpose of biblical parenting: That the coming generations might put their hope in God.
The goal or purpose of biblical parenting is not mere Bible knowledge or well-behaved kids; the true goal of biblical parenting is that the coming generations may not forget God but instead, set their hope in God (Psalm 78:7). We should be painting such a large picture of God in our homes as we talk about Him and His strengths and His wondrous works and His glory, that our children would have confidence in God, not in this world or the things of this world. Note this well, our goal is not simply that OUR children would hope in God, but that the coming generations would hope in God-our grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Can you imagine what a legacy we would leave if we passed on such truths to our children and their children.
Recommended Resource: Big Truths for Young Hearts: Teaching and Learning the Greatness of God by Bruce Ware.