Have you ever noticed how many different approaches you watch parents take with their kids? Some parents treat their kids like little buddies—that accepting friend they always wanted but could never find. Others are the exact opposite, ruling over their kids with an iron fist, enforcing good behavior with intimidation and threats. It’s the dictator ruling over his subjects. And then you talk to some parents who are fulfilling dreams vicariously through the lives of their children. They enforce a strict regimen of disciplined training and study so the children will excel in sports, the arts, or education.
Whether a parent elevates the child unduly (friendship parenting), causes him to cower in fear (authoritarian parenting), or drives her to achieve (dream-fulfillment parenting), the poor kid completely misses the opportunity to enjoy what God created him or her to be…a kid. Childhood is lost because of the self-centeredness of the parent.
None of that has anything to do with God’s design for childhood. Here’s the approach God intended. It’s simple, biblical, and we think your kids might like it a lot better. Here’s John MacArthur to explain . . .
Now that you’ve learned what God wants from your parenting, consider these questions for the comment thread:
(1) Which comes easier for you in the task of parenting, discipline or instruction? Why?
(2) What other worldly models of parenting do you sometimes see even Christian parents adopting?