Parenting With Authentic Faith
Parenting with authentic faith. That sounds good, right? And chances are that if you are reading this article, you probably want to parent this way. But let’s a be honest, parenting is hard… And parenting with authentic faith, well, what is that? And why would you do it?
To understand what parenting with authentic faith is, let’s begin with what it is not. Parenting with authentic faith is not the same as raising a child in a “christian” culture. It’s not just taking your child to church every Sunday. It’s not just praying before bedtime and meals. It’s not just memorizing Bible verses and reading the Word together as a family. Although these things are good and may even be necessary for our faith, when they are done for the wrong reason, when they are done to put a check in the box, they are simply cultural practices, not acts of authentic faith.
Each one of us.
Each one of us… Including each of our children.
There is not a single thing that any of us can do to make our children accept the grace of God. We are not the savior of our children’s souls. Jesus is. Only Jesus is. And when we attempt, whether consciously or subconsciously, to take that responsibility away from Him, we fail to parent with authentic faith.
Here just a few of the many promises God has made to us through His Word. Read them, but instead of reading them just for yourself, remember that Jesus has extended these promises to your children as well.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. ~Jeremiah 29:11
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)… ~Ephesians 2:4,5
But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. ~2 Thessalonians 3:3
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. ~Revelation 3:20
Now at this point there may be a reader or two out there wondering, well if that’s the case, do I need to worry about my child’s salvation at all? Do I have any responsibility here? The answers may surprise you: no and no. No, you do not need to worry because worry will not add one ounce of anything good to your life or your child’s (Matthew 6:25-34). And no, you have no responsibility for child’s salvation because Jesus has already paid his or her sin debt in full (John 19:30, 1 Peter 2:24).
Don’t get me wrong, you have a job to do. Your child has been placed in your life for discipleship. However, instead of worrying and taking on responsibility that is not yours, simply abide in Jesus. Abide through prayer, abide through time in the Word, abide by hiding God’s word in your heart and meditating on it daily. Abide so that when worry and doubt creep into your parenting moments you know where to turn to for comfort and direction. Abide so that when the Holy Spirit asks you to parent in a specific way, you can simply respond to that direction.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. ~John 15: 4, 5
Abiding allows us to be an instrument used by the Father to show our children how much He does love them and how He wants to serve, protect, and provide for them. He is the responsible Savior, not anyone else. He is the responsible Teacher, not anyone else. He is the responsible Defender, Deliverer, Comforter, Provider, Sufficiency, and so, so much more. Parenting with authentic faith is trusting Jesus to be your child’s all-in-all and not trying to be it yourself.
Below I’ve listed some practical ways and resources to help you get started abiding in Jesus, but please don’t view these as must-do or checklist items. These are just a few suggestions to help you fall more in love with Jesus and begin to know Him more. But before you look through these suggestions, let’s start our abiding with prayer.
Jesus, thank You for loving my children more than I ever could. Thank You for shedding Your blood to wash away their sins and set them free from the bondage of sin. I also thank You that this is completely and fully Your responsibility and not mine. Please forgive me for the times that I have worried needlessly and attempted to take this responsibility from You. Help me to see and believe that You are good and You have my and my children’s best interest at heart. Help me to remember that every promise You have extended to me through Your word has also been extended to my children. I ask that You show me how to abide in You so that I may parent as an instrument of Your love for my children. I want to be responsive to your Holy Spirit because I trust in You. In Your name I pray, amen.
Abiding in Christ :: A Few Suggestions
- Prayer is essential to abiding in Christ. If you don’t know how to pray, first and foremost, ask Him to teach you how. You may find these useful as well:
– And When You Pray: Understanding the Lord’s Prayer
– The Power of a Praying… Series by Stormie O’Martian (affiliate link)
- Start a simple Bible reading plan like this one. Here are 3 super simple steps to studying God’s word all on your own.
- Nothing is or ever will be more more relevant than the Word of God. However, there maybe times when we need a little guidance through our Bibles. I have found HelloMornings’ Bible studies and accountability groups to be very helpful during these times.
- Memorizing God’s word is the only way to “hide it in your heart” and “meditate on it day and night” (Psalm 19:11, Joshua 1:8). Start by asking God to direct you to the verse(s) that He would like you to memorize. Here are a few resources I have found helpful when choosing to memorize God’s word.
– Hiding His Word challenge.
– Seeds Family Worship (affiliate link)
– Scripture Typer
- And don’t neglect fellowship, discipleship, and communion. Being with fellow believers is essential to our walk with Christ because it is through these people that God often loves, encourages, instructs, and corrects each one of us.
Friends, please remember that I am human and flawed and my thoughts on parenting and other areas of life may not always be right. Please hold what I write up against the Word of God and listen to the Holy Spirit as He speaks to you directly.
Only by grace,
Kelli LaFramboise is the author of Caught by Jesus: 6-Week Devotional & Personal Study in the Gospel of Mark. She blogs at www.quietlyreminded.com with a purpose to quietly remind herself and others of God’s goodness, His grace, and His glory. You can also find her sharing on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.