What Are Responsible Attitudes Of Parenting?
Responsible attitudes of parenting is the Christian manner in which we think and feel about our responsibility as parents to bring our children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Parents have to establish the correct attitudes and extinguish the wrong ones. This is important because their children will be effected by and learn their temperaments.
Establishing The Correct Attitudes
- Establish an attitude of authority and influence. From conception the mother has complete control over her child and practically does everything for him/her while he/she is in the womb (eating, drinking, breathing, etc.). When the child is born, the control moves to both parents who practically make all the decisions for the child because they can physically enforce obedience. The child is dependent. It is during this time that the parents use their authority to control and mold their child. As the child grows, the parents’ ability to enforce their authority over the child gradually decreases. Therefore, parents can only influence their child’s behavior and not enforce it. This is a natural occurrence because they are raising the child to be independent and leave the family to start his/her own family. Parents have a responsibility to properly use their authority when the child is young and properly use their influence over the child when he/she is old.
Deuteronomy 11:19; Hebrews 13:17
- Establish an attitude of training and righteousness. Developing your children’s behavior by instruction and practice should be the way the parents think and feel about parenting. Training starts when the children are infants and continues until they leave the house. Parents should use the Bible to train them in righteousness. Parents have a responsibility to know biblical truth and to be actively and intentionally training their children, choosing not to be ignorant, indifferent, inattentive or inactive
Proverbs 22:6; 2 Timothy 3:16
- Establish an attitude of humility and service. Parents should first examine their own lives taking the “log” out of their own eyes so they can see clearly to take the “speck” out of their children’s eyes. Parents are not to be selfish and focused just on their own things and interests but they are to consider their children better than themselves and equally focus on their things and interests. Parents have a responsibility to have the same attitude of humility and service towards their children that Jesus had towards them.
Matthew 7:1-5; Philippians 2:3-11
- Establish an attitude of love and restoration. Everything parents do should be done with an attitude of a passionate devotion for their children’s good and to correct their children when they do wrong so that they can be restored back to the way of righteousness and once again be oriented towards God. Parents have a responsibility to lovingly use the biblical method of the rod (discipline) and reproof (instruction) so that their children will have a restored relationship with them and point them to their need of a restored relationship with God through Jesus.
Galatians 6:1; Proverbs 3:12
Extinguishing The Wrong Attitudes
- Extinguish attitudes of sinful anger. Parents are notorious for getting angry at their children. Anger is that strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, irritation or unfriendliness that parents get when their children aren’t behaving in a manner acceptable to them. Parents who don’t have the right method of parenting often allow this strong feeling to build up to an epic scale and then they explode. Not all anger is sin, it is often a natural response to many things, but parents can never be consumed by anger or allow it to build up inside of them. When they do they give an opportunity to the devil to tempt them to sin by allowing their anger to control the way they choose to discipline or instruct their children in that moment. Angry parents use the wrong methods (screaming, yelling, criticism, nagging, hitting or tantrum spanking) to discipline their children and it is ineffective. Although it might correct their children’s behavior (the outward actions) in that moment, it doesn’t correct their children’s heart (inward attitudes). The righteousness of God is only produced through the means that God has provided. Parents have a responsibility to not be quick-tempered or allow anger build up, but instead they are to be self-controlled and use God’s methods to focus on heart change in their children. Below are a few ways to help extinguish this sinful attitude of anger:
James 1:20; Ephesians 4:26-27
- Every parent should understand how to wisely communicate with their children: (1) swift to hear—parents need to pay attention and listen to their children, not being so busy that they are ignored or their concerns aren’t given any consideration; (2) slow to speak—parents are to carefully pay attention to and control the speech they use with their children; (3) slow to wrath—parents are to control their emotion of anger and not be impatient, hot-tempered or temperamental.
James 1:19; Proverbs 10:19; 11:12-13; 13:3; 15:1; 17:27-28
- When your children sin, disobey or rebel then you should immediately use the rod (discipline) and reproof (instruction) together for correction. You should not see the rod (discipline) as the last resort to correct your children, but you should see it as the first resort to remove the foolishness from their hearts. If the biblical method is immediately applied when necessary, then there should be no time for the parent to build up anger through the use of screaming, yelling, criticism, nagging, repeated commands, etc.
- If you are too angry to make the right decisions in the moment, then have your spouse intervene or take time to pray and overcome your anger so that you can properly apply the biblical method and not sin against your children.
- Extinguish attitudes of provocation. Parents, especially fathers, should not provoke their children to wrath or discourage them. Provoking children means that parents negatively challenge them to the point of intense irritation and annoyance and can lead to being disheartened—losing spirit and they no longer want to obey their parents or please God. Parents have the responsibility to not be overbearing, harsh, inconsiderate, insensitive, abusive, threatening, scolding or anything to deliberately provoke their children.
Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21
- Extinguish attitudes of hate. Parents who have been taught the biblical method (the rod—discipline and reproof—instruction) but don’t to use it because of selfishness, laziness, carelessness or dislike are all expressing attitudes of hate towards their children. Parents have a responsibility to do the hard, uncomfortable but loving work to raise their children God’s way.
James 4:17; Proverbs 13:24; 29:15
- Why are responsible attitudes of parenting important?
- What are correct attitudes that we need to establish?
- What are wrong attitudes that we need to extinguish?
- What are some practical ways to extinguish the sinful attitude of anger?
- What attitude do you need to work on the most?