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Moms, God Wants to G.U.I.D.E. You in Your Parenting

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Moms, do you find comfort knowing that you can look to God to help you in your parenting?

How reassuring it is for us that Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as our Helper (John 14:16). I love His description. He is the Helper because we need help. How simple is that? And, it is okay to need help. It is most appropriate to echo the psalmist, "Let Your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen Your precepts” (Psalm 119:173).

Will you ask God to help you because you have chosen to follow the precepts He reveals to you as a parent?

In my book Love and Respect in the Family, I look at the precepts related to parenting. I studied what the Bible reveals to moms and dads on parenting and set forth the key verses. In my attempt to help myself and others remember the precepts, I created an acronym: G.U.I.D.E.S. Each letter represents a basic command or implied imperative from God to parents. These are God’s precepts we have chosen to live by. Parents are to:

  • Give, so that a child’s basic needs can be met (Matthew 7:9–11; 2 Corinthians 12:14).
  • Understand, so that a child is not provoked or exasperated (Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21).
  • Instruct, so that your child can know and apply God’s wisdom (Proverbs 4:1; Ephesians 6:4b; 2 Timothy 3:15).
  • Discipline, so that your child can correct poor choices (1 Kings 1:5–6a; Ephesians 6:4b; Hebrews 12:9).
  • Encourage, so that your child can develop God-given gifts (1 Thessalonians 2:11).
  • Supplicate in prayer, so that your child can experience God’s touch and truth (2 Samuel 12:16; 1 Chronicles 29:19; Matthew 19:13, 19).

This is God’s game plan to parents! However, no parent perfectly Gives, Understands, Instructs, Disciplines, Encourages, and Supplicates.

We need to ask God to help us. One translation of Psalm 119:173 is "Let your hand help me because I have chosen to follow your guiding principles" (GW).

In light of this, may I invite you, as a mom, to let God help you? Would you make this your prayer for help?

Father, thank You for hearing my prayer earlier in life when I asked, “Would You bless me with children?” As You did with Hannah who prayed for a child, You graciously heard my prayer and permitted me to have children. I praise You. I love my child(ren) more than I love my own life. Words cannot describe what I feel. Thank You for blessing me.

Thank You for the privilege of GIVING to them daily. Yet, help me give from a positive heart. You know how weary I can grow in giving, quickly turning negative toward my kids. Help me meet their needs with Your attitude, not with “an attitude.”

Lord, when I am exasperated, I can exasperate my children. When provoked to anger, I can provoke them to anger. We enter a hurtful cycle. At those moments, help me be the mature one. Help me be UNDERSTANDING of their emotional needs though their immaturity frustrates me and makes me indignant. Help me remain truthful and firm yet empathetic.

Help me not just get through the day with my kids but see each day as an opportunity to INSTRUCT. Help me recognize the teaching moments and share Your wisdom with my children. Help me be more conscious of Christ in my life and let that naturally spill over onto the hearts of my kids. Let me not preach or moralize but convey Your truth in a way that appeals to them.

Father, I do not want to DISCIPLINE my children. Yet, You discipline me. You discipline me because You love me (Hebrews 12:6). Because I love my kids, I must discipline them when necessary for their sakes. Help me to discipline them consistently, fairly, and calmly. Help me do this in a way that they know that I love them and am putting them back on track, not because I am punishing them for getting off track.

Gracious God, at times my child struggles in life with feelings of inadequacy. Thank You for letting me be on the front line with them to ENCOURAGE them to get back up and to stay the course. My heart aches when they feel discouraged. I want to remove their sadness. But help me speak words—edifying words—that give them hope and direction to move forward. Help me give them a measure of courage.

Lord Jesus, You intercede for me (Hebrews 7:25). How uplifting and reassuring to know You pray for me. I don’t fully understand what that means, but I know it is vitally necessary. Something most significant happens because of Your prayers. In like manner, I need to SUPPLICATE for my kids. Parents in the Gospels brought their kids to You for healing and blessing. May my children experience You most of all. May they experience Your generous giving, empathetic understanding, godly instruction, loving discipline, and strengthening encouragement. In Jesus Name. Amen.

And when you pray, do so with the knowledge and confidence that Jesus promised His disciples “the Helper . . . will teach you all things” (John 14:26). In fact, He even told them, “it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you” (John 16:7). Therefore, when you pray and ask Him to help you Give, Understand, Instruct, Discipline, Encourage, and Supplicate, you can know without a doubt He will!

Emerson Eggerichs, Ph.D.
Author, Speaker, Pastor

Questions to Consider

  1. Are there days when simply providing your children’s basic needs takes a toll on your patience? Do you need to ask for the Holy Spirit’s help in even this at times? Do you have the humility it takes to ask for such help?
  2. What emotional needs of your children are you needing to be more understanding of? How can you be more empathetic yet still be the firm parent you need to be?
  3. Have you been purposeful about instructing your children in the wisdom of the Lord every day? Why does a child need to see his or her parents speaking God’s truth into their lives regularly?
  4. Do you discipline your children consistently, fairly, and calmly? Why is doing so an act of love for a child?
  5. How would you rate your children’s level of courage/confidence? Do you see a correlation between your answer and an honest self-evaluation of how well you speak edifying words into their lives?
  6. How often do you genuinely pray for your children’s most vital need—that they will know and love the Lord with all their hearts? Do they know how much you pray for them in this way? Why should they know how much you pray for this in their lives?