Parenting Isn’t A Popularity Contest

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There is a biblical plan to parent God’s way, and when we follow His way, we succeed in His eyes. We can please God when we parent His way, even though our children are displeased by our parenting. We are not running a popularity contest to get our kids to vote on how much they like us. We are running a family where we teach right from wrong.

Parenting God’s way does not always make us popular!  

On several occasions during their growing up years, my kids would say to me, “You are the worst parent on the planet.”  I would often reply, “Yes, finally I am #1 in the world at something! Thank you! But go to your room for the disrespect."

We can also please God when we parent His way, even though our children displease us. Just as there are no perfect parents, there will be no perfect children. Though we parent correctly and near-perfectly, no immature child becomes mature after one time out at age 3.  Parenting is a tiring process, but each day we can please God apart from our kids who keep interfering.

I have often said, “I would have been a perfect parent had it not been for my kids."

As strange as this sounds, here is a secret: on any given day, parenting God’s way has little to do with the kids. I wrote an article picked up by Fox News on “Why Biblical Parenting Has Nothing to Do With the Kids.” That article spread like wildfire across the internet.

Ironically, this is the secret to effective parenting. When we understand that parenting God’s way has nothing to do with the children, we realize it is God’s secret to influencing their souls. This is the insight every parent needs to know in order to make the greatest impact on the hearts and minds of their kids.

The Love and Respect Parenting Conference and the book, Love & Respect in the Family, explain God’s revelation on how to parent His way regardless of the kids in order to best effect the kids. Here I elaborate on the apparent contradiction that comes from saying both of the following:

“Parent God’s way, even if your children disobey you."

“Parent God’s way to get your kids to obey you."

One biblical truth that Sarah and I adhere to is this: everything we do as parents matters to God, even during seasons with an ornery child. Everything we do touches God’s heart and one day He will say to us, “Well done, good and faithful parent."

At the same time, when we parent His way, we create the most loving environment that best motivates our kids to choose our faith and values. When they do choose to trust and obey God, we echo the Apostle John who penned, "I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4). He makes a spiritual application from what he observed among parents.

The conference and the book will cast the vision for fashioning the most loving set of conditions that best influences our children to walk in the truth. There is no greater joy!

Here is the question: given you’d be a great parent if it were not for the kids, how do you deal with their daily interferences?

Tell us how you are learning to parent God’s way.

How are you being the mature one in the face of their immaturity? For example, how are you learning not to yell to get them to stop yelling?

Give us an example of what you are doing to parent God’s way, no matter how ornery your child is.  What do you think in such moments? What do you do at such times?

-Dr. E


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