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The #1 Paradox When Parenting God’s Way

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In the Bible, there is a plan to parent God’s way. When we parent His way, we succeed in His eyes.

As a parent, I know you wish to succeed His way!

Would you receive commendation?

I believe you seek inspiration and information on how to parent God’s way.

I salute you.

I applaud you.

I admire you.

But in order to better ourselves, we need to recognize an important parenting paradox:

Parenting God’s way has nothing to do with the kids!

Is this a contradiction? Oxymoron? Absurdity?

This seemingly absurd statement proves true upon further investigation. God has His standard for parents, and it has nothing to do with the children.

Think about it.

We all know parents are to be loving even if a child is not lovable. Who the child fails to be has nothing to do with who God calls the parent to be.

Parenting God’s way is unconditional.

A parent is to be a loving human being no matter what the child is like. There is no condition, circumstance or situation that can get a parent to hate his child.

To be unloving is a choice each parent makes, though when irritated every human being naturally wishes to blame the other for causing the lack of love.

What Do We Learn from the Father of the Prodigal?

Let’s take a look at a father who understood this well.

Though he had a second-born who lived a selfish, indulgent and rebellious lifestyle, and he had a first-born who lived a self-righteous, angry and judgmental lifestyle, the father of the prodigal son represents Abba Father in the way he parented.

The sin of the sons had nothing to do with how this father touched the heart of Christ. In fact, this father made such an impact on Jesus that He used him as an example of how Abba Father conducts Himself with us.

We, too, can parent God’s way regardless of our children. We can be godlike, even though our kids choose disobedience. Though the child's disobedience pains the parent and God, it has nothing to do with how the parent parents in God’s eyes!

Who we are as disobedient children of God does not determine God’s character. We are irrelevant to who God is.

God will be God apart from us obeying or disobeying.

God does not change. God is immutable.

God is loving in His being independent of our conduct.

God the Father is not a bad father because we disobey Him.

Likewise, Jesus did not see the father of the prodigal son as a bad dad, nor does he see you this way.

You are not a bad parent because your children disobey you.

On the contrary...

1. We receive God’s eternal reward.

Nothing we do in the family is wasted. Everything counts.

For this reason, Paul teaches the Colossians, "...from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” (Colossians 3:24)

He tells the Ephesians, “...because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.” (Ephesians 6:8 NIV)

2. We create the most loving environment that best motivates our kids to choose our faith and values.

This is the insight every one of us needs to know in order to make the greatest impact on the hearts and minds of our kids.

When our parenting is Christ-centered, we love our children better and more effectively than if it were solely child-centered.

If anything energizes and influences our children, it is following God’s game plan in the Bible to parents about parenting!

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

Questions to Consider

  1. Have you found this to be true?

    Christ-centered parenting makes us Christ-conscious, and parents who ask “WWJD?” (What Would Jesus Do?) create the most loving environment that best motivates a child to choose the parent’s faith and values.
  2. Have you discovered this paradoxical insight on parenting?
  3. How has parenting God’s way made you a better parent?