God the Father is the perfect model of a parent. So if God is the perfect model of a parent, what does the Bible says about what is most important to God regarding parenting:
Proverbs 22:6 – “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Deuteronomy 6:6–7 – “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
Ephesians 6:4 – “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
Proverbs 13:24 – “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.”
Notice what Scripture says. Parents are to “train up” their children, teach God’s Word diligently to their children all the time, bring them up “in the instruction of the Lord,” and love them enough to discipline them. Is this not the heart of God?
God says He disciplines those He loves (Hebrews 12:6), and that those whom He chastens are “blessed” (Psalm 94:12). In Deuteronomy, Moses wrote that “God [disciplines] you just as a man disciplines a son.” Why does God discipline His people? It is out of love for us, so that we might be made holy. It works for our good, so that we reflect God. In the same way, we must parent our kids out of love for them, that they might grow to become more Christ-like.
This is the ultimate reason for disciplining a teen—that they might turn back to a right relationship with God and reflect Him. Yes, it’s harder the older they get. However, parenting in this way really doesn’t leave room for a “friendship” relationship with a parent and their pre-teen or teen. No, this kind of parenting reflects the godly relationship between God and His children.
This is not an easy relationship, but the goal is to raise adults who follow the Lord and His instruction.
I know this is a hard subject, and it’s often difficult, time consuming, and exhausting to discipline, instruct, and teach teenagers. I am praying for you and here for support. We are on this crazy parenting journey together!
Please check out this week’s online parenting class:
Partnering in parenting with you,