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Christian Parenting: 7 Ways To Be Supportive

Guide To Biblical Parenting

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” This is probably one of the most misunderstood scriptures in the Bible when it comes to christian parenting. 

Why? Not because we, as Christians, don’t understand what it says, but rather from the context in which we view it.

Proverbs 22:6 is not a promise from God; it’s a principle based on the wisdom of God. That’s very important for us as Christian fathers to understand.  Just because we parent well, that doesn’t mean we’re guaranteed to produce problem-free, pain-free, “successful” children.  

But we should follow Proverbs 22:6 as parents because it’s one of the wisest things we can do as fathers in raising and supporting our children. 

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To Be An "Effective" Christian Parent, You Need To Lead With Traits

Contrary to what most Christians believe, God didn’t call us to be successful parents; rather He called us to be faithful, loving, and supportive parents.  Since we are raising children with “free will,” that means when they become young adults, they get to make their own choices.

Knowing this should be liberating to hear as a parent, because that means God has made us responsible TO our children, but not accountable FOR their choices.  That’s why Proverbs 22:6 is such a great principle for us to remember as fathers. 

Beyond Proverbs 22:6, the Bible doesn’t give us a lot of instructions about being christian fathers other than not to provoke our children to anger (Eph 6:4) and to discipline our children (Prov 13:24, Heb 12:11).  So, allow me to give you seven (7) additional ways you can faithfully love, spiritually lead, and emotionally support your children.

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7 Ways To Improve Your Christian Parenting Skills

  1. Model God’s love to your children 

A child’s ability to find a Father in God is strongly influenced on his or her ability to see something of God in their father.  So, focus on expressing God’s love, not just teaching about it. Especially when it comes to disciplining your children or expressing your disapproval; always ask yourself, “Is this the most loving thing I can do for them or say to them right now?” 

  1. Follow Christ, not the culture

This may not always be the most popular response in your home, but it’s definitely the wisest.  

1 John 2:15-17 tells us, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”

God also tells us in James 4:4 that to be friends with the world is to be an enemy of God.  

Unfortunately, we live in a society that is prone to approve us doing what feels good to us rather than what’s best for us.  Show your children that choosing God’s best is always better than satisfying our flesh – even if it upsets them in the short term.  

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  1. Build their Christ identity, not their self-esteem

This kind of goes with the previous advice.  Society (or the Culture) would have you parent your children in a way that builds their self-esteem.  But if you really want to be a supportive parent, focus on building your child’s identity in Christ instead of their self-esteem; the foundation will be a lot stronger.

Building your child’s “self-esteem” based on their accomplishments, achievements, popularity, strength, personality, intelligence, abilities, is a set up for disappointment and failure if (and when) they’re eventually rejected by others or if they fail to live up to your or their own expectations.  

Instead, teach your children that they’re NOT what they do, don’t do, or have done, or what’s been done to them, not done for them, or what people say about them, but rather what God says about them.  God says, they’re chosen, dearly loved, made in His image, set part, and the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

  1. Put on the fruit of the Spirit:

They’re two scriptures that explains this best.

Gal 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.


Col 3:12-13: So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.

How do you apply this as a parent?  Simply be intentional and mindful in how you respond to your children.  One way I taught myself how to be mindful of “putting on” the fruit of the Spirit, is by imagining it as I’m “putting on” my clothes every day.  For instance:

  • My T-shirt – put on compassion (closest to my heart)

  • My shirt – put on kindness (covering my compassion)

  • My pants – put on humility (pants down = humiliation)

  • My socks – put on gentleness (protect my feet)

  • My shoes – put on peace (walk peacefully)

  • My watch – put on patience (take my time)

  • My wedding band – put on self-control (remain faithful to my wife)

  • My glasses – put on love (seeing them as God sees them)

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  1. Demonstrate the love languages

When Gary Chapman wrote the 5 Love Languages, it wasn’t just for husbands and wives; it was also meant for our children.  If you really want to be a supportive parent, it’s imperative that you learn your children’s love language.

The 5 Love Languages refers to how we give and receive love.  If you have multiple children, rest assured they each probably have a different love language. If you want to find out what your child’s love language is, just ask yourself or your wife, what makes your son or daughter “feel” loved the most? 

  • When you tell them you love them or proud of them? (Words of Affirmation)

  • When you hold, hug, and kiss them? (Physical Touch)

  • When you do things with them? (Quality Time)

  • When you do something for them or share something with them? (Acts of Service)

  • When you buy or make them things? (Gift Giving)

Once you figure out what it is, be intentional about demonstrating that specific love language for each of your children.

  1. Express, don’t hide, your emotions in healthy ways 

Everyone has emotions, but not everyone was taught how to express their emotions in healthy ways.  Some of us were taught to hide them, suppress them, lie about them, express them with reckless abandon, or even deny them.

But if we really want to be loving, supportive, and spiritually faithful parents, we must be willing to express our emotions (not just the pleasant ones) in healthy ways.  We must be willing to show our children what it’s like for us to experience, not only joy, but also grief, pain, hurt, fear, and anger. 

Talk about these emotions openly with your children, letting them know it’s okay to have emotions, but those emotions don’t have to control them.  Watching how you express and process your emotions will make they feel more comfortable coming to you to talk about theirs.

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  1. Show unconditional love

This seems to go without saying, but it’s necessary to explain.  Unconditional love is not the same as unconditional agreement.  As your children get older, they will be making choices, despite what you’ve taught them, that will go against what the Bible says.  Unconditional love is loving them despite their choices, but at the same time, standing firm on God’s truth – even if your children disagree with you.

Unconditional love is loving our children the way God loves us.  He loves us, not based on what we do or don’t do, but based on who we are.  His Word was given to us to teach us about His love for us, and to protect us from ourselves as well as evil.  And the greatest thing about God’s love is that He loves us the most, even when we deserve it the least.  And that’s the same kind of unconditional love we should give to our children.

In summary, being a loving, faithful, and supportive parent does not mean agreeing with everything our children do; it’s about extending the same love, discipline, grace, and mercy to them that God continually gives to us. 

Christian mentor for parents

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