Updated: Dec 29, 2022
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
More is Caught than Taught
The old saying “more is caught than taught” rings so true for us as men when it comes to parenting as a father. My sister and I realized, while running a race together one Saturday, why both of us are runners; our dad was a runner when we were growing up. For most of us, our parenting style and how we react to our children were also "caught" during our childhood.
This Can Be Difficult
We are blessed, at this time in history, with so many incredible Christian parenting resources. But changing how you parent from how you were raised proves incredibly difficult at times. I fail regularly at, what is called, the “shame parenting” style of the 1980’s and 1990’s. My mother perfected this with 35 years in the 1st Grade classroom. Unfortunately, it is not the best way to teach our children discipline, grace, responsibility, and “reaping and sowing.” Consider reading the book “Boundaries with Kids” by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend as a starter.
Be an Intentional Christ Follower
God calls us to do better as Christ followers. MD5 emphasizes intentionality and far too many of us remain complacent in how we parent our children. However, we must do better to train up our children as disciples of Christ. Preparing them for what they will encounter in this world and teaching them how to handle it through a Christian worldview. Instructing them how to handle adversity and how to respect others. This intentionality is not easy!
We Can Change!
Would there be a “Me too” movement if boys were raised by their fathers to treat all women and girls with dignity and respect? Would there be so much division in our country if parents raised their children to treat every single person as an image bearer of the most High God regardless of ethnicity, economic class, or social status? It is so easy for us to slip into what we have always done or how we were taught. Yet psychiatrists in the last 20 years have discovered that we can rewire and retrain our brains.
Renew Your Minds
Paul tells us in Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what the will of God is, what is good, and acceptable and perfect.” We can renew our minds and how we parent as fathers. If you are struggling with breaking your unhealthy parenting habits, consider Christian counseling. It has helped my life and parenting greatly because now I realize why I do the things I do as a father.