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The Bible Isn’t A Parenting Manual

23 Sep

The title is the words of one internet blogger and are not our words nor what we believe about the Bible. That particular internet blogger has left the faith for a more progressive religious belief. One of her thoughts is that since Jesus was not a parent he is disqualified from providing any advice on raising children. Such thinking is an insult to Jesus and there are different reasons why this is so.

First, Jesus was the eldest child of Mary and Joseph so it stands to reason that he would follow the verse ‘children obey your parents’ for that would be following the command, honor thy father and mother. I know that verse was written long after Jesus was a child but he knew the OT instructions God gave to the Israelites in the Mosaic law about what parents are to do with disobedient children. Jesus would have looked after his younger siblings if his parents asked him to. He would have parenting experience even if he wasn’t a parent.

Second, Jesus is God thus any advice he had for parents would be perfect and correctly address the issue at hand.Jesus also taught us how to behave towards others and that instruction would include how to be a good parent as well. For example, love they neighbor as thyself, do not exclude children from that attitude.Jesus knows what parents need in order to raise their children no matter what era or culture they lived or live in.

Third, how would parents know that they are in the will of God or correctly obeying him if God did not provide child-rearing instruction to parents? How would they know if they were acting biblically correct and avoiding the secular world’s ways if God did not give them a better alternative to follow? For parents to be obedient to God then there must be biblical instruction and these instructions must transcend culture, eras of history, technology and so on and lead parents to the right way to raise their families.

While we cannot look at all parenting issues or biblical verses guiding parents in this post, we can look at enough to see that the claim made by that internet blogger and repeated in the title of this post, is false and that the internet blogger in question does not know the Bible, Jesus or the Christian faith, though she claims otherwise.

First we must establish that God did provide parenting instructions. All we have to do is turn to the book of Deut. and read the verse

These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons 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 up (ch. 6)

There are other verses in that book which tell us that  God did leave parenting instructions to parents.

Second we need to look at a few verses to see how they apply to child rearing. The first verse to look at is Psalm 1:1-2

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the [a]path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.

Here parents can use these verse to teach their children where to get their advice when they are faced with difficult decisions and parents can instruct their children on how to meditate and follow God’s laws. This verse is not for adults only. Children, especially teens, need to be taught not to listen to those who tell them to disobey their parents or God or to those who do not believe God.

This instruction is vital as it will save both the children and parents a lot of grief through the years. Parents are not to run to a parenting book written by secular experts but must go to godly, wise believers for help when difficulties arise. They are to then instruct their children not to listen to their friends when their friends want to break the law. The parents need to tell their children how to withstand peer pressure and how obedience is the key.

Another verse we should look at is the commandment, thou shalt not bear false witness or lie and this command is supported by Paul’s words ‘do not lie one to another’. God wants his people to be honest thus parents need to teach their children not to lie or cheat or steal or any other dishonest act.

Then we can turn to the verse ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ to answer that blogger when she complains that the Bible does not help in matters of sports or club activities. Parents need to teach their children that if they do not like cheating, stealing etc., then they should not cheat, steal or do some other sinful offense.

Their children need to be honest and do the right thing, which is the biblical thing that Jesus wants to see.Parents need to teach the behavior that Jesus wants to see in his followers so that they can be found acceptable to him.

The final verse we will look at is Micah 6:8

He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love [c]kindness,
And to walk [d]humbly with your God?

Children need to be taught true justice how to be merciful and when it applies. They do not come with these attitudes pre-programmed in their minds or hearts. If we need more verses instructing parents on what to teach their children we can turn to those which speak on turning the other cheek or returning good for evil and so many others.

As you can see, the Bible contains many parenting instructions so it is a parenting manual. God wrote the Bible in such a way that his instructions were not restricted to the OT Israelites or the 1st Century believer but that his instructions apply to all parents, in all cultures and in all nations. God does not leave parents on their own but lets them know that they have help, divine aid, in raising their children. While the Bible does not have a parenting chapter like the love chapter, it does provide parenting instructions throughout its pages. We just need to follow the HS to them and then correctly learn how they apply to different parental issues.

God addresses all issues of life, including parenting

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Posted by on September 23, 2016 in academics, Bible, church, controversial issues, faith, family, General Life, leadership, theology

 

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