What is a Parent’s Responsibility to Their Children?

As parents, we have received a gift from God, and it is our responsibility to cherish and preserve this gift. The question to ask here is what does this responsibility entail for us? God has given us the answer to this question throughout the scriptures.

1)      We are supposed to teach our children.

As parents, it is our responsibility to make sure our children know God’s word. Deuteronomy 6: 5-7 tells us, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”

It is our responsibility to teach them the laws. We should teach them how to behave and how to live. We are tasked with teaching our children about all the wonders of the world. “Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and grandchildren” Deuteronomy 4:9.

There are many more instances in the Bible where we are commanded to teach our children. (See Proverbs 22:6; Deuteronomy 4:10; Proverbs 1: 8-9 for some examples).

2)      We are supposed to discipline our children.

Discipline is not just about punishment. Discipline means the training of people to obey rules or a code of behavior. (Oxford English Dictionary). God tells us this training is another one of our responsibilities. Proverbs 22:6 states “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. I know that discipline is very similar to teaching, but I feel it has a place all its own.

Discipline, in many instances, is an immediate thing- “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly” Proverbs 13:24. This is about one aspect of teaching, a code of conduct.

(See also Ephesians 6:4; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Proverbs 29:15)

3)      We are supposed to provide for our children.

As parents it is our responsibility to make sure our children’s needs are met. Paul speaks on this in 2 Corinthians 12:14- “Now for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be burdensome to you; for I do not seek yours, but you. For the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.

We should also make sure we are saving for our children’s future. “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the wealth of a sinner is stored up for the righteous” Proverbs 13:22.

Being good stewards of our money is a part of our responsibility to our children.

4)      We are supposed to show our children love and compassion.

Titus 2:4 tells us that young women should be taught to love their children. We should show our children affection, be kind to them. 1 Corinthians 13 gives us a guide for how to show love.

Part of our job of loving them is to show them compassion and mercy just as God shows us. (See Psalm 103:13).

As the parents these are our responsibilities that God tasked us with when he put our children in our care. We should not turn around and pass these responsibilities on to the Church, the government or anyone else. We can seek counsel from others who have gone before us, in fact Titus 2 speaks of the counsel we as Christians should give to one another. But when it comes down to it, the task is ours to undertake.

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