3 Practical Places to Find Balance as a Christian Parent
A sad observation I have made is that most parents tend to fall out of balance in one direction or another. (And I'm definitely including myself in that observation.) Balance is something we all need to strive for as parents. Either we aim for gentleness and end up being too permissive or else we fear being too permissive and unintentionally end up as too harsh.
But we cannot concentrate so much on one side of the spectrum that we completely neglect the other.
We must constantly be praying and asking God to show us where we are too far from the center.
Parenting with gentleness need not be our exclusive focus. But neither should “laying down the law”.
A balanced middle ground out to be what we are aiming for.
And if we are truly seeking it and asking for God's wisdom to find it, I believe he will answer and make the way plain for us.
James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
Here are some specific places to search for wisdom:
1. The Bible
I mentioned in yesterday's post that a great study for parents would be to pick up a concordance and search out words such as “child”, “children”, “mother”, etc. and see what scripture has to say specifically regarding the parent-child relationship. There is no greater place to find God's wisdom than in his revealed Word.
2. Books about parenting that are based on the Bible
Sometimes you will find that an author has a different perspective than you do or that they can offer ideas you've never thought of. If the book is scripturally based, I think that gaining insight from Godly authors is a wise idea. You can find a list of my favorite Biblical parenting books right here.
3. Others who know you and your children
Don't be too proud to go to someone you look up to as a parent and ask them for advice. This could be anyone – grandparents, grown siblings, pastor or deacons, or any other Christian parents you know. If they have a lot of opportunities to interact with your family, that's even better because they may be able to see things about your parenting that you can't see from your perspective. It's a humbling thing to listen to someone else's perception of your parenting, whether you've asked or (especially if) it comes as unsolicited advice. But it is wise to listen and consider whether what they're saying is truly an area where you're out of balance as a parent. The Bible has a lot to say about the positive results of humility, and that certainly applies to our parenting as well.
James 4:6 “…God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”
Proverbs 22:4 “By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life.”
James 4:10 “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
Be willing to humble yourself before the Lord – seek his wisdom and acknowledge the areas where you fall short. You will find that He surely will answer your request to learn how to become more balanced in your parenting.
This post is part of the Parenting with Gentleness series.