Here's a Quick Way to Become a Better Parent

You’re probably a pretty good parent. You provide necessities, you wipe noses, change diapers, go to school plays. You’d take a bullet for your kids without hesitation, right?

But you’re not perfect. And it’s hard to be a mom or a dad, especially when you’re always exhausted. All your energy is spent just making sure your children don’t kill themselves.

Craig Wilkinson (CC)

I pray to God almost daily that He’ll make me into the dad He wants me to be. And, in doing so, He revealed something that instantly made me a better parent.

I Have a Confession to Make

Confession: sometimes I yell at my kids.

I’m not proud of it. That’s not the kind of father I want to be.

I’m sure you’ve never ever shouted at your children, but even so I have a question for you.

Have you ever worked at a daycare or volunteered to watch the kids at church? Have you ever been a nanny?

If so, how did you treat the children differently from the way you treat your own? Did you find yourself being more patient with them, showing more grace, being more proactive?

Did you ever yell at them? Of course not.

Why not?

Because they aren’t your kids. Because when watching them, you were accountable to their own parents.

Your Children Aren’t Your Own Either

You can apply that principle to your own children as well.

So here’s the tip: parent your children as if you were babysitting for God, because, in a way, you are:

Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6 ESV

No pressure, right?

We have a responsibility to avoid becoming a stumbling block for our children. When we don’t pattern Christ, when we don’t model His love, we impress upon them deviant behavior. We normalize disobedience to God, yet expect obedience from our children.

But don’t parent out of fear of being cast into the sea, but rather, parent out of a reverent fear of God and a respect for the gift He has given you. You see, your children are really not your own. You begot them, but God knit them in the womb (Psa. 139:13). He created them.

My children still try my patience, and I’m still far from being a perfect parent. But when I think about this principle, when I remember to apply it, I’ve found that I suddenly get much more patient with my children. I don’t yell as much. I don’t lose my temper as much.

Parent your kids as if you’re watching them for the Lord. See if it doesn't change your approach.

My new book, Do No Work, comes out on May 15. That's Thursday! Check the blog then for more info or, better yet, subscribe for updates. In addition you'll get monthly content I don't publish anywhere else. What are you waiting for?

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