I Was Not Called to Raise Godly Children

 1 Samuel 1:27-28 “‘I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.’ And he worshiped the LORD there.”  

As my children grew into young adults, it became increasingly clear that I was only part of the equation when it came to whether or not they would grow to love God.  During their younger years, I had placed the weight of “how they turned out” on my shoulders.  I often battled fear that, if something went wrong in their lives, or if they made a bad choice, I would be the one to blame.  God graciously began to lighten this heavy burden as He opened my eyes to the fact that it was not all up to me.

I was not capable of raising godly children, and I was never called to raise godly children

As parents, we do not have the power to convert, save, sanctify, or make our children disciples of Jesus.  If we are not careful, we can fall into the false belief that our children’s futures as wise, godly adults rest solely on our shoulders.  Sadly, this mindset only sets us up for failure: if our children  “turn out well“,  we become prideful, take the credit,  and think we are the ones responsible for their success (and we look down on parents whose children are struggling).  If  our children stumble or do not follow God, we carry the burden of guilt on our shoulders, thinking it is entirely our fault.

God has given us certain responsibilities, and it is incredibly freeing to find out exactly what those responsibilities are.
We have to learn our part in the equation, pursue our calling, and pray for God’s grace to enable us to be faithful.
  • Teach your children about God.  Ask God to help you see the teachable moments throughout the day. (Proverbs 22:6, Deut. 6:7-9)
  • Be an example to your children by loving and respecting  your husband,  living in wisdom and purity, and making the care of your home a priority.  (Titus 2:4-5 )
  • Discipline and instruct your children.   (Proverbs 13:24, Proverbs 19:18,  Proverbs 23:13-14,)
  • Discipline and love your children. Both discipline and love should be present so that you do not discourage or provoke them. (Prov. 22:15 Ephesians 6:4, Col. 3: 21)
  • Do not forsake fellowship with other believers.  Living life with other believers is important. We need to learn how to function as the body of Christ.  We need each other. (Hebrews 10:25)
  • Work hard,  teaching them the importance of diligence. (Genesis 2:15)
  • Teach and show your children that Christianity is more than a list of rules, and that  joy comes from walking with and obeying God.  (1 Timothy 4:1 ) 
  • Pray with and for your children. (Colossians 4:2)
  • Live and share the gospel with your children. (John 3:3)

No parenting program can guarantee our children’s godliness.  Our children’s greatest need is to hear and receive the gospel, and  nothing we “do” can make them God-followers.  But as we faithfully obey the Lord’s calling, He will use us in the lives of our children. We will honor Him, guide our children to the one true God, and ultimately create a place where they can grow in their relationship with Him.  You  can be faithful to  point them in the right direction and be a living example of God’s grace!

We are in this together. Please join me in my journey toward an increasing fixation on God and His glory, so that our children might see Him in our lives and actions, and so that He might use us as He draws them to Himself.

20 thoughts on “I Was Not Called to Raise Godly Children”

  1. What great truths! God has taught me these very things over the years… and not all of them were easy lessons. So glad that I know He is in control. Thanks for sharing and God bless!

  2. Gina,
    Amen, very well said! Often times we can think {in the back of our minds} that if we teach them the 'right things' then they will follow Christ and if they grow up and don't follow Christ then it's our fault!

    We have the responsibility to love, teach and display the Gospel to our children but, they are saved by GRACE. Thanks for pointing out the things we are called to do in parenting :).

    I would love for you to come by and visit my blog :).
    http://www.dontwasteyourhomemaking.com

  3. I think I agree with ya, Gina. I've kinda been thinking of all you poured out lately. My oldest is 13 and is diff than I feel like I've parented, prayed and hoped!! I am learning to accept him the way he is and not play his God! It is painful for me to realize that I gotta know when to step back and let him…and let God.
    TFS, xox!!

  4. You should listen to all the "Moral Revolution" podcasts, free on itunes. They are for teens, but I recommend them for anyone!! All are so good!

  5. Been spending the past year attempting to live each day completely AUTHENTIC and learning to BE STILL and KNOW that HE is GOD. This had caused me to get real, be real and shaken me to my very core. I have to stop and self correct as I go. I have to trust God and depend on Him. I do a great deal of apologizing. It is WORK. It is WORTH it. My relationships with my kids look much like your post above. It was very encouraging to read. My children are older, only 1 still at home. I have to "white knuckle" my way through trusting God and not "kirking out" some days and when I screw up, I have to be apologize & be accountable. The payoff has been incredible. My children are flourishing & my husband and I have a deeper, more authentic relationship. Most importantly, God and I are close and I am getting to know Him better every moment. My focus is where it belongs. Thanks for the encouragement.

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