Parenting in the Spirit

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But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23
As a mom of 4, and while it may be very challenging at times, my parenting techniques come straight from the Bible. There’s a common saying that children don’t come with owners manuals but actually they do.
Everything you need to know about children and parenting can be found in the Bible, it just requires a little searching. For example, the above verse is a great place to start in developing your parenting style and discipline/teaching techniques with your children. When we choose to follow Jesus, we are given the fruit of the Spirit, i.e. the attributes listed above in the verse. We will greatly benefit if we draw from and utilize these gifts in our daily actions, thoughts and communication with others, including our children.
The first fruit, love, is obvious. We are to love our children. There are many attributes of love. There are many ways to show our children that we love them. In fact, the Bible says to do everything in love, to hold love high above all the rest, to love first. Loving our children can be shown through words, like saying “I love you” everyday to our children. It can also be shown though our actions like hugging, kissing, playing with them, and tucking them into bed at night. Love can even be shown in the disciplining of our children. We discipline our children because we love them. We discipline out of our love for them.
You can go through each fruit this way and apply it to your parenting. Joy: Daily parenting through joy instead of anger, sadness, fear or pride. Peace: Making your home a peaceful environment through organization, planning and not allowing strife to last long in the home. Patience: Being patient in allowing your children to make mistakes, being ready to reteach if needed. Each one of these attributes, you can apply to parenting. And you can model and teach them to your children. They can put on the fruit of the Spirit just as you do and learn how to live by the Spirit from you. Yes, you will mess up. Yes, you will have rough days. The Bible is full of stories of imperfect people. But God has given us a great gift in the Spirit and if we learn how to utilize this gift, we can be the parents He desires for us to be.

Marci Harper, M.A., LPC

Posted by Marci Harper, M.A., LPC

Marci joined the Cassie Reid Counseling team fall 2013. As a licensed professional counselor, she is dedicated to counseling children, married couples, families and individuals as they journey towards emotional and spiritual healing.

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