We must examine and understand the mistakes our parents made in raising us or we may repeat them.
Family Counseling Ministries -
Regardless of how many times our parents wronged us when
we were growing up, whether intentionally or inadvertently, if we are
Believers, we must forgive them and love them with the love of Christ. God
would not have us blame our parents, drudge up bitterness against them, or feel
sorry for ourselves. We would be foolish, however, if we as parents did not
carefully think through and examine the disciplinary approaches that our
parents took in raising us.
For example, when you were a child did your parents tell you,
Do as I say, not as I do? When you cried, did they admonish you, Stop crying
or Ill give you something to cry about? Did they call you names such as
cry-baby, or little pig? Did they issue empty threats that you knew they
would not carry out?
Were you grounded as a child, or banished to your room?
When you were a teen-ager, did they restrict your
privileges or ground you when you disobeyed? Did they isolate you in your
bedroom and tell you, Think about what youve done? On the other side of the
coin, did they indulge your whims and encourage you to quit an endeavor when
the going got tough?
Did they urge you, Have a sense of pride and dont take any
flack off of anybody? Did they discuss your shortcomings within
your earshot, and criticize you harshly when you made mistakes and throw your
past failures up to you? Did they spank you in anger or even swear at you?
These were all surprisingly common disciplinary measures
in the last generation, and many of them remain popular today. While it is true
that all of us make parenting mistakes, it is important to point out that every
one of the child-rearing techniques named above are blatant violations of Gods
Christians must not parent their children by simply rejecting
or duplicating the way in which they themselves were raised.
Men and women ought not assume that they will raise their
children by imitating or avoiding the disciplinary styles of their own parents.
Their parents who, no doubt, did many things right, probably did several things
wrong as well. However, God does not call adult children to point out the error
of their parents disciplinary approaches in years past.
Every mother and father is nonetheless, accountable to God
to examine his or her own child-rearing methods in light of Scripture.
Christians should not allow themselves to be conformed to the parenting
philosophies of this world, but instead, they must ask God to renew their minds
with the biblical principles of child discipline.
God has given us a blueprint for how to raise children in a
We read this exhortation in Hebrews 12:11,
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later
on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who
have been trained by it.
In order to be adequately equipped for the parenting task,
a person must have a teachable spirit, and be willing to read, study, listen
and learn the truths regarding scriptural child rearing. According to Ephesians
1:4, parents should raise children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
God has given us the Bible as a handbook for raising our children in a way that
brings Him honor and glory.
Dr. Don Dunlap, a pioneer in the placement of Pastoral Counselors in the
offices of Christian physicians, has conducted over twenty thousand
appointments during his ministerial career. His counseling practice includes
adults, children and families in crisis. Dr. Dunlap is committed to
facilitating a network of telephone counselors. His goal is to provide help for
the many people unable to meet face to face with a competent Bible-based
counselor. For a complete library of Dr. Dunlaps articles, indexed by topic,
go to Family Counseling Ministries.
You may also make an appointment for personal telephone counseling by clicking
on Family Counseling Ministries.
Family Counseling Ministries is a Christianity.com