Value of Spiritual Parenting , Mentoring , Discipling
God has given us the ministry of parenting , said by some to be a most honorable ministry. Whether to a natural child or a spiritual one the end results are the same as told in Proverbs 22:6 “ Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old , he will not depart from it .” Exercise what God has given you . The apostle Paul instructs us in Ephesians 2:10 “ For we are His workmanship , created in Christ Jesus for good works ,
which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them .”
Parenting requires responsibility , a scary and demanding word , but Jesus who strengthens us with our prayers, faith and trust in Him guides and directs us . Some requirements are nurturing, protecting, training, educating, correcting and providing .
Nurturing is a word often used describing infant care also used in our ministry of being a parent . When I think of the word “nurture” I think of comforting , creating a peaceful atmosphere and consoling . It is all of these things as well as nourishing, training, educating and promoting development .
It is our nature to protect those in our care. One of the early examples was of Moses. When an infant he was hidden for three months and kept from the king’s commandment to kill all Hebrew baby boys. We protect our children from bodily harm, health crisis’ and worldly sins.
Occasionally there are situations causing heartbreak with family disfunction . Find comfort in John’s words in chapter 16 verse 33. “ These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Biblical family disfunctions were in the life of Cain and Abel (Genesis 4) and the favoritism shown by Rebekah favoring her son, Jacob, while Isaac chose Esau . (Genesis 25: 27,28) Jesus overcame the world! We can overcome hindrances as we look to God. God is love! He has given us the ability to love all our children in different ways according to their dispositions, abilities and interests .
Educating and Training go hand in hand . Initial instruction for educating we find in Deuteronomy 6: 6,7 . “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up.“
By these instructions we see the teaching, consistent training and repetition of learning is imbedded within us. Repetition or learning by rote, with understanding , is a method of teaching. Examples are learning the Alphabet, the multiplication tables, the books of the Bible and Scriptures. The Psalmist says in 119:11 “Your word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you .”
Scripture has answers and instruction for our parenting skills. One instance is in correction. We are told in Proverbs 19:18 by the wisdom of Solomon to “Chasten your son while there is hope …” Our children are not our “friends”. Yes, we love them, respect them and share events with them but it is our responsibility to direct them in the path that follows Jesus and saves their souls. It is imperative that we start during the early years of development.
Following the word of God, developing character, self control and obedience is part of the maturing process, a process that parenting plays a most important role. Parents should leave the desire for deeper growth as in the example of Elijah and Elisha . When the prophet Elijah was about to be taken to heaven by a whirlwind, he asked Elisha, his disciple, “ Ask, what may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha said,
“Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me .” ( 2 Kings 2:9)
We prefer that our children have more education, wealth and abilities for more successful life than we have. It is our duty to proceed in that direction; a ministry instituted by God! God is good!!
- Lucy Vanderhoof