Importance, assumptions, premises, & parenting types

Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate. Ps 127:3-5 NASU

Memory Verse:

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

Thought for the Week:

Family is who you will be forced to live with the rest of your life. Try to be someone whom you would love to be around.

The family you come from isn’t as important as the family you’re going to have.

  • Ring Lardner

Course Learning Objectives

  • The prerequisites of a solid, biblical family; the necessary background of a stable home
  • Basic Biblical principals used for all parenting times
  • Whom and what we are to respect
  • That obedience is necessary and expected of God’s people and our children
  • What is disobedience and what is being a childish
  • That parenting is difficult, time consuming, and exhausting, but it is commanded and worthy
  • That actions lead to consequences
  • Specific techniques used in discipline, encouragement, and correction
  • How to restore a broken relationship, parent and child
  • Common errors and pitfalls of godly parenting
  • How we are different from the world and better for it
  • That ultimately, you must decide what God would have you do to properly discipline your child
  • Family-building

Explanation of the Course:

  • Importance. Culture, children and parents of today.
  • Take Biblical teachings and apply it to daily life.
  • Homework. Expect handouts, note taking.
  • Completed notes for those who cannot come.
  • 3 premises:
    1. The goal of Biblical parenting is to raise a morally responsible and biblically responsive child; we cannot save our children, but we should do all that we possibly can to lead them to a true understanding of Jesus’ and the Gospel.
    2. The Bible does not provide us with exact details about raising children. This course is not intended to be all-inclusive but to teach principles to be used in parenting.
    3. All child-raising principles used must bring glory to God and not run contrary to biblical theology. (Some things are non-biblical but not un-biblical.)
  • Tripp says a biblical vision for the parenting tasks is multifaceted; it involves being authorities who are kind, shepherding your children to understand themselves in God’s world, and keeping the gospel in clear view so your children can internalize the good news and someday live in mutuality with you as people under God. (p. xvii)
  • Texts:
    • Growing Kids God’s Way by Gary & Anne Marie Ezzo (course structured on this book)
    • Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Ted Tripp
    • The Key to Your Child’s Heart by Gary Smalley
    • Dare to Discipline; Bringing Up Boys by Dobson.

“Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children, and no theories.” – John Wilmot


  1. You, the parent, are a believer in Jesus Christ, relying totally on Him as Savior, having Him as your Lord. You can take the course without being saved, and it will have some value, but your children will likely eventually figure this out, and what is the value of raising your child properly when your eternity will be in Hell?

  2. The authority and inerrancy of scripture is assumed. As much as possible, we will use the Bible as our guide to choose what should and should not be done.

  3. Depravity of man—and children.

    • Gen 8:21 - The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. (NIV)
    • Ps 58:3 - These wicked people are born sinners; even from birth they have lied and gone their own way. (NLT)
    • Ps 51:5 - Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. NIV
    • Jer 17:9 - The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it? (NASV)
    • Rom 3:10 - There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. (NIV) (Ps 14:1-3; 53:1-3)
  4. Babies are not sweet and innocent at birth.

    • Psalm 51:5 “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me!”
    • Genesis 8:21 “Every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood."
    • "Every baby starts life as a little savage. He is completely selfish and self-centered: he wants what he wants—his bottle, his mother’s attention, his playmate’s toys, his uncle’s watch, or whatever. Deny him these and he seethes with rage and aggressiveness which would be murderous were he not so helpless. He is dirty; he has no morals, no knowledge and no developed skills. This means that all children, not just certain children, but all children are born delinquent. If permitted to continue in their self-centered world of infancy, given free reign to their impulsive actions to satisfy each want—every child would grow up a criminal, a killer, a thief, and a rapist.” (Reb Bradley, “Biblical Insights into Child Training”)
    • “Remember that children are born with a decided bias toward evil, and therefore if you let them choose for themselves, they are certain to choose wrong. The mother cannot tell what her tender infant may grow up to be—tall or short, weak or strong, wise or foolish—all is uncertain. But one thing the mother can say with certainty—he will have a corrupt and sinful heart! It is natural for us to do wrong. Our hearts are like the earth on which we tread—let it alone, and it is sure to bear weeds!” (J. C. Ryle)

We seek to train the heart, not just behavior. God wants the heart, He wants a relationship, and only this will bring about permanent behaviors.

  • Prov. 4:23 – “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
  • Mark 7:21 “…from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.” The heart determines behavior.
  • Shorter Catechism says, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” When we make that the ultimate goal of our parenting, it changes our parenting theory and techniques. If we teach them to use their abilities, aptitudes, talents and intelligence to make their lives better, without reference to God, we turn them away from God. Examples: “We pander to their desires and wishes. We teach them to find their soul’s delight in going places and doing things. We attempt to satisfy their lust for excitement. We fill their young lives with distractions from God. We provide material things and take delight in their delight in possessions. Then we hope that somewhere along down the line they will see that a life worth living is found only in knowing and serving God…We are training them in the idolatry of materialism…No wonder we lose our kids. We lose them because we fail to think clearly about man’s chief end, to glorify God and enjoy Him forever…therefore, your objective in every context must be to set a biblical world-view before your children.” (Tripp, p. 47-48)

“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.” Charles R. Swindoll

“It’s not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can’t tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it myself.” Joyce Maynard

Hopefully, the greatest desire of our hearts as parents is that our child be saved. We cannot save our children, but we can present God to them so that they can see Him for who He is and allow God to work on them. Good parenting only happens by the grace of God. We are not adequate to be a father as the Good Father is to be our Father. We are sinful. We make bad mistakes. But God can overcome these and cause our children to be great, believing people. We do not seek to brainwash our kids. We have 2 choices: show them the God of the Bible or don’t. Which makes the most sense?

Read: 1Ki 22:52; 2Ch 22:3; Jer 9:14. What parental influence do you see modeled here?

From a behavioral perspective, our desire is not so much to control our children but to teach them self-control. Our being in control is part of that. Adults think morally and then act accordingly; young children do not think morally initially (they act by imitation or need/desire) but must learn to act morally and then learn to think morally. Actions/behaviors are learned first, then right thinking comes from that.

Parenting is probably our greatest role in life. If we bring other beings into this world, we bear some responsibility for their outcome. Parenting is full-time, 100%. It is tiring, frustrating, hard work. It will stretch and strain your marriage. It will bring some of your greatest struggles in life but also some of the greatest blessings.

“Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation.” C. Everett Koop, M.D.

”If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do well matters very much.” Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Parenting Extremes:

We tend to parent by things that we learned growing up, be they good or bad. When we think of how our parents raised us during stressful times, we may have felt mistreated and, as a response, strongly parent in an opposite fashion.

Some parents feel that they were treated much too harshly and therefore desire to be very permissive and “loving” to their children. This allows the child to become self-centered and often leads to a child who makes decisions based on feelings instead of truth.

Other parents who had a very permissive upbringing may realize that many of their problems and unhappiness might have been avoided by more regulation and may be too harsh and strict on a child. When these opposite people marry, they may have constant conflict in the home as they fight with each other over what style of parenting to use, each believing that they are right, that their duty is to compensate for the other’s “weaknesses”, and will “save” the child from their spouse. This is doomed to failure and brings disastrous results.

Two Extremes of Parenting (both incorrect):

  1. Authoritarian parenting. This was more prevalent in the early 20th century as people became concerned with restricting evil at the expense of teaching righteousness. This often leads to children who obeyed out of fear, not because they loved goodness and righteousness. This teaches children to behave just because they should…or else!
  2. Permissive parenting. This became more prevalent in the 60’s. This came out of thinking that man is good in nature (remember above?), that if placed in a loving environment, the child will learn and do right. These parents seek to be sure that he child feels well all the time, not that he is actually doing well. This teaches children to acts in whatever way makes him feel good.

Relevant Scriptures:

  • Prov 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. NIV
  • Prov 23:13 – “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. 14 Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death.” ( NIV)
  • Eph 6:4-(NIV) “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
  • Eph 6:4 (NLT)- “And now a word to you fathers. Don’t make your children angry by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord.”
  • Eph 6:4 (NKJV)– “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”

What is the easiest way to frustrate someone? Be inconsistent, don’t let them have any idea how you will behave, don’t let them know what to expect. We will not frustrate our children if we are consistent in everything—which is hard! (Holiday Inn ad: The best surprise is NO surprise!)

Children are your 2nd greatest human asset and need the commensurate level of investment. We spend so much time planning our worldly investments, to make them last, to get the most out of them, but they are only temporal. Shouldn’t we be even more concerned about our children’s future?


  1. What do you really want to achieve by studying parenting, by taking this course?

  2. Why is it so easy to get sidetracked with behavior when issues of the heart are clearly so much more important?

  3. What is wrong with a change in behavior without a change in the heart?

  4. What are your life goals in regard to your children? When you look at how you spend your time now, does this jive with your goals that you just stated? How do you fail, and what can you change to better fulfill those goals?

  5. How do you rate parenting in regard to other problems in our society?

  6. What are some of the most egregious parenting techniques you have witnessed? Why are they so horrible?


  1. Discuss with your spouse (or, if spouse not available, a friend/mentor) your goals in taking this course as well as goals in parenting. Be ready to discuss this next week.
  2. In what other ways does the concept of the depravity of man affect your thinking and viewpoints?
  3. What things exasperate or frustrate you?

Mother Nature, in her infinite wisdom, has instilled within each of us a powerful biological instinct to reproduce; this is her way of assuring that the human race, come what may, will never have any disposable income. - Dave Barry

The quickest way for a parent to get a child’s attention is to sit down and look comfortable. - Lane Olinghouse

Do not ask that your kids live up to your expectations. Let your kids be who they are, and your expectations will be in breathless pursuit. - Robert Brault

The guys who fear becoming fathers don’t understand that fathering is not something perfect men do, but something that perfects the man. The end product of child raising is not the child but the parent. - Frank Pittman, Man Enough

Children are our second chance to have a great parent-child relationship. - Laura Schlessinger