1 Bible verse to be a Better, More Consistent Parent

Can 1 Bible verse help me be a better, more consistent parent? Can being firm actually be more loving? God's love letter answers me in unexpected ways.
(Last Updated On: April 19, 2016)

Can 1 Bible lesson from James soften my heart and help me be a better, more consistent parent? Could standing firm actually make me more loving?

One of my favorite experiences as a believer is how God’s word has become this amazing love letter and an active presence in my life as I spend time in it.

Proverbs 7:1,3 (ESV1 My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments within you  . . .  3 Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.

When I face struggles, God brings His peace and answers to my mind, helping me understand why we write His treasured words on our hearts.

But how does the Bible actually help me be a better, more loving, more consistent parent?

Being MOM is more challenging than I ever imagined. Oh, the things we have to say . . .

“No, it’s NOT mommy’s job to unstick your wedgie!” was a conversation I had to have just last night – three times, at bedtime, imagine that.

Parenting is really front lines Ephesians 6 battle for the souls and futures of my family. We fight human failings and sinful natures. Every attitude and decision shapes the atmosphere of my home, transforming our relationships with each other and with God.

Knowing God’s truths prepares my heart to face my battles with righteousness and peace, even when my largest combatant is under 4 feet tall. 😉

But sometimes the lessons come from unexpected places, verses I wouldn’t have found searching for parenting wisdom, but verses that help me clearly understand the character God wants me to have.

Can 1 Bible lesson help me be a better, more consistent parent? Can being firm actually be more loving? God's love letter answers me in unexpected ways.

Last week was full and busy with my older boys visiting from their mother’s. The house feels bustling, complete, joyous when they are here, but we also enjoy a messy chaos. But asking for help with cleaning tasks seems to release the inner debater in my children.

As I dusted, I prayed over my frustration with them. Why does it always have to be a debate?

And a verse came to mind.

James 5:12b ESV  .  .  .  but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.

While in context, this verse is about making oaths, I immediately felt convicted about my reluctance to hold firm to my parenting expectations. It may not directly relate, but the essence of the verse is to mean what we say and stick to it. As parents our expectations are a type of promise because they help our children know what to expect from us and who we really are.

Consistent parenting is a promise that tells our children what to expect & who we are. Click To Tweet

As a child, I despised because I said so. I vowed to do my best to answer the why questions of my children. But in an effort to help my children understand, I’ve taught them too much is open to negotiation.

Kids need clear directions from a consistent parent.

Trying to always explain WHY, I've taught them too much is open to negotiation. Click To Tweet

By letting my NO mean MAYBE too many times, I’ve sabotaged myself as a parent, and perhaps done a disservice to them as children in God’s family, too. As an adult, I’ve had to learn obedience to God is often doing without knowing why right away.

Of course, kids will always challenge boundaries, but consistency allows me to stay calm and peaceful even when their disobedience leads to consequences because I can be sad and disappointed with them in their poor choices.

Sometimes, I look into my daughter’s eyes pooling with tears, and I don’t want to send her to bed without dessert, but quietly holding her to the consequences will teach her the fruit of the spirit by example,

and that points her to Heaven, not Harvard.

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27 thoughts on “1 Bible verse to be a Better, More Consistent Parent”

  1. Good examples Jen! I consider myself a strict parent and if you meet my kids you might be able to tell! My son is 10 and he is one of the sweetest boys I know. But, I have to be the bad guy sometimes. Tonight for example, he was teary-eyed before bed so I asked what was wrong. He was crying because the computer was messing up and he says he only got to use 5 mins out of 20mins of his computer time. He said he had no fun. This made me upset. We had family time and I think he should be grateful for his family and what we have instead of valuing game time only. ugh…one of those nights. He went to bed and I let him know for the rest of the week he was done with any electronic game time. I really need him to know that fun is more than laptops, ipads and xbox, it’s your family time!

    1. My sweet girl went to bed without dessert tonight. It was hard, but she has to learn self-control. My problem is that I have strict standards and then hate the follow through. And I debate instead of just hold to the answer. Learning to just be consistent.

  2. Great post. I try to stick firm about my yes being my yes and my no being my no. Some days are harder than others to follow this. Especially when my 1yo gets upset. But I feel it’s good for my children to hear the word no. I hate seeing them upset but I remember I have to do what’s best for them.

  3. This is good! I know I have let my “no” mean “maybe” (and sometimes even “yes”) far too many times simply because its easier. But that easy route isn’t doing my kids any favors. I love the perspective you shared here.

    1. It does “seem” easier, and makes our kids happy, but then they want to argue and debate all the time, so ends up meaning more chaos and discord! Taking the harder line initially make for fewer rough moments overall, but so hard to stick to it sometimes.

    1. More and more I realize I’m doing real warfare for my child’s future relationship with Christ. She doesn’t know it yet, but I’m building her armor! or tearing it down if I’m not living in humility. Very convicting for myself! Glad you enjoyed it, thanks!

  4. “Consistent parenting is a promise that tells our children what to expect & who we are.” This is such a great thought to meditate on, thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Makes me think about the consistent nature of God and how I know to rely and trust Him because of His faithfulness. While I won’t ever be THAT consistent, it is a good goal to strive for!

  5. I loved this post! It was honestly exactly what I needed this week! We’ve just began a new form of discipline with our toddler and it’s proving to be difficult being consistent. It’s good to know, I’m not the only one with consistency “issues” 🙂

  6. This so great. Our lives can be so crazy, and I’m sure, like me, you’ve heard how this new generation of parents need to be more gentle and treat kids like they have a mind – be logical don’t just speak down to them… while on the surface this is great, I also fall into allowing my kids to have room to negotiate when I have to say no and mean no. Thanks for this!

    1. Two nights now my girl lost her dessert privileges. Crossing fingers that she will gain the self control to stop her emotions from running over her if I just keep holding her to the consequences.

  7. Kids need consistency for so many reasons. This is a great verse and challenge for parents. I need to put this verse in a place where I can always see it and be reminded to be consistent. Thanks for sharing!

  8. This is very practical and helpful to remember. I knew what to expect from my mom, and even if I fussed in my head at times, I came to trust her judgment. She was gracious and would tell me why. That helped me to think through things for myself as a teen and as an adult. I hope your daughter grows up and comes to appreciate your explanations and when you had to put your foot down.

  9. I am trying to prepare myself for when our baby grows up and starts talking back and disobeying rules. Right now, I don’t quite have the consistency that they say babies need in order to thrive. It’s hard enough to be running on 3 hours of non-consecutive sleep 🙁 It’s definitely the hardest job in the world to be a mother, and to be consistent and godly and happy on top of that? Ah, only God is keeping us alive! 🙂

    1. It is so hard when you’re not getting any sleep! Thank God he stretched out the stages in such a way, we’re only tackling one idea at a time. I will say that if you start being conscious of your consistency now, you’ll be glad you did when he is five!

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