Being a parent is one of the most challenging yet rewarding roles that a person can take during his or her lifetime. It's full of ups and downs, and a great deal of responsibility.
Because of the daily tests, decision-making, opportunities and moments of joy, it's helpful to know some Bible verses that are relevant to the different seasons that you face as a parent.
You don't have to be a full-time parent to benefit from these Bible verses. You can be a guardian in any form—grandparent, aunt, godparent—and they're still worth familiarising yourself with in the context of taking care of a child.
For when you have to discipline your child
There are many ways to teach your child right from wrong and to deal with bad behaviour. Some parents find it easy to do, while others do not.
However you feel about it, discipline is necessary and these verses should strengthen your resolve:
Colossians 3:21 — "Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged."
Proverbs 29:17 — "Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire."
On letting them know you love them
Just as God's love for us nurtures us, so a parent's love for his or her child helps the latter to grow. You may find it easy to show your affection to your children, or it may be an area that you're praying to improve on. Regardless of how you do it, here's a reminder why it's so essential:
1 Peter 4:8 — "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins."
Matthew 7:11 — "If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"
On preparing them for the big, wide world
As a parent you can't protect your children from everything in the outside world, or even inside the home, but you can prepare them for it.
Proverbs 22:6 — "Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it."
When you're not sure what to do
We don't always clearly see the route that we should take in life, and it's no different for parents. Making the best decision for a child's wellbeing and future is complicated. Do you homeschool or enrol them in a public school? Push them or relent? The following Bible verses should serve as guide:
James 1:5 — "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you."
Psalm 119:169 — "May my cry come before you, Lord; give me understanding according to your Word."
When you're bursting with thanks for them
You'll probably want to refer to these verses or similar ones every day because children are full of surprises. And even when they're not doing what you want them to, these will come in handy to help you remember that they're still precious.
Psalm 127:3 — "Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him."
3 John 1:4 — "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth."
Matthew 18:10 — "See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven."