If growing as a Christian means daily Bible study and prayer, then growing as a parent would mean daily study and prayer as well. Of course the Bible should be our first source of knowledge for the parent, but there are other avenues of learning as well. Here are a few:
1) Books written by a successful Christian parent. Reading books by faithful members of the church is important. We once read a book written by a 'Christian' teaching false doctrine. We tried their method of child rearing only to find it was a total failure. Sticking to God's Word and books written by Christians committed to following the Bible is of utmost importance. One of my favorites is, “Your Mama Don't Dance,” by Glenn and Cindy Colley.
2) Audio and Video offered by faithful Christians. There are some wonderful videos out there provided by Christians dedicated to God's doctrine. One of my favorites is “Faith For Life,” by Brad Harrub.
3) Successful Christian parents. Do not be afraid to ask questions to elders or other Christians who have raised faithful children. One question I asked was, “How did you get your children to be so kind and loving to one another?” Sibling fighting and disagreements is a common issue in our home.
4) Besides these tools, I think a Christian's best (and sometimes little used) avenue is prayer. I'm often reminded of the story of Hezekiah in 2 Kings 19:14 and Isaiah 37:14. Hezekiah received a letter from another country. He was in a quandary as to what to do in response to the letter. So, the first thing he did after reading the letter was to take it to the temple, lay it out before God and petition the Almighty for answers. He received a direct answer from God. Of course, we would not, but there are at least 2 reasons I see for prayer being a wonderful course of action for the parent. One is that it calms our mind and helps us think of verses or bits of wisdom we have received from our study of Christian parenting. Many times the answer will present itself if we simply take a moment in prayer to calm our spirits. The second is that we receive blessings from utilizing the avenue of communication with our Creator. James says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:5-8) When we ask in faith, we receive an answer – not always the answer we want, but God always answers the faithful Christian in one way or another.
What are some of your favorite tools provided by faithful Christians?