ABCs of Christian Parenting

This article was first published more than 20 years ago in Christian Parenting Magazine. It is still relevant today. I hope it brings clarity to your role as a parent.

Twenty-six ways to love and nurture your child today and every day, By Debra Fulghum Bruce

AFFIRM

Affirm your child every day as a gift from God, no matter what yesterday’s problems were.

BUILD

Build upon your child’s talents, seeking to discover God’s plan for him.

COMMUNICATE

Communicate with your child in a way that glorifies Christ, always asking yourself before speaking, “Would I say this to a friend?”

DEDICATE

Dedicate yourself to the body of Christ, through commitment to  a congregation, regular worship, Bible study, prayer and service.

EXERCISE

Exercise self-control when you’re angry, committing your feelings to the Lord, rather than using them against your child.

FORGIVE

Forgive your child’s wrongdoings as the Lord forgives you, and start over together with God’s grace and love.

GIVE

Give your child everything she needs instead of everything she wants, even if you have to say no sometimes.

HUG

Hug your child 10 times each day, especially when he’s unlovable. A warm touch can ease even the most strained relationships.

INCLUDE

Include Bible study and prayer in your daily family routine, and challenge your child to do the same in her personal life.

JOIN

Join in agreement with your spouse and stand firm together on rules, expectations and discipline.

KEEP

Keep commitments you make outside your home so your child can observe you modeling responsibility.

LIVE

Live each day to the fullest, appreciating the beauty of God’s world and the hope of your faith instead of hurrying through the day.

MANAGE

Manage aspects of your child’s life that could lead to stress such as too much activity, television or inappropriate freedoms.

NURTURE

Nurture your child lovingly so he can experience God through your example.

OPEN

Open doors of opportunity to your child as you encourage the development of her skills through education.

be PATIENT

Patiently wait upon the Lord as He answers prayers for you and your child.

QUESTION

Question the reasons for your child’s unacceptable behavior as you look beyond the act to its root causes.

RESPECT

Respect your child as an individual rather than as an extension of you or your spouse.

STRIVE

Strive to create quality time with your child each day that enables you to listen to her joys, hopes, concerns and fears.

TRUST

Trust God to guide you as you prayerfully make daily parenting decisions.

ULTIMATELY…

Ultimately, trust your child as he leaves home, knowing you’ve fulfilled your commitment to God as a Christian parent.

VERBALIZE

Verbalize your thoughts and feelings when you’re happy or sad, letting your child know that you’re still approachable.

WAIT

Wait patiently for your child to pass through stages, realizing that some behaviors, while unpleasant, are quite normal.

“X”PECT

“X”pect the best from your child at school, at home and at play, while also extending grace for human frailty.

YIELD

Yield to the Lord’s way as you seek his guidance each day.

be ZEALOUS

Zealously start each day in praise, marveling at God’s work in the life of your family.

 

Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Deuteronomy 11:19 AMP 

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