Are you longing for a happy and peaceful home? Believers all across the United States are longing for Christ-honoring homes, yet in reality, their homes are filled with bickering, hollering, screaming — and even abuse — as parents struggle to control their children. If you came to this site looking for some answers to your parenting problems, congratulations! God’s Word really does have some practical answers that can help you.
First, since this is an article about priorities, let’s do a check. How is your relationship with God? If you haven’t settled in your mind that God is first, then you really need to start there. Why? Because God’s parenting advice doesn’t always match the advice you’ll read in popular parenting magazines or that you’ll hear from your buddies. So before you start to make some changes, you need to settle in your mind whose advice you’ll listen to — God’s or the world’s.
Now I’ve noticed that many sincere Christians say that God is their first priority, but then they immediately disobey God in the area of marriage. How are you doing in this area? Wives, do you submit to your husbands? Are you characterized by the following traits listed in the Amplified Bible…
“And let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband – that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates and esteems him, and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly.” (Ephesians 5:22-24)
If you’re doing everything else “right” but failing in your marriage, I can guarantee that you’ll have trouble with your kids. So I urge you to prayerfully consider this area of your life.
Finally, let’s look at some practical biblical advice for parenting. To be an effective parent, you really only need to practice two key principles, laid out for us in Ephesians 6:1-4.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the first commandment with promise:”that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”
Principle #1: Require obedience and honor of your children.
You can teach your children to obey, but to do so, you need to be consistent. Say what you mean and mean what you say. If you ask your daughter to come to you, require her to come the first time you call.
I’ve heard it said that kids have no problem with first-time obedience — only parents do! We get lazy and give commands so many times that our kids begin to get lazy, too. They decide to “gamble” with us, betting that we don’t mean what we say so they can continue doing what they want. Keep in mind that if we don’t teach our kids to obey us the first time we speak, they probably will have a hard time learning to obey God the first time He speaks!
As you teach your children to obey, expect them to do so with a good attitude. If they obey immediately, but do it with a bad spirit, how are they fulfilling God’s command to honor their parents? Make it a rule that in your home, disrespect is as frowned upon as direct disobedience.
Principle #2: Don’t provoke. Train.
A simple way to do this is to have consistent consequences for disobedience and consistent rewards for behavior that pleases God. Many online resources (see www.doorposts.net or Raising Godly Tomatoes, for instance) can help you set some up, but the key is to be consistent. Your kids thrive when they know what to expect.
In our home, we have set up standards ahead of time that we expect of our kids. If they lie, disobey a command, or hit a sibling, our children already know what the consequences will be. Our duty as parents is just to carry through on what we said would happen.
Yes, our kids may cry, but then the punishment is over and we can all carry on with our lives. Parenting becomes simpler and kids become more secure.
We also have set up standards of holiness that we want to train our children to, and when our kids learn to be courageous, helpful or kind, we have rewards (the Bible calls them “blessings”) already in place — maybe a chocolate cake for dessert, maybe a new toy, maybe some special time with Daddy, maybe a crown to wear all day.
Let me emphasize again that the key to parenting is consistency. If Suzie doesn’t obey the first time you speak, take her in the other room, remind her how she disobeyed her, carry out the consequence you set in advance, hug and carry on with your life. You’ll find you lose your temper less and that Suzie will obey you the next time you speak!
Sometimes it’s hard to know what the Bible expects of us as wives and moms. Many women have created web pages full of information that can make it easier. Try some of these…
- Article — “I Just Want to Be a Mommy” — by author Teri Maxwell. We hope this is a huge encouragement for you!
- Building Up Moms — I agree with so much of what this mother writes, and I hope her website blesses you as it has me!
- MOMYS is for “Mommies Of Many Young Siblings” and can be a great resource for you in your mothering.
- Titus 2 is “dedicated to building up and encouraging mothers.”
- Hearts at Home – This is a special website offering encouragement and resources to moms.
- No Greater Joy Ministries can help “train parents to train their children.”
I have seven children, and for several years I have been researching how to give my children the best start possible. I believe that one of my responsibilities as a mom is to take care of myself so I have enough left to give my children. Also, I believe that health begins before birth and can affect several generations to come. Finally, I believe that, while health is important, our children’s spiritual health is even more vital. Below, you will find links that can encourage you whether you’re pregnant or taking care of young children.
Are you pregnant or nursing? At no other time in your life will the need for great nutrition be so important — for your baby needs so much to grow! Eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard. Read through these links to find out why good nutrition is so important — and to get a great list of foods you simply must eat every day.
Before You’re Pregnant
The sites I list below are noted for their natural family planning. That means, they will teach you how to understand how your body works so that you can try to conceive (or prevent pregnancy) without having to use contraceptives that could harm a baby or you. I believe that family planning is a personal decision but I urge you to also consider the consequences
of the choices you make.
- Fertility Friend is a great place to start when you’re trying to conceive.
- The Couple to Couple League is an authority in natural family planning (Catholic).
- Is the birth control pill an abortifacient?
- Fertility Awareness, Fertility and Food, and more
- Be Fruitful and Multiply – A Long Look at Birth Control
- Resources from QuiverFull.com
Once you find out that you’re pregnant, you’ll be so excited. You’ll also discover the vast amount of information available to pregnant women. Some of it is reassuring… some is scary. Sometimes sources contradict each other. My best advice to you (and yes, you’ll get lots of advice!) is to educate yourself. You have 9 months to prepare, and good preparation takes time. Ask lots of questions. Make sure you understand what is happening as your baby grows, and begin to take responsibility for your parenting now.
My favorite pregnancy website:
- The archives at Gentle Birth.org are a good place to look for answers for your pregnancy and childbirth questions.
- Important — Brewer Pregnancy Diet can make all the difference between a healthy outcome or major problems. Please read!
Other very good sites:
- hCG Levels in Early Pregnancy
- Wise Eating for the Childbearing Years
- How to Avoid Having a Premature Baby — Sidelines is a network of support groups across the country for women and their families experiencing complicated pregnancies.
Preparing for Childbirth
- My husband and I are thankful that someone recommended the Bradley Method to us. What a difference this made for us!
- You might want to consider having a doula with you when you go into labor and even into the early postpartum days. (A doula is a trained labor-support person who can give you continuity of care throughout labor and birth.)
Why Choose Natural Childbirth?
- “Perspectives on Normal Birth” by Ronnie Falcao.
- “Homebirth Safety and Benefits”
- “Benefits and Risks of Episiotomy”
- “Is Homebirth for You? 6 Myths About Childbirth Exposed”
- Citizens for Midwifery fact page
Labor and Childbirth
- Looking for a Birth Center?
- The Online Childbirth Class (I do NOT agree with all of her philosophy, but this still has valuable information.)
- The Induction Seduction
- Heads Up! All about breech babies
- 101 Reasons to Breastfeed Your Baby
- Alternatives to Breastfeeding (the proper use of infant formula)
- Finish the First Breast First (great advice!)
Other Infant Care
- Nourishing a Growing Baby
- Including Baby at the Table
- Want to use cloth diapers? Try these companies: Choosey Diapers and Born to Love.
- Newborns and Babywise
We’ve had many visitors request some information on infertility. We pray that the following sites will be a blessing to you.
- I have written an article on the relationship between thyroid and infertility
- Ask the Doctor about PCOS
- Fertility, Awareness, Food, and Night-Lighting
- The Empty Womb
- Getting Pregnant/Infertility
- “Raising Godly Tomatoes” – Several years ago, a mother started a website for her children, giving them bits of advice on parenting so they would know how to do it when they were grown. Now we can all benefit from her wisdom! I am
pleased to recommend this site!
- Growing Families International – This organization was so helpful us when we were new parents. They specialize in classes which will teach you to parent your children using biblical principles. You can also search their archives for articles of interest to you.
- Parenting Made Practical
- Doorposts – This company offers the finest materials I know of for helping parents be consistent when teaching their children to obey. Much of their resources were more convicting for me than they were for my kids!
- Heritage Builders is a branch of Focus on the Family. Their purpose is to help parents pass their faith on to their children.
- John Rosemond’s Affirmative Parenting — common sense advice for many parenting questions.
- Do you have a daughter? Try this magazine just for girls — The Girlhood Home Companion.
- Five Pointers for Disciplining Children — a thought-provoking and helpful article.
- Parenthood: A Divine Stewardship — wow, these articles will make you THINK!
- Grandparents Magazine is a good resource for grandparents — and moms and dads, too!
- The Character Journal — great ideas for teaching your children essential character qualities
- George Washington’s Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation
- Safeguarding Your Children — an article on the importance of teaching our children about the importance of purity
- Future Christian Homemakers — a book that can help you teach homemaking skills to your daughters (3rd grade and up). They also have an option for those who would like to start a club!
- Manners of the Heart — raising respectful children in a disrespectful world
- Beautiful Girlhood — the classic book for training girls to be young women, available online for free
- Real Life Experiences and Modeling Set the Tone (a helpful article)
- HELP for Growing Families
Kids are so much fun… and there is so much to do with them! We hope you enjoy these sites!
Fun Sites for Kids
- Click Mazes – interactive puzzles and mazes
- Paper Dolls
- Betsy McCall Paper Dolls
- Alphabet Soup — for the young and the “young at heart”! Alphabet Soup contains thematic units, holiday units, games and
activities for kids; teacher and parent resources; and crafts, humor and recipes for all! Be sure to check out the Kindergarten Kafe, recipes dictated by 5-year-olds!
- We love listening to Your Story Hour!
- Do your kids like mazes? Try this Maze Maker for your own, or go to Maze Box for some mazes that are ready-made.
- The Trivial Portal, the world’s largest trivia site
- Chess Kids Academy — Teach your children how to play chess with their free online course
- Free coloring pages for kids
- Boys’ Life — The website for the Boyscout magazine, complete with activities, video games and more fun stuff for boys.
- Play Clay Factory — Melissa P. writes, “This is the best play clay I have ever used. A little pricey but the last bucket (I buy the preschool size buckets) lasted me about 3 years. It smells great and it doesn’t make a crumbley mess everywhere.”
- King’s Call is a fun, online adventure game, from Children’s Bible Hour
- Webrangers is a kids’ site from the National Park Service
- Horse lovers will love these coloring pages from the Windt Im Wald Farm.
- Grandma sent us this fun Sand Art Painting site. My kids love it!
Toy Shops on the Internet
Toys aren’t cheap, and young families usually can’t afford to buy the newest and greatest toys for their kids. But these toys looked so wonderful, we decided to include them anyway! (Maybe you’re one of those creative people who could get some ideas for toys that you could make from things around the house — or from garage sale finds.)
- I absolutely LOVE Love to Learn‘s catalog and website!
- Any boy (or girl) who loves Legos will love their website!
- Discovery Toys is the undisputed leader in quality educational toys.
One of our favorite ideas — Preschool Activities in a Bag is a great book written by two homeschooling moms and tested by over 70 families with small children. Very practical, great ideas for grandparents and babysitters to use with little ones, or wonderful for families who travel a lot (such as missionaries)!
- Danielle’s Place of Crafts and Activities
- Making Friends and Other Crafts for Kids — these little paper “friends” are adorable and can be printed from your computer. We’ve used the Bible friends to act out Bible stories.
- Crayola has a great site for kids (and their parents) who love to color and make things!
- Nothing’s more fun than a box of chocolates! I think See’s Chocolate is the best — if you like Russell Stover, than I dare you to try See’s!
- Making an Art Book (from KinderArt, a site which happens to have even more great ideas!)
- KinderCrafts has projects for preschool, kindergarten and elementary children
- Activities to do with Toddlers
- Cookie Recipe Club — fun cookies to make with the little ones
To Make You Laugh and Cry