Purposed Parent/Connected Child Podcast Episode 007 - Parenting Styles
Welcome to the Purposed Parent/Connected Child Podcast
Episode #007 – Parenting Styles
Are you yearning for greater connection with your child? Would you like to parent beyond the moment with eternal perspective? Let’s grow together now with practical tips, scripture, and stories geared to draw your heart to Jesus and guide your child into His arms.
Eighteen years ago my husband and I were leaving the local library when the most adorable little Asian boy of about 3 or 4 years old held open the door for us and waved as we passed through. Why do I remember this particular snapshot in time so well? This child represented the beginning of a special unfolding journey of obedience and a step back into parenting after raising two children.
After leaving the library, my husband and I compared stories, and found that God had been speaking to me through a vision at the very time He did the same thing with my husband. We knew God was telling both of us that we had a daughter in China.
One of the first things we did (after praying together daily for God to guide us and make His desires known) was to talk seriously about what we wanted to do differently this time. How many times do parents get the opportunity to “reparent” or shift their style as they have matured and grown in the Lord and as a person? We’d already raised one set of children who were out of the house. Although we deeply loved our older children, we hadn’t experienced “empty nest syndrome,” and desired to start raising children again. This was proving to be a specific journey God had chosen for us. We couldn’t escape the clarity with which God was working to let us know He had much larger plans for us and a very different future than we had ever imagined.
We were both eighteen when we had our first child, a daughter. We were 21 when our son was born, and we were used to being the youngest parents in any group. By the time we knew God was calling us to begin a parenting journey for the second round, we were in our early 40’s and feeling like we would be ancient compared to the couples just beginning to parent. Let me tell you; it’s much more common to see older first-time parents now than it was 18 years ago.
God was so gracious to us. I remember long prayerful spans of time spent alone with my Heavenly Father during this special time. At the time my husband worked at an international firm and was often out of the country. Although it was lonely at times, I realized God was offering me special time for just Him and I. I was able to connect with Jesus in new ways of humble dependency and recognition of His personal relationship with me. Just kneeling at His feet, sharing my innermost dreams made me feel so much closer as I humbly appreciated that the Lord of Heaven and Earth would see fit to allow us the sacred privilege of raising another child. My heart was full of ways I wanted to mother differently and I pictured the life of my child in new ways I had never considered the first time around. I was no longer the young woman who learned as she went or parented the way others told me to. I finally had a confident voice that wanted to follow where God led and my deepest desire was to raise my daughter to love and honor Him with whatever unique and special abilities He crafted within her. With all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength, I deeply loved the Lord and I desired nothing but mentoring my child the gift of a holy walk with Him.
As I spent quiet time in prayer with my husband, and much reflective, humble, and prayerful time with God, I questioned ways I had parented my first two and how I could allow God to alter my mindset and skills to raise this child in ways He would call holy and good. I began deeply examining 5 factors I believed were of utmost importance.
1. What did I want the end of my life to look like?
2. What were our previous parenting challenges and joys?
3. What were the best ways to influence my child’s life for God?
4. What did I want the end of my child’s life to look like?
5. What did I need to continue or change in my walk with God?
I was on a journey to discover exactly what type of parent I had been and what type I would be in the future, not through what I thought or by comments others made to me, but by judging against what scripture says.
Seeking God with a purposed heart and activelymaturing and deepening my personal walk with Him through relationship with Jesus, led me to discover a deeper, eternal perspective parenting style.
Perhaps you would like to consider the ways you parent now and what you might like to change in the future. One of the blessings in life is that we are not supposed to be the same person from day to day. We have the ability to desire and implement change inevery area of our life.
As I continued to develop a mature walk with Christ, it opened the power of the Holy Spirit within and grew me in spiritual ways that overflowed into all areas of my life. I know that with intention, the same will happen for you if it is what you desire and are willing to call on Him.
As we examine parenting styles, let’s start by looking at the top 5 methods of parenting:
1. Uninvolved – This parent is busy. Perhaps they work a demanding job or have overextended themselves with responsibilities. They don’t make time for involvement with their child. Student friends, academic pursuits, homework, sports, or extracurricular activities aren’t part of their life. Their child must learn to manage them alone or suffers from the loss of them. The parent feels they don’t have time to be involved or choose not to be. They expect their child to raise themselves with little input from them and they don’t spend time nurturing their child.
2. Permissive – This parent sets rules and expectations, but rarely enforces them. It’s easy for the child to persuade the parent to cave on punishments. The parent will listen to their child’s desires and opinions and allow changes because they act like more of a friend than a parent.
3. Authoritarian – This parent is obedience-driven. Kids are seen, but not heard. Feelings are not taken into consideration. Rules are dictated by the parent and consequences are upheld.
4. Hovering – This parent is also commonly called the “helicopter parent.” Almost unable to control herself, this parent will complete tasks that should fall to the child, such as finishing homework to ensure a good grade, step in to rescue their child from consequences, force their child to accept their help when it is not needed, make decisions instead of allowing the child to mature, and shield their child instead of allowing him to learn from mistakes.
5. Authoritative – This parent is connected to their child. Feelings are heard and validated. Although the parent and child are bonded and share attachment, the parent doesn’t try to be a best friend. She sets rules, as well as enforces consequences when needed. This parent also attempts to prevent problems before they begin.
Once we understand the type of parenting we employ, we can work to ensure that we make needed changes that allow us to become better attuned to Christ as we connect with Him and our child.
I believe strong attachment needs to be made through the heart. What we hold in our heart affects the way we think, act, and how we react to life. The same is true for our children. Unless we begin our parenting mindset connected to and growing in our walk with Jesus, we are parenting with the standards and values the world advertises, chases, or "falls into" as we deal with life and all the busyness surrounding us.
Your child deserves intentional, Christ-centered parenting that builds and strengthens a faith foundation every day.
We’ve looked at the top 5 basic methods of parenting. Now let’s consider scriptural methods of parenting. As we purposely mature our walk and allow Christ to perfect His work within us, our parenting is naturally affected. God leads and guides us as to how to mentor our children as we prayerfully submit ourselves and our children to Him. God, the perfect parent infuses us with His wisdom, knowledge, and understanding for Hischild that He has entrusted to us for the short period we are blessed to have them.
I can’t begin a list until I share one of my favorite passages of scripture. If you’ve listened to many of my podcast episodes, either Live With Eternal Perspective or Purposed Parent/Connected Child, you will have heard me share this passage before.
Deuteronomy 6:5-9says, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.These words I am commanding you today are to be upon your hearts.And you shall teach them diligently to your children and speak of them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as reminders on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.”
I believe it is vital to remember that when Jesus was asked which of the commandments was the greatest, He responded with Deuteronomy 6, verse 5, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”
I find it interesting that in Hebrew, the word “love” isn’t confined to feelings. So as we remember that we are to love God, we need to remember that the biblical definition of love is in the Hebrew form, which centers on the intellect, sensibilities, and will. When we are instructed to love God, we are actually told to cling to Him alone. The command includes our soul and our strength, meaning with everything in us and in every way.
Mark 12:20 adds another very important word in the verse, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” With all of our mind.
This is the way we are to respond to God and build our intimate relationship with Him. Think of Him as the air you breathe, remember the Holy Spirit within you, guiding you each moment.
It is also the way we are to teach our children to acknowledge and esteem Him. We are to know and show Him so clearly to them that they are taught to be a lover of God. We want to influence them in such ways that their life naturally flows into a worshipper of God. Then they will truly love God with all they are in the ways He designed them to uniquely be and offer Him their heart, soul, mind, strength, talents, time, dreams, gifts, and abilities.
So, how do we do that?
Consider these following 4 verses to embody scriptural parenting:
1. Psalm 119:11 says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” In order for us to lovingly instruct our child to love and uphold a righteous relationship with Christ, we must read, study, and instruct them in God’s word. This verse shows us that we must hold God’s word within us and use it in our parenting mindset, heart, and reactions.
2. Luke 2:19 says, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” In the Bible, this verse takes place when the shepherds visited the baby Jesus and made known what the angels had told to them about the child. All who heard what they said marveled at the meaning of the words they spoke. Mary absorbed all of the experience and the miracle behind it, pondering the meanings in the present and future of her child. This verse shows us that we must share God’s word as we parent, not only by reading the word with our children, but by embodying it in all we are and do, so that they experience and absorb God’s power, goodness, and grace.
3. Psalm 37:31 says, “The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not falter.” This verse should be looked at as two parts that represent cause and effect. Holding the law of God within our heart and teaching our child to do the same will prevent us and our children from falling away from God or going astray. This verse shows us that we must follow God’s loving truths and be the mentor our children need to see to believe that God is real. He transforms us and can do the same for them as they humbly release self to Him.
4. Psalm 40:8 says, “I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your law is within my heart." As we examine this verse, we must back up to look at the one previous, which says, “Then I said, ‘Behold I come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart.” This verse refers to Jesus, who fulfilled all the prophecies that were written of Him. Jesus delighted in following the will of God and fulfilled a perfect and heroic obedience. Jesus clung to the loving will of our Heavenly Father and fulfilled the purpose for which He came to earth. Through His intimate love with all that was within Him, Jesus’s love for God flowed into worship of and obedience for God, just as we must model for our children to do. This verse shows us that we must parent with delight in obedience to God. Our children will learn God’s word through and with us, but also learn to submit their heart moment by moment and trust that God is in control.
Although it is very important to look at the top 5 parenting styles I mentioned at the beginning of this episode, it is more critical that we willingly submit ourselves and our children to God and allow Him to radically alter us moment by moment and allow Him to show us how to parent the specific children He created and purposed to us to protect and guide for Him.
God expects us to teach our children of Him and lead them to His heart and feet. We will answer to Him one day for the job we did on this earth. Our children will answer to Him for the life He has given to them. It is imperative that we know and follow our Heavenly Father in godly ways that transform us daily and that we seek His wisdom daily to influence our precious children and raise them for Him.
They must be able to live set-apart in this world and carry courage that comes from a strong relationship with God through a personal walk with Jesus.
We will explore more about godly, scriptural, attached parenting in future episodes of this podcast. In order to have a close, lasting relationship with our children, we must be parents who connect with God and allow Him to flow through us clearly and lovingly, then into our children.
Parenting a second set of children has been an enormous blessing to me. God knew secret desires of my heart that I didn’t realize were there. How good He is to lovingly and intentionally fashion each of us together with beautiful plans for us and our children. What a great joy it gives me to watch His story unfold as I obediently follow where He leads and teach my children to do the same. What might your heart hold? I pray you allow God to complete the perfect plans He has made for your precious family.
Proverbs 3:1-12 says, “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for they will add length to your days, years and peace to your life. Never let loving devotion or faithfulness leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will find favor and high regard in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. This will bring healing to your body and refreshment to your bones. Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your harvest; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine. My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord, and do not loathe His rebuke; for the Lord disciplines the one He loves, as does a father the son in whom he delights.”
Dear God, we are blessed that there is none like You, the Great I Am, our Heavenly Father. Thank you for the gift of our precious children, in reality Your children that You have entrusted to us for this time. Help us to direct your children onto the right path so that when they are older they will not leave it, will not leave Your side or Your heart. Help us not to provoke our children to anger, but to raise them in the gentleness and truths of Your great love so that they are raised to honor You and respect us because they love and follow You so greatly. May our mouth be opened with Your wisdom and may we share Your instruction freely because we know You so well. May our children grow up in favor with men, but mostly with You, Lord because they are truthful and courageous with Your strength and honor. May we have great joy because our children walk in Your truths. Lord, we know that You know the measure of our days. Our lifetime is nothing compared to You. May we use our time wisely and influence our children well while we can. May we have nothing to be ashamed of when we meet You face to face because we pursued You greatly and humbly and our children do the same. In the name of Your precious Son, Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Thank you for listening to this episode. Have you seen my free new resource, “Prayers For My Child?” It’s a helpful ebook you can find at terrihitt.com on the “Resources” page and is designed to guide the heart of your child to the feet of Jesus through scriptural prayers.
The Purposed Parent/Connected Child podcast will soon be available at terrihitt.com, where you can access the episodes housed in one convenient location, receive access to blog posts, read transcripts, and find additional resources designed to mature your walk with Christ and equip you to raiseor influence connected children through Him.
God knows that we are not capable of successful parenting on our own. As we rely on Him, releasing doubts and expectations, and humbly bow to His guidance and experience, we find greater clarity in parenting and a wondrous walk with our Creator that will extend to our children and those around us for generations.
I pray this podcast helps you parent with purpose and deepen your connection to Jesus and your children as you intentionally place Christ above culture or self. Allow Him to work through you for true connection that will draw your children to Him and build a maturing relationship with Christ and your child that lasts for eternity.