Inside: What does the Bible say about parenting? What are the qualities of a good parent? In a sea of conflicting advice and confusing opinions, you’re searching for rock-solid qualities of a good parent. Do this. Don’t do that. And yet, Godly parenting isn’t about a list of rules. It’s about learning to parent our children the way God parents us. These Biblical parenting principles will set you on a path to transform your family, starting with your own heart!

What does the Bible say about parenting? What are the qualities of a good parent? In a sea of conflicting advice and confusing opinions, you're searching for rock-solid qualities of a good parent. Do this. Don't do that. And yet, Godly parenting isn't about a list of rules. It's about learning to parent our children the way God parents us. These Biblical parenting principles will set you on a path to transform your family, starting with your own heart!

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I did a thing the other day. I asked my parents to distill down their 30+ years of parenting experience into less than ten tips. Thank goodness for us, they took the challenge!

Raising godly children can’t be done by checking boxes on a to-do list. There are no step-by-step instructions, and it also won’t magically fall into place.

Yet, while all kids and families are different, I truly believe that there are a few universal Biblical parenting principles we can all follow.

These foundational guidelines hold true for parents from every culture, race, and background. Regardless of your history or where you started, these godly parenting principles are good ground to build your family on!

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9 Biblical Parenting Principles to Challenge and Inspire Your Family

Godly Parenting Tip #1: Get in God’s Presence

What does this have to do with being a better parent? Well, everything. Before you can even prepare to parent your children God’s way, it’s wise to do a heart check.

How’s your heart? Are you submitted to Jesus? Do you actively listen for the Holy Spirit’s voice? Being a godly parent is just a phrase until you become intentional about spending time with Him.

Sure, you could do it without Him.

But I can speak from experience that parenting is 1,000% easier when I’ve been spending quality time with the Lord. Daily troubles don’t seem so troubling, I make decisions with more confidence. My conversations and attitudes are colored by the constancy of His presence in me. This is one of the most important Biblical parenting principles!

Try these simple habits to parent in the power of God’s presence:

  • Live and breathe the Word. Read the Bible as a regular discipline and habit, not just when you need help with your kids. God’s Word is living and active!
  • Make worship a way of life. One of the easiest ways to worship with your family is to just put on some music and sing together. We sing in the car and play worship music while we do chores or homework around the house. But more importantly, we cultivate a heart of worship. Everything we do, from washing dishes to playing with toys to eating dinner. Everything is worship!

Related: Wish you had more of the Fruit of the Spirit in your parenting? You’ll love my 15-day devotional series, Fruit {Full} Mom. Discover how to abide in the Lord’s presence and see real spiritual fruit!

Action Step: Make being in God’s presence a personal priority. Spend time in prayer. Worship even when you’re not at church. Open your ears to the Holy Spirit. Your family will notice the difference!

What are the qualites of a good parent? Learn godly parenting tips, and gain confidence in your parenting!

Godly Parenting Tip #2: Make the Bible Your Authority

Accept the Bible as your personal rule for truth above any other source. It’s your guidebook for parenting, and so much more! Biblical parenting principles start with God’s Word. When your family comes across a difficult issue or struggles with finding what’s really true, make it a habit to turn to the Word.

Isn’t it so tempting to first get input from our friends, neighbors, news outlets, or social media? Instead, let God’s written Word be the ultimate authority in your family.

Here are some tips to effectively use the Bible in your parenting:

  • Don’t pick and choose verses.
  • Look at the verse in the context of the whole chapter and book.
  • Use Scripture to interpret Scripture. What does the rest of the Bible say about this topic?
  • Study together as a family. Let your kids see how God’s word guides your actions and decisions.

What does the Bible say about parenting?

So if we’re to use the Bible as our ultimate authority, doesn’t it make sense to know what it says? What does the Bible say about parenting? Here are a few powerful verses to start your journey.

2 Timothy 3: 16-17: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Colossians 3: 21: Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

Proverbs 22: 6: Train up a child in the way he should go; Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Deuteronomy 6: 6–7: And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Proverbs 29: 17: Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul.

Philippians 4: 6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Related Reading: How to Start a Family Bible Study (that You Won’t Quit!)

Action Step: Think of one issue your family is dealing with right now. Dig into God’s word together to see what He says about it!

What are the qualites of a good parent? Learn godly parenting tips, and gain confidence in your parenting!

Godly Parenting Tip #3: Lead by Example

Frustrated by your child’s lack of self-control? Wondering when he’ll finally learn to think of others first? Leading by example is one of the best qualities of a good parent. Biblical parenting principles lead from the heart.

Here’s the tough part of godly parenting… You can not teach what you have not learned. You have to change yourself before you can expect to successfully change or guide a child.

Where do you want to lead your children? What type of character do you want to see them develop? What kind of difference do you dream they will make?

Then, consider what are you doing to lead them in these areas. It’s so easy sometimes to expect things from our kids, and yet fall short of those expectations ourselves. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you so that you can lead your family well!

Try these real-life ways to lead by example in your family.

  • Let your children visibly see you reading God’s Word and spending time in prayer. Make it a dependable expectation for them to see you spending time with the Lord. Lead them to value these things.
  • Take your child to church, don’t just send them.
  • If you expect cleanliness, punctuality, or good manners, practice them yourself! Think about which habits are important to you and lead in those areas!
  • Do you have emotional “tools” in your tool bag? I teach my kids tools for managing big emotions all the time. But sometimes I need to practice using my “tools” as well!
  • Let your children see you actively taking thoughts captive. Talk through when you have to submit an emotion to Jesus. Show them what it really looks like to submit to the Holy Spirit!

Action Step: Write down one habit you want to teach your kids by example. Or, the next time your emotions get high, talk through step-by-step how you give them to God. Let your kids see your example in real, messy life!

What are the qualites of a good parent? Learn godly parenting tips, and gain confidence in your parenting!

Godly Parenting Tip #4: Set Standards and Keep Them

Biblical parenting in discipline means setting clear expectations in advance and giving your children logical consequences. If we’re led by the Spirit, we won’t discipline out of anger, but instead out of love.

I know from experience it’s easier to start with good expectations with younger children. In fact, the earlier you start, the easier it will be!

However, always allow for growth and developmental stages. We never want to exasperate our children with unfair expectations. For example, don’t expect your two-year-old to sit still for one hour at a time. But 10 minutes of sitting still for a toddler? That’s perfectly reasonable! It just takes lots of practice.

Here are a few tips to set high standards that are appropriate for each child.

  • Use natural consequences whenever possible. “If you choose to throw that toy I will have to take it away.”
  • Be consistent. Your kids shouldn’t have to guess whether you mean what you say! Don’t change the rules because you are too tired or it is inconvenient to follow your discipline plan.
  • Invite your children to be part of something bigger than themselves. “In our family, we put others first. In our family we are peacemakers. We are people who find solutions.”
  • Before you discipline, consider: Is this childish irresponsibility? Or is it direct disobedience? Respond accordingly! You don’t have to ignore irresponsibility, just use it as a chance to teach a skill or habit. Direct disobedience is best-met head-on: clear, firm, and motivated by love.
  • Use this phrase constantly, and let your actions back up your words: “I love you way too much to let you behave that way.”

Related Reading: 10 Tips to Discipline Your Kids Without Losing Your Patience

Action Step: Take a mental inventory of the expectations in your family. Are your standards appropriate for your children’s developmental stage? Do you need to work on staying consistent with expectations? Do you need help dealing with anger when your kids push your buttons? Ask the Holy Spirit for help!

Godly Parenting Tip #5: Win Their Hearts

This is where many Christian parents stray. We may be great at setting and enforcing boundaries, but many times we lose our children’s heart in the process. The problem lies in our own heart posture.

To win our children’s hearts, we must discipline with the right attitude, not harsh or with punishment in mind. But instead with the mindset of a shepherd, constantly guiding and correcting because of our deep love for the sheep.

In the end, it’s not perfect behavior that we’re after. It’s not about raising little clones who fall in line and get compliments when we go out to eat.

What we’re after, the essential goal of Biblical parenting is to lead our children to fall in love with Jesus. We have the beautiful job of partnering with the Holy Spirit to make them wise for salvation.

If we keep that goal in mind, it may reset our perspectives. Setting high standards is necessary, but winning your child’s heart is equally important!

How can you win and keep your child’s heart?

  • Speak life. Give them a glimpse of their potential. “You are a man of God. I love being around you. I’m proud of you when you…”
  • Let love guide your discipline. If you feel angry or out of control when you discipline, stop. Seek help from godly counsel. Discipline can wait until your heart is right.
  • Celebrate each child. Seek out what is special about your children. Cultivate it and celebrate it. Enjoy them for who God made them to be!

Related: 40+ Ideas for One on One Time with Kids You Can Start Right Now!

Action Step: Start today to win your child’s heart. Share something special you appreciate about them or spend a few minutes just listening (without checking your phone!) to what they want to talk about.

Godly Parenting Tip #6: Become a Family of Sojourners

As Biblical parents, we are called to be in the world, not of the world. What do these Biblical parenting principles mean for a modern Christian family?

We’re just walking through, bringing light to the darkness with every step.

As Hebrews 11:13-14 says, “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.”

Here are a few practical ways to become a family of sojourners.

  • Be skeptical about popular culture. It’s OK if your kids “miss out” on culture. They’re not really missing anything. Learn to say “That’s not for us.”
  • Hold on to this world and it’s things very loosely. Simplicity brings joy, and people are more important than things.
  • Choose faith over fear. Sometimes culture is scary. It’s evil and this can tempt us to live in fear. Don’t be afraid. Have faith!
  • Stay on mission. Live out the gospel and love other people. Give your kids opportunities to show God’s love to their world.

Action Step: Look at your family calendar. Is worldly stuff cluttering up your family’s life? Even good things like sports or hobbies may be getting in the way of what’s best. Write down one practical way your family can become sojourners.

What are the qualites of a good parent? Learn godly parenting tips, and gain confidence in your parenting!

Godly Parenting Tip #7: Give Presence More than Presents

I love giving gifts. The search for the perfect thing, the look of delight on someone’s face. I’m all about it!

But more and more I’m seeing that my kids need more presence and fewer presents. This is one of the most important qualities of a good parent. Don’t get me wrong, we celebrate birthdays and holidays with the best of them! But these Biblical parenting principles grow from how God parents us.

The Lord doesn’t always shower us with gifts or everything we’ve ever wanted. But his presence, the opportunity to walk and talk with him- that’s always available. He just wants to be with us, because He knows that’s what we really need the most.

Take this mindset into your own parenting. Your kids just want to be with you! Psalm 133: 1 says, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”

Use the real-life tips to give your children your presence:

  • Eat dinner together at the table as much as possible. Make it a device-free dinner!
  • Practice looking your kids in the eye when you’re listening or speaking. Try not to let your mind wander to your to-do list!
  • Read together!
  • Do chores together. Yes, it will take more time if your kids help. But that’s OK once in a while!
  • Get involved in your child’s hobbies. Spend time learning and creating with them.
  • Invite your child to help you with your favorite hobbies. I love to let me kids paint beside me as I play with watercolors.

Related: 50 Fun Family Activities at Home to Build a Stronger Family

Action Step: Spend just five minutes today being truly present with your children. Put your phone in the other room, and clear your mind and schedule for your kids!

What are the qualites of a good parent? Learn godly parenting tips, and gain confidence in your parenting!

Godly Parenting Tip #8: Know and Honor Your Child

Want to succeed in godly parenting? Know your child and the plan God has for them as an individual. With Biblical parenting, you’ve got vision. You’re not just stuck in the here and now. You’re constantly looking for the potential, for the tiny seeds to blossom.

Know your child. Pray for wisdom to understand their inner workings. Pray for God to reveal their potential and His plans for them. Build up their strengths. Partner with the Holy Spirit to gently correct their weaknesses.

Teach them by your words and actions that they are immeasurably valuable to you and to God. Don’t criticize them in front of others. Discipline in private. Respect them as sons and daughters of God. Be a bucket-filling family. Show them honor.

Related Reading: Strong-willed child? Read the truth about why your child is a diamond in the rough, and how to parent your child with confidence.

Action Step: Pray and ask the Lord to show you your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Make a list of specific ways you can build your child up and honor who he is as a child of God.

Godly Parenting Tip #9: Prioritize Unity

Family is about unity. Biblical parenting places a big priority in creating a safe, solid place for children to grow. It takes a unified team to make this happen!

Parenting is a partnership. If you’re married, your spouse is your most important ally and adviser. Biblical parenting sets the father as the head of the house, and the wife as his “helpmeet.” In today’s culture, this is a touchy subject.

But let’s not sidestep it.

Unity begins with humility.

Find and value your role in your family and as a parent. God designed you to fill a very important role. And with your spouse, you make a whole team. A unified front ready to lead your family.

If you’re a single parent, guess what? You’re not alone! You have the amazing opportunity to partner with the Holy Spirit as you become a Godly parent! Embrace that partnership with everything you’ve got.

Try these unity-building habits in your own family:

  • Work as a family to write out a few family values. What does your family stand for?
  • With your spouse, write out a few goals for your family. What do you want to improve on?
  • In your marriage, practice humility. Resist the urge to let that snarky comment fly! Choose honor.
  • Find ways to let each family member know they are part of the team. There is no “us and them.” You’re all on the same team!

Action Step: Think of one issue that causes disunity in your family. How can you fight for unity in this circumstance?

Your Turn

Ready to succeed in godly parenting? These Biblical parenting principles are solid ground to stand on!

Remember, your family is unique. There are so many ways to apply these principles in real life, and they may play out differently in your family culture. That’s OK!

I hope these principles will help you find and follow God’s plan for your family. Keep eternity in mind, and trust the Lord for wisdom as a parent!

Connect with us below. What do you think are the most important qualities of a good parent? What does Biblical parenting look like in your own family?