Raising a Godly Child: Mistakes To Avoid

Raising a godly child is a noble and rewarding endeavor, often guided by a set of moral and spiritual principles. Parents play a pivotal role in shaping the character and beliefs of their children. 

Despite their best intentions, some well-meaning parents may encounter common pitfalls on this journey. We will explore key mistakes to avoid in the pursuit of raising a godly child and how to navigate the challenges of parenthood.

Guidelines From the Scriptures

What does the Bible advise us to raise our children as Christians? Below are scriptures that will guide us on what not to do in our parenting journey.

Overemphasis on Strict Rules 

Ephesians 6:4 (NIV) – “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

This verse lays a strong emphasis on the importance of balancing discipline with love and guidance. Being overly strict can lead to frustration and resentment in children, hindering their understanding of God’s love and grace.

Neglecting a Child’s Personal Spiritual Development

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NIV) – “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

This verse encourages parents to internalize their faith and actively share it with their children in their normal family lives. Neglecting this instruction will mean that the children have no genuine, lived-out Christian faith to witness and emulate.

Ignoring Individuality and Unique Gifts

1 Corinthians 12:4-6 (NIV) – “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone, it is the same God at work.”

We see the emphasis laid on the uniqueness of the gifts God bestows on individuals within the body of believers. Parents should recognize and celebrate the unique gifts and talents of each child, guiding them to use these gifts for God’s purposes rather than imposing predetermined expectations.

Failure to Foster Critical Thinking

Proverbs 2:6 (NIV) – “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”

Wisdom and knowledge are key in helping a Christian have a good understanding of God. Encouraging your child to ask questions helps them develop a mature and critical understanding of their faith.

Neglecting Emotional Well-being

Colossians 3:12-13 (NIV) – “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

Emphasizing emotional well-being aligns with biblical principles of compassion, kindness, and forgiveness. Neglecting these aspects may hinder a child’s ability to live out the virtues of love and empathy taught in scripture.

Isolating from the Real World

Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV) – “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

In a world where everything seems to go wrong, some parents may tend to think that isolating their children from the community will ensure their safety. However, according to this scripture, believers should be a positive influence in the world. 

Parents should equip their children to engage with the world, becoming a light that reflects the teachings of Christ rather than isolating them from the broader community.

What does the Bible say about the role of a mother? To learn more about being a godly mother, check out these 10 characteristics of a good mother according to the Bible.

What Not to Do

Forceful Impartation

While a parent may mean well, placing excessive emphasis on rigid rules and regulations may not work well. An overly strict environment can stifle a child’s emotional and spiritual growth, the exact opposite of the result we want. 

Instead of fostering a genuine connection with faith, this approach may lead to resentment and rebellion. Strike a balance between discipline and compassion, allowing room for a child to understand the principles of faith in a loving and supportive atmosphere.

Failure to Lead by Example

In a bid to give their children the best, some parents often neglect their own spiritual growth. Children learn by example, and observing parents actively engaged in their faith can have a profound impact. 

As a parent, deepening your relationship with God can be a powerful motivator for children to embrace their faith sincerely.

Neglecting Quality Family Time

At the fast pace with which everything is moving, many parents are so busy trying to secure their families’ financial future that they forget the importance of family time. Prioritize family bonding, prayer, and worship to create a supportive environment where the family can grow in faith together.

Overlooking Mental Health Needs

A person’s mental and emotional state is strongly reflected in their life choices. Christian parents should cultivate a healthy relationship with their children so that they may be able to tell when their children are facing problems.

Neglecting mental health needs can impact a child’s ability to navigate life’s challenges and may hinder their spiritual growth.

Comparing Children

Children are unique in their behavior and abilities. Christian parents should be able to appreciate and celebrate the unique qualities of each child.

Comparing children to others can create unhealthy competition and negatively impact self-esteem. avoiding comparisons that may lead to resentment or feelings of inadequacy.

Ignoring Cultural Relevance

Our culture changes with every passing day, and while some of these changes may not align with the Christian faith, they should not be ignored. It is crucial to understand and address contemporary issues within the framework of faith. 

This will help children maneuver through life guided by biblical principles.

Knowing and avoiding these common mistakes will help Christian parents foster a healthy environment for their children to grow up in. Thus, they will be able to lay strong foundation and ensure a well-balanced future for their children.

Image of Zach Heffner and his wife

Zach Heffner has been a missionary in South Africa alongside his parents for almost a decade now. He has been a Christian writer for the past three years for various ministries and also has his own online ministry called Unroll the Scrolls. His passion ultimately is to help others better understand God and His Word through writing.

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Author

  • Zach Heffner

    Zach Heffner has been a missionary in South Africa alongside his parents for almost a decade now. He has been a Christian writer for the past three years for various ministries and also has his own online ministry called Unroll the Scrolls. His passion ultimately is to help others better understand God and His Word through writing.

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About Author

Zach Heffner has been a missionary in South Africa alongside his parents for almost a decade now. He has been a Christian writer for the past three years for various ministries and also has his own online ministry called Unroll the Scrolls. His passion ultimately is to help others better understand God and His Word through writing.

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