Bible Verses for Parents: Biblical Insights for Parents and Children

By Fr. Nilo A. Lardizabal, OP

As a young pastor, I have encountered many beautiful scenes in family life that reflect that of my own family. Many happy memories make me pray for and love them all the more. Yet during confessions and counseling, I have realized that families continue to struggle with misunderstanding and miscommunication on a variety of issues.

Sadly, I too have seen the breakdown of family life and love. It is for these reasons that I wish to share some biblical insights on how families can remain strong and bound together. We are blessed because the overall uniting factor for a family’s endurance is Christ himself – He who was born to an exemplar family.

Concerning parents, the Bible speaks of the eminent role that they have to fulfill for their children. Of course, material and emotional needs are significant factors but the most important is the religious training of the children. St. Paul speaks thus in Ephesians 6:4: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” The latter will aid the former instruction.

A parent, as a child’s first teacher, ought not to fail in giving religious instruction because it is the most important aspect in a child’s life – the fear and love of the Lord. The book of Deuteronomy speaks more of this in 6: 6-7: “And these words (the religious instructions) which I command you this day shall be upon your heart, and 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.”

The Bible seems to instruct us that there should be no part in a parent’s life where God is not loved or taught. In all events, it is appropriate to have faith. But how can a parent pass on the beauty of faith if they themselves do not have it?

What then are the ideal results if these have been fulfilled? The book of Proverbs sheds light in 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Isn’t it joy on the part of the parents when they see their kids’ successes? More than this though, parents will be happier when they see their child grow up in the fear of the Lord. Proverbs 23:24-25 says this: “The father of a righteous will greatly rejoice; he who begets a wise son will be glad in him.”

Another instruction worth keeping is this precautionary measure, found in Colossians 3:21: “Fathers, do not scold your children too much so that they won’t be discouraged.” We hope that this would not become confusing. There is a tendency, especially nowadays, for parents to correct their children in extremely harsh ways.

In my ministry, I have learned of kids who heard their parents say that they wish they (the kids) had never been born; or that one mistake would mean a harsh word or a big slap. This is too much and sometimes the growing child may not understand especially if the reason for the punishment is left unexplained.

Now, does this mean that the parent cannot discipline the child? Definitely not! A passage from Proverbs 13:24 is clear enough: “He who loves his son disciplines him promptly.” Yes, a parent may discipline his or her child, but it has to be done to correct a mistake, with love for the child as the primary motive for the correction.

It is thus extremely necessary to explain to the child the error of his or her ways. Proverbs 29:15-16 says further; “The rod and rebuke gives wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.” We do not want children who will grow up spoiled because the parents are too lenient. Hopefully though, the parents are not too strict as well.

What then should parents teach their children? (And hopefully kids take this to heart as well!) The letter of Paul to the Colossians says this: “Children, obey your parents at all times. This is pleasing to the Lord God.” Now that the parents have done what was instructed of them by the Lord, it is time for the kids to show their faith.

It is necessary to obey those commandments given by their parents at all times. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians 6:1 is even more explicit: “God has given them authority over us their children.” What should follow then? Ephesians 6:2-3: “Respect your father and mother that you may live a long time…”

The blessings promised by God to those who keep faith will be many. Proverbs 1:8-9 says: “Listen to your father and mother’s teachings, and you will be crowned with grace and honor.” Isn’t this the joy in this life? God bestows his love to those who follow His commandments, stemming from the love of parents itself.

The love in the family is one of the most basic aspects for a wholly joyful life. Many times one or the other members make it hard for others to love them. These are just some of the instructions of the Lord. Once heeded, the reward itself will be everlasting life with Him. When will we make the first step?


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