Paul Dean

Pastor, Counselor, Professor, Columnist and Radio Talk Show Host

12 Things Good Parents Do

Well, being a good parent ain’t what the culture says – we’re never going to spank our kids; we’ll let them explore their own sexuality and gender identity – #authenticity; in fact, we won’t ever impose our values on them – better to let someone else do that, right?

Of course, you’re not like that. You spank you’re kids whenever they get on your nerves. And no, you would never let them explore their own sexuality, as far as you know. You send them to a good school, at least you’ve heard it’s good.

You’re good parents – not like those liberal parents.

So why is it you can’t wait for school to start to get your kid out of your hair? Why do you resent your kids keeping you from doing what you want? Why don’t you get along with your teenager anymore? Why did you have to rush up to school to be with your daughter after her abortion?

Seventy to ninety percent of church kids walk away from Christ and the values of their parents when they hit college. At least somebody reading this just felt that gut punch.

So what’s the counter punch? What do good parents do?    

They Spend Time with their Kids

You’re not a good parent if you don’t. You might think you are; but you’re not. How will you impact them more than the fools they hang out with (Prov 22:15; Ps. 14:1)? How will you really know them? You don’t want to live with the regret of neglecting your children or embitter them because you were never there. Why did you have kids if you don’t want to be around them?

They Train their Kids Biblically Every Day

If you don’t train your children, someone else will. Teachers, coaches, and friends shape their minds and hearts. Even more so does television and social media. Or, it could be porn or that pervert down the street. Here’s ten reasons to teach your children biblical truth – every day.

They Discipline their Kids Biblically

One Christian woman told me when her child pitched a fit in the store, she would announce to anyone within earshot that her child wanted to be the center of attention. Her thought was that embarrassing her would do the trick. It didn’t. Another woman said she threatened to leave her children in the store when they pitched their fits. Not sure where to find embarrassment and threats in the bible when it comes to discipline, but that’s beside the point for most parents. But if you’re interested in biblical discipline, see my article here.

They Take Responsibility for their Kids’ Education

Hey, I’ve got a great idea! Let’s let someone else instill their values into our kids for seven hours a day – every single day – of their lives. Everything your kids hear comes from one worldview or another: one that says God is or one that says He’s not. Evolution is not the only problem in government schools. Think homosexual agenda; re-writing history; victimization and feelings oriented culture; relativistic and politically correct values; socialistic equality of outcomes; an entitlement mentality and the welfare state: just to name of few of the destructive ideas with which your children are being indoctrinated day after day after day after day after day. It is a stated goal of government education to alienate children from their parents. The state claims ownership of your children. They simply use you to board them in the evenings. Oh, here’s a little more, if you’re interested as to why I don’t care if my daughter gets good grades or not.

They Show Their Kids How to do Life

When my older daughter’s car overheated and she didn’t know what to do, I realized I had failed in yet another area. So I did something about it. I wish I were more like my dad. He showed me how to do things, even if I wasn’t as interested as he. More than how to fix my car, plant a garden, or build a fence, he took me with him everywhere he went. I learned how to talk with people; how to negotiate business deals; how to treat others well; how to be a man; and how to sacrifice for my family. He showed me how to honor God. There’s more, but you get the idea.

They Keep the Lines of Communication Open

That’s hard to do if you ignore or belittle your children; if you routinely fly off the handle; if you discipline out of anger; if you lecture instead of listen. Perhaps you’re like one discouraged mom who said to me, “I’ve tried to talk with my daughter but she just shuts me down.” If you have that kind of trouble with your teen, you might want to read this. You might also want to know that your communication break-down starts when your kids are young.

They Take Responsibility for their Kids’ Relationships

Here’s another idea. After your kids have been indoctrinated at school all day, the rest of the day they can get more values training from their friends, television, social media, and unlimited internet access. Oh, and it’s cute that your fourteen-year-old is dating. It’s cute because God has created teenage boys and girls to be attracted to one another and has given them raging hormones. Teenagers are also curious; they’re often rebellious; if not overtly rebellious they think their parents are stupid, and they hide things from them; they don’t have the training or the experience to make wise decisions in the face of overwhelming desire; girls give in to pressure from boys; and boys want to brag to other boys afterward. Most parents think there’s nothing they can do; they just hope it all works out. You need to start when they’re young and teach them about relationships, pitfalls, and God’s way. And, if your kid is fourteen and you’ve just realized you’re in trouble, then share your heart. Share your ignorance, your sin, and your new-found commitment to honor God. Ask your child to struggle forward in a new way. And pray. But please, whatever you do, don’t throw your virgin to the lions.  

They Prepare their Kids for Marriage

Are you preparing your kids to go to college? Probably. They’re taking advanced placement courses or seeking scholarships or taking the PSAT or something. Here’s another question or two. Are you preparing your children for marriage? Or, like most parents, are you going to send them off to college and just hope they don’t come home with a loser? If that’s your plan, they’ll come home with a loser. You have to model what a good marriage is. They need to get their ideas of what a good wife or a good husband is from you. You need to teach them what to look for in a mate and what the purpose of marriage is. Your son can’t just pick a girl because she’s good looking. He has to see that marriage is about two people advancing the kingdom together. It’s about sanctification and serving one another. It’s about putting the gospel on display. It’s about sacrifice and commitment. And, if you do it God’s way for God’s glory, then yes, there’s great joy. And just in case you missed it in the previous point, here’s a dating tip for your kids.

They Help their Kids Discover their Unique Gift Mix

Don’t impose your dreams on your kids. My dad was in construction. He wanted me to do that but made it clear I needed to do what God called me to do. I chose real estate and loved it. My dad did too. Then God made me a preacher. I love that too. So did my dad. It would be great if my son were a preacher. But he’s an artist. I love that.

They Pray for their Kids Daily

Because God is the only one who has any real power to turn their hearts toward Him. On second thought, good parents pray for their kids hourly, and sometimes more.

They Love their Kids Unconditionally

That doesn’t mean you let them get away with stuff they shouldn’t. It means you love them even when they break your heart. And you let them know you love them that way. And here are seven things you should do if they actually do break your heart.

They Trust God and His Word for Their Kids

Even when good parents do good things, they can still have children that walk away. Whether that’s your situation or not, being a good parent means trusting the Lord no matter what. He withholds no good thing from those who walk uprightly (Ps. 84:11). He causes all things to work together for your good (Rom. 8:28). He loves you more than you can know. He demonstrated His love for you by dying in your place, while you were still shaking your fist in His face (Rom. 5:8). You can trust His word for all the parenting principles you need: “There is no wisdom or understanding or counsel against the Lord (Prov. 21:30).” And, you can trust His perfect plan for you – and for your children.

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