All parenting is a kind of foster care. We are all caring for children that belong to the Lord. They are His, and to train them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord is to say that we are training them to be comfortable and fully prepared to dwell in the house of the Lord forever. We are teaching our children the words and the ways, the customs and the habits of their Father’s House.
This means that Christian parenting is all about God’s standards not yours, not your friend’s, not you mother’s. Your parenting style should be as free and generous as God is and as firm and narrow as God is. Many parenting mistakes amount to being rigid where God is actually very generous and being flexible precisely where God refuses to budge. So consider: are your household standards God’s standards? Do you need to make any adjustments to your standards in education, entertainment, music, clothing, friends, food?
This also establishes the importance of parents confessing their sins. If you know you’ve been harsh or indulging in your standards, you may need to ask forgiveness. A father who asks his children to forgive him for his sin is acknowledging that Jesus is Lord of the house. And for the same reason, parents must never apologize for something that is not a sin. A pouting fit must never be appeased by grasping for something to apologize for. Not only is that lying, it is also making someone’s emotions the god of the home, which, in very short order will be a Hellish place to live.
Finally, remember that the admonition of the Lord is the paidea of God, or the culture of God. Culture is something that takes time. Especially when children are young, you are planting many seeds that will only bear fruit 3, 5, and 10 years later. This means that you must parent by faith, and that means you must look diligently to the Word of God and then trust and obey. If you are looking anywhere else (magazines, books, down the aisle at church, or Facebook or Instagam), you will grow discouraged, impatient, or despair.
You absolutely want to be praying and looking for fruit, but if you’re looking for immediate payoffs, you are likely to begin taking all the wrong cues. God has assigned these particular children to you. He knows what He’s doing. Trust Him and joyfully bring them continually to Him.