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10 Bible Verses to Increase Your Parenting Sanity

  • Brent Rinehart www.apparentstuff.com
  • 2018 17 Oct
10 Bible Verses to Increase Your Parenting Sanity

Somedays, everything works. The kids wake up with a smile, eager for school. They do everything you ask without complaining, they are courteous to their siblings, and you feel pretty good about the job you are doing as a parent.

But other times, it seems to be the opposite. You feel like an underdog suiting up for battle, grossly underequipped and underprepared for your opponent. You hear yourself giving the same instruction to your kid for the 47th time, you trip over their belongings around the house, and are forced to discipline when you are too tired to do so. And, you really just need a nap.

Children are a blessing, but there’s no doubt that they can try your patience and sanity. Just recently, I found myself in the middle of a war with my 8-year-old about a lie she told. It was a pretty big deal, and I was at wit’s end. What are we doing wrong? Why is our daughter doing these things she knows in her heart are wrong? Are we handling it all wrong?

Parenting can make you crazy. While kids don’t come with an instruction manual, you do have somewhere to turn for help—the Bible. God longs to comfort us, give us wisdom, and build us up as parents. When those hard days fall on you as a parent, here are a few verses to bookmark for hope.

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Psalm 127:3

Psalm 127:3

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.

This verse is a wonderful place to start—thanking God for the blessing of parenthood. Though often challenging, children bring unimaginable joy into our lives. This verse is a constant reminder that children are a gift. God has chosen us for this monumental task of parenthood, and it’s a privilege. When times are hard, this verse pulls us back to our original purpose and joy when we became parents for the first time. 

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Lamentations 3:22-23

Lamentations 3:22-23

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Is there a more encouraging truth than to know that God’s love never runs out? He is always faithful and merciful towards us. When we are at our lowest, this verse picks us up. It also encourages us to have steadfast love and mercy for our children, in the same way God has always proven His love and mercy for us. 

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Matthew 6:33-34

Matthew 6:33-34

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

I’ve always been a bit of an anxious person. I come from a long line of “worrywarts.” My wife, however, was much more of a free spirit. That is, until we had kids. There’s nothing that will ramp up your worry game like being responsible for keeping other people alive. But this verse reminds us to keep our focus on God, not our circumstances; it reminds us to concentrate on the things that have eternal importance rather than the things of this world.

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Philippians 4:6-7

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Peace—it’s something many of us long for, in the midst of our busy lifestyles. We run from point A to point B (to point C). We worry about so many things that are outside of our control. But peace is within our grasp; we just have to trust God. He’ll relieve our anxiety if we just come to Him in prayer and with a thankful heart. 

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1 Peter 5:2-3

1 Peter 5:2-3

Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.

The Bible is full of references to sheep and shepherds. Jesus himself said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). Parents are also shepherds of their own little flocks. Our kids need to be guided and cared for, the same way Jesus cares for us, His flock. The part of this verse that really encourages me is the focus on servant leadership. The call is for us to be examples to our children, not domineering over them. When the parenting road gets rough, this verse reminds me of Christ’s servant leadership and loving care for me. That’s enough to inspire me as I try to best care for my children.

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Ephesians 6:4

Ephesians 6:4

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

The use of the word “Fathers” in this verse certainly grabs my attention as a dad. It causes me to evaluate how I handle the most stressful times. Am I leading in a way that only frustrates my children? Am I allowing them the freedom to be who God created them to be? Am I disciplining them in a way that will help them grow? When my kids provoke me to anger, which admittedly happens, this verse reminds me not to repay evil for evil. God uses His Word to speak to us at just the time we need it. 

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Galatians 5:22-23

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Traditionally, I’ve always looked at this passage through the lens of a follower of Christ and nothing more. It reminds me of the types of attributes that walking with Christ should be producing in my life. But parenthood adds a new aspect to it. Reading these verses in light of your responsibilities as a parent reminds you of the magnitude of your role. When my patience runs low with my kids, this verse shakes me back to reality. When anger gets the best of me, God taps me on the shoulder with this verse. The bottom line is this: effective parenting always starts with us as individuals. We can’t teach our kids things we haven’t learned ourselves. We need to allow God to mold us and shape us into who we need to be.

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Proverbs 3:5-6

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Most of us aren’t parenting experts. I need all the help I can get. I love this verse that reminds us of our need to rely on God’s strength and wisdom to help us. And He will help us. It’s not a maybe—it’s a guaranteed promise. We just have to trust Him and not try to do it all on our own. If our focus is on God and trusting Him, He will help us navigate parenthood in the best way to bring Him glory and make a difference in the lives of people around us.

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James 1:5

James 1:5

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him.

If there is one thing we all need in order to be better parents, it is wisdom. We can read books, articles, and talk to other parents—all of which are certainly helpful. But our omnipotent, omniscient Heavenly Father should be our ultimate source. When we find ourselves at the end of our parenting rope—or even long before we get there—we need to talk to God about it. If we ask Him for the wisdom necessary in each situation, this verse promises that God will grant it.

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Matthew 11:28

Matthew 11:28

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Even though it has been a little while since my kids were babies, I remember those first few weeks with a newborn. There is no way to prepare for the exhaustion you feel. And when you are tired, you feel the effects not only physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually as well. We need rest. When we carry heavy loads and burdens, Jesus is waiting there with His arms wide open. He wants us to release our burdens as parents. So many things are outside of our control. We need to let God be responsible for what He has promised. By doing that, we can find that refreshment we so desperately need in our lives.

Brent Rinehart is a public relations practitioner and freelance writer. He blogs about the amazing things parenting teaches us about life, work, faith and more at www.apparentstuff.com. You can also follow him on Twitter.

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