Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I finished Five Spiritual Solutions for Everyday Parenting Challenges on our weekend journey to Nashville, and I have to say, I really enjoyed it. One of my favorite chapters is Solution Two, "Remember God's Parenting Patterns". I love the thought of striving to be like God in our parenting endeavors, and the Eyre's share so many great ideas and thoughts about applying those principles.
Today (and tomorrow), the Eyre's will share a few of those ideas and principles right here on Mamas Who Know. I hope you enjoy it!

The Top Ten Ways to Follow God’s Parenting Example
By: Richard and Linda Eyre

One of the interesting implications the LDS belief in a God who is the literal Heavenly Father of our spirits is that we can actually think of Him as a parent and try to emulate what we know of how He parents us.

Think for a moment about some of the things we know about “How Heavenly Father does it” and ponder how you might follow the Divine parenting example:

1. Complete, unconditional love.
We know that God has a deep and unconditional love for each of us and that His love is individual rather than collective. And He tells us of His love in countless ways.

It is not enough to assume that our children know we love them. To do so makes us a little like Alf from the old country whose wife Anna used to plead “You never tell me you love me!” Alf would reply, “Anna, I told you that on the day we were married. If anything ever changes, you’ll be the first to know!”

2. God sees (and treats) each child as a unique and eternal individual.
Have you heard the parenting advice “Be fair, treat all of your kids the same.”

That’s not Heavenly Father’s method. He has lovingly put us each into a body, a situation, and a series of circumstances tailored to what each of us needs. He knows each of us perfectly and loves the uniqueness that makes us each who we are.

We need to try to give each child the kind of love he or she needs as a unique, one-of-a-kind spirit on whom only you and your spouse are the experts!

3. God gives clear, simple laws with well-announced consequences, rewards, and punishments.
Our Heavenly Father has never been subtle or ambiguous about His rules. He wrote them in stone. He gave them to Prophets. He wrote them in Scripture, and He often states the reward or the punishment right with the law.

It is by having immutable laws that God gives us the boundaries in which He expects us to operate. He gives us agency, but he also makes clear His laws, along with the rewards for compliance and the penalties for deviance. We can try to do the same with our children.

4. God allows His children the chance to repent.
Heavenly Father wants none of us to fail. His laws are not negotiable, and He knows we will fall short, so there is a provision for repentance. And with the repentance comes complete forgiveness.

Our discipline should not be “instant punishment.” We should give our kids the chance to apologize and make amends.

5. God taught us and trained us and held us close throughout the pre-mortal life; and then He gave us choices and let us go.
God, in His marvelous model for parenting, held us close, kept us with Him in his home, and taught us all He could for eons. And then, when further progress required the responsibility, choice-making, independence and families-of-our-own that could not happen in His presence, He gave us our agency and let us go.

Once our children leave for college or for missions or for their own life, we should back off and let them have their agency.

How have you used God's parenting example in your home. Has it been influential in your parenting style? I would love to hear. 

If you want to learn more, make sure to check out the Eyre's new book, and stay tuned for the rest of the ideas tomorrow!


Christina said...

I love this! One way that I've tried to follow Heavenly Father's example is in compassion towards my children when they mess up. I used to adopt the attitude of "I don't feel bad that y happened to you because I warned you not to do x." One day it dawned on me that even when I mess up, Heavenly Father still has compassion towards me and doesn't turn me away as a sinner. It's been a great change for me.

Erin@mamaswhoknow said...

I agree Christina. I find myself being much harder on my children (or husband) than Heavenly Father is on me, or even others.

Great points and thanks for the comment.

Ten Cow said...

Wow that sounds like such a great book! I'll have to get it!

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