Your Kids Are Not Your Report Card

God calls us as parents to do all that we can to teach our children about Him so that He can work in their lives. Their character must flow out of a heart dependent on Jesus. Rather than focus on our grade in the moment, we need to seek to be faithful to lead our kids to know and love God over the long haul. Some of the best times to do this come during our children’s bad behavior. We can teach them about God’s discipline, His grace, and His Gospel through the ups and downs of their choices.

Some of the best ways to training we can give them is:

· Modeling what we want them to become. (If we want them to read the Bible and pray, they should see us doing it.)

· Clearly communicating expectations and consequences. (Getting down on eye level and using few words so they don’t get confused.)

· Consistently enforcing consequences. (Even when it feels like it isn’t working in the moment, I’ve seen it work over a decade with patient consistency.)

· Admitting our own failures and asking their forgiveness. (Even though we are their God-given authority, we are also sinners who don’t always get it right.)

· Making God our parenting audience of One so we care more about what He thinks about our kids’ behavior than the watching world.

So when I’m concerned about a disrespectful tone or a bad test score, I’m not going to embrace a parenting “F” for the day. Instead, I’ll pray for perspective and persistence to keep loving and parenting with complete dependence on the Holy Spirit to guide me through. If I’m not modeling, communicating, consistent, or humble, then I need to repent and ask God for help in making a change. Once I rest that I am obeying God to love and discipline my child, I’ll leave the results up to Him. Thankfully He calls me to be faithful to Him, not to produce perfect children. While we are instructed to train them and lead them to Jesus, our kids are not our report card.


This article originally appeared at

Melissa Spoelstra
Melissa Spoelstra
Melissa Spoelstra is a popular women’s conference speaker, Bible teacher, and writer who is madly in love with Jesus and passionate about helping women of all ages to seek Christ and know Him more intimately through serious Bible study. She is the author of several Bible studies and Total Family Makeover: 8 Steps to Making Disciples at Home. Spoelstra describes herself as a small-town girl from East Texas, but now resides Dublin, Ohio, with her church planter/pastor husband of 20 years and their four children. To keep up with Melissa Spoelstra, You can also follow her onFacebook(AuthorMelissaSpolestra)and Twitter(@MelSpoelstra)

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