Often times as parents we want five quick steps to get our kids to obey, or four basic rules to make our children be kind, but soon we realize that is not how it works! We need to live (and parent) by faith instead of by formula. So what does that mean?
When our kids were young, I often reacted in a formulaic way to different situations with my children. If they did such and such, I did so and so. But after a while, I realized that this kind of formula approach was not always what my children needed. Plus, I was relying on myself and my formulas rather than relying, by faith, on the Holy Spirit’s direction in how to love and train my kids.
That is an easy pitfall for us as parents. We are tempted to rely on our own ingenuity, strength, or particular formulas to guide and correct our kids. We need, desperately need, the guidance of the Holy Spirit to help us. Also, we need the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of our children! Our biggest task in parenting is prayer. Parenting by faith is a day by day, moment by moment reliance on His grace, power, and direction to love and train our children well.
Once we have set our hearts on the Holy Spirit, then we are ready to talk about good principles for training and teaching our children.