Theology Matters: Bible-Based Churches Are Growing
What is the Right Parenting Style?
Recent research now suggests “that the way parents relate to their children affects more than their mental and emotional health. It also has an impact on their physical well-being.” Some of these effects on children include altered brain development and response to vaccines, especially the meningitis vaccine. This raises an important question—Is there a right method of parenting? The Tiger Mom or Dream-Fullfilment Parenting model? The Friendship or Authoritarian Parenting model? While there are many competing theories, the Christian cannot discount the “influence of godly parents” model, which emphasizes the need for a godly example in the home. Ellen G. White had this to say on this style,
Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons. Deuteronomy 4:9.To all parents who profess to believe in the soon return of Christ there is given a solemn work of preparation, that they and their children may be ready to meet the Lord at His coming. God desires to see parents take their position wholeheartedly for Him, that there may be no perverting of the work He has given them to do and that our children and youth may understand clearly the will of God concerning them.They are to learn to resist evil and choose righteousness, to turn from sin and become the faithful servants of God, prepared to give Him their life’s highest service. There are few parents who realize how important it is to give to their children the influence of a godly example. Yet this is far more potent than precept. No other means is so effective in training them in right lines. The children and youth must have a true copy in right-doing if they succeed in overcoming sin and perfecting a Christian character. This copy they should find in the lives of their parents. If they enter the city of God, … someone must show them the way.By living before their children godly, consistent lives, parents may make the work before them clear and plain. It is God’s desire that parents should be to their children the embodiment of the principles laid down in His Word…. To keep the feet of their children in the narrow path will call for faithful effort and constant prayer, but it is possible to train the children and youth to love and serve God…. It is possible to inculcate the principles of righteousness, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little, until the desires and inclinations of the heart are in harmony with the mind and will of God. When fathers and mothers realize the responsibility resting upon them, and respond to the appeals of God’s Spirit in behalf of this neglected work, there will be seen in the homes of the people transformations that will cause the angels to rejoice. (In Heavenly Places, p. 212)