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parenting

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning…”

Eight words, strung together by God, that give man the building blocks of life.

Eight words that provide the foundation for wisdom.

Eight words that are essential to understanding the meaning of life.

Eight words that guarantee a joyous life.

Eight words that lead to fulfillment in life.

Eight words that point the direction for what we must do if we want to please God.

Eight words that prove the faithfulness of God.

Eight words that are the beginning of our obedience to the Lord.

Eight words that eliminate the folly of talk and teach us how to walk before God.

And once we completely and unreservedly “fear the Lord,” we will have confidence and courage to face any obstacle in life because God is bigger than anything and everything else in the universe.

But those words do not end when our lives end. They are generational and, if the believer is faithful, will be passed from generation to generation.

Parents who want to provide safety and security and wellbeing for their children will do so because of their “fear of the Lord.” Scripture provides all the evidence any parent needs to realize the benefits that will come to their children if they - the parents – “fear the Lord” and are obedient to Him - no matter the cost!

Not parents? Pass the message on. It’s lifesaving!

Prayer: Lord, may we take to heart the significance and importance of those eight words, “the fear of the Lord” is where life begins. May we recognize Your power and our limits. Amen.

Scripture For Today: Whoever fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge. Proverbs 14:26

There is limited information in Scripture that describes the home life of Jesus. Every now and then we get a glimpse of something. But there can be little doubt that God and His teachings were at the center of everything.

We read that “Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.” No doubt His knowledge of and reverence for the Law and Prophets shaped His life and His reverence and relationship with His Heavenly Father and others.

Luke’s Gospel tells us about a family trip to the temple. On the way home, they noticed that He was not with them. When they returned to the temple they found Him listening to and answering questions of the learned teachers. At the tender age of twelve Jesus demonstrated to others the deep understanding of God’s Word that obviously came from His parents.

Mary and Joseph realized that they were obligated to God for the welfare and wellbeing of His one and only Son. While He was waiting to begin His public ministry He listened to their teachings and followed their examples of godly living.

Parents can never overlook or underestimate the influence and impact they have on their children. Parents must follow the example of Joseph and Mary in raising their children.

Prayer: We pray, Father, that parents will realize the important gift of a child and the trust You place in them to raise them to know, love, trust, obey and serve You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. 

Please leave a comment and tell us how you were helped by today's devotional! 

A mother recently said, “Before I had children I read every book I could on how to raise them. I must have developed at least a hundred theories on how I should bring them up and train them. Now, after raising seven children, I have only two: Love them even when they least deserve love, and hold them accountable for everything they do - even when it hurts.” 

That sounds like advice that would come from God - not only about how we are to raise our children, but how He “raises” His children. 

Everyone needs love - especially the type of love that has its source in God. His love is a love that is undeserved, fair, just, essential, and life-giving. It is a love that may require a self-sacrificial act for the good of anyone who God brings into our lives - whether a family member, friend, or someone who enters our life for a brief moment. It is a way of acting “with grace and mercy” toward another person rather than a feeling that may be fleeting and short-lived. 

But there is also a need for accountability - being responsible, first to God and then to others to share His love. Although God has given each of us the freedom of choice, we are also responsible to Him for each and every choice we make. Whatever we do and wherever we do it, we are accountable to Him to show His love. When we are born again, we are changed from the inside out, and obligated to live His love, show His grace and demonstrate His mercy. 

Prayer:  Your Word, Lord, clearly states that others will know that we are Your disciples if we show them Your love. Help each of us to accept and fulfill this obligation. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Scripture For Today: If you love each other, all men will know you are My followers. John 13:35 

Were you helped by today's devotional? Leave a comment and let us know!


There is limited information in Scripture that describes the home life of Jesus. Every now and then we get a glimpse of something. But there can be little doubt that God and His teachings were at the center of everything.
We read that “Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.” No doubt His knowledge of and reverence for the Law and Prophets shaped His life and His reverence and relationship with His Heavenly Father and others.
Luke’s Gospel tells us about a family trip to the temple. On the way home, they noticed that He was not with them. When they returned to the temple they found Him listening to and answering questions of the learned teachers. At the tender age of twelve Jesus demonstrated to others the deep understanding of God’s Word that obviously came from His parents.
Mary and Joseph realized that they were obligated to God for the welfare of His only begotten Son. While He was waiting to begin His public ministry He listened to their teachings and followed their examples of Godly living.
Parents can never overlook or underestimate the influence and impact they have on their children. Parents must follow the example of Joseph and Mary in raising their children.
Prayer: We pray, Father, that parents will realize how important the gift of a child is and the trust You place in them to raise them to know, love, trust and serve You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
A welfare worker, visiting in the home of one of her clients, discovered a crippled child that had never gone to school because he was unable to walk. Her compassionate heart was deeply touched by his condition and she decided to do something out of the ordinary for him.
Initially, she took him to a distinguished orthopedic surgeon who performed several procedures to correct the problems in his legs. Then a podiatrist corrected the problems with his crooked feet. Little by little he learned to walk and run and play. He also learned to read and write and make enough progress to attend school with his friends.
One day, in telling this story to a group of her friends she said, "He is now a grown man. And I want you to tell me where you think he is and what he is doing.”
After a few moments her colleagues began to reply: "A doctor?" asked one. "No," she responded. "A minister?" wondered another. "No," she replied. "I know," said a third, "a welfare worker because of your influence on his life."
"No," she said with tears in her eyes. "He is now in prison serving a life term for murder. You see, we spent all of our time in teaching him how to walk and run, read and write, but we did not teach him where to walk and what to read and who he should communicate with."
David prayed, "Teach me Your way, O Lord, and I will walk in Your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your name."
Prayer: Father, write on each of our hearts the words of Your Son: "I am the way, the truth and the life!" In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 86:11 Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.
Speaking to a Sunday school class, a pastor asked, “Why do you love God?”
“Because,” answered a young boy, “loving God runs in our family.”
What a wonderful statement to make about his family. What an important goal for every family. But God only enters and stays with families as long as He is welcome.
Here’s how it works: Each member of the family must ask Jesus to be their Savior. Then, His Word must be read and accepted, honored and obeyed, followed faithfully and carefully if He is to have His rightful place in the family. Examples of His presence in the lives of the family will be on display. He will be present at every meal, part of every conversation and readily recognized in the way family members treat one another.
Children learn how they are to behave from their parents. Parents must show love and understanding, care and compassion, patience and thoughtfulness, respect and honor toward each other first and then to each child.
If we expect God’s love to run in our families, we must first “run” with God and become obedient to His Word.
Prayer: Help us, Father, to realize the importance of You always being present in our families. May we recognize our need to depend on You, to honor You and to follow the example of Jesus as we show love for each other: in His name. Amen.
Scripture: Ephesians 6:1-4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
It had been a particularly difficult day at work. But when Jim got home, he invited his son into the yard to play catch. Looking over the fence, a neighbor called out, “Jim, aren’t you tired from the day’s work?”
“Yes, I am,” he replied.
“Then why don’t you rest?” continued the neighbor.
“I’d rather have a backache tomorrow,” said the dad, “than heartache later in life.”
As parents we focus on the present, forgetting that what we do today affects all of our children’s tomorrows. We are concerned with daily events and forget about eternity. We have homework on the refrigerator, photos on every table and clothes for every occasion. Yet what we do is far more important than how things look.
In The Message the words of Paul are translated this way: “Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master.” (Ephesians 6:4)
If our children do not get attention from us, they will get it from someone else. If we are not available for them, someone else will be. If we are too busy, someone else will make time available for them.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to be the kind of parent You want me to be. May I love my children as You love me, guard them as You guard me, protect them as You protect me and lead them into life everlasting. Amen.
Scripture: Ephesians 6:1-10 …Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
It had been a particularly difficult day at work. But when Jim got home, he invited his son into the yard to play catch. Looking over the fence, a neighbor called out, “Jim, aren’t you tired from the day’s work?”
“Yes, I am,” he replied.
“Then why don’t you rest?” continued the neighbor.
“I’d rather have a backache tomorrow,” said the dad, “than heartache later on.”
As parents we focus on the present, forgetting that what we do today affects all of our children’s tomorrows. We are concerned with daily events and forget about eternity. We have homework on the refrigerator, photos on every table and clothes for every occasion. Yet what we do is far more important than how things look.
In The Message the words of Paul are translated this way: “Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master.” (Ephesians 6:4)
If our children do not get attention from us, they will get it from someone else. If we are not available for them, someone else will be. If we are too busy, someone else will make time available for them.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to be the kind of parent You want me to be. May I love my children as You love me, guard them as You guard me, protect them as You protect me and lead them into life everlasting. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Ephesians 6:1-10 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
It was the first time he had been asked to be in a wedding. As he came down the aisle, he would take a step, turn his hands into claw-like instruments, grasp at the air and growl like a bear, lips curled and forehead furrowed.

The people were laughing at such an unusual sight. When he got to the row where the bride’s mother was sitting, she pulled him to the side and asked, “What are you doing?”

“Grrrrr,” he growled. “I’m being a ring bear.” Unfortunately, no one taught him how a “ring bear” behaved.

Parents and teachers have an obligation and responsibility to educate and encourage children to learn and behave appropriately. Often we place expectations on the young when they have no experience or have had no one to explain how they are to behave. When they make mistakes or when things go wrong, we put the blame on them even if they have had no opportunity to learn differently.

That is the reason Solomon gave such wise guidance, “Listen to your father’s experience…” True wisdom comes from God and parents must invest time with Him and in His Word if they are to prepare their children for the demands of life. Often we expect our children to know how to behave and what to do when we have neither taught them nor provided an example for them. That’s why we have “Ring Bears.”

Prayer: Help us, Father, to accept our responsibility to faithfully teach our children in “the way they should go.” In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Proverbs 4:1-13 Hear, my son, and receive my sayings, And the years of your life will be many.

Young Antonio was driven by a desire to play the violin and sing. Unfortunately, his fingers were not nimble enough to move swiftly over the strings and his voice sounded screechy. He went from one teacher to another and they all said he would never be a great musician. They would laugh and he would cry.

One day, by chance, he met Amati, a violin maker. He was very attracted to the sincerity and passion that Antonio had for music. “Son,” said Amati, “it is the song in your heart that makes the difference. There are many ways to make music. And you can make music if you want.”

Those words inspired Antonio and he became an apprentice to Amati to learn how to make violins. In time Antonio Stradivarius became the world’s greatest maker of violins. He was helped by a friend, something all of us can do for others.

The Apostle Paul had some great advice for all of us: “Don’t make your children angry by the way you treat them.” The true purpose of parental discipline is to help children grow by example and encouragement. All children deserve a father who is Christ-honoring, hard-working, accountable to God and others, love-expressing, kind, patient, and family-oriented. Growing up in a home where the Father comes first will provide what children need to succeed.

Prayer: We pray, Lord, for fathers who look to You for guidance and grace as they raise their children. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Ephesians 6:1-4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

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