Parenting with Faith: Applying the 14 Gospel Principles to Raise Children

Navigating the complex journey of parenthood is no small feat. It’s a path filled with joy, challenges, and countless learning opportunities. One such guidepost on this journey can be found in the 14 gospel principles, a set of spiritual guidelines that can provide a moral compass for parents.

These principles, rooted in faith and wisdom, offer a unique perspective on raising children in today’s world. They’re not just about instilling good values but also about fostering a spiritual connection that empowers both parent and child.

Parenting 14 Gospel Principles

Delving deeper into the 14 gospel principles offers a profound understanding of their roots and their modern implications in parenting. These principles, woven into the fabric of faith, guide parents in raising morally sound and spiritually connected children.

Key Concepts and Theological Foundations

Fundamental to the 14 gospel principles are key concepts bearing theological origins. Rooted in biblical teachings, these principles embrace the greatest commandment—love. For instance, mercy, grace, and forgiveness, significant principles among the 14, reflect God’s unconditional love. Additionally, principles like authority illustrate the biblical model of parents acting as loving leaders, an image mirroring God’s leadership with his people.

Principles 1-5: Foundation of Grace

Stepping into the first segment of Gospel Principles, we are unveiling the foundation of grace. 

Principle 1: Incomplete without Jesus

Believing in Jesus remains a cornerstone of gospel-oriented parenting; it drives home the message that parenting efforts fall short without His guidance and grace. Striking a balance between earthly responsibilities and spiritual needs, this principle emphasizes that Jesus fills the void that worldly methods can’t address. Instances of His teachings—as seen in Matthew 19:14 where he asked to let the children come to him—present a clear model for parenthood. 

Principle 2: Grace-Based Parenting Techniques

Complementing the first principle, the second principle introduces the concept of grace-based parenting techniques. It advocates for an approach where mistakes aren’t disastrous but serve as teaching moments, reflecting the grace which Jesus extends to humanity. Parents who embrace this technique foster love, encourage forgiveness, and promote understanding. For instance, take a child’s acting out in school—a grace-based response goes beyond punishment; it recognizes the child’s struggle, instills the lesson, and reaffirms love and acceptance. 

Principles 6-10: Engaging Our Children

Emphasizing the gospel’s guidance can create powerful transformations in parenting style. 

Principle 6: Authority and Submission

Parents transition into effective caregivers through principle 6’s exploration. It reveals the dynamic of authority and submission within a Gospel-grounded framework. Utilizing authority with love and respect, not dominance, promotes submission in children. The Bible’s Ephesians 6:4 advises, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” It’s an assured statement, reminding parents to exercise authority balanced with compassion and understanding. Instances of such balance include promoting open discussions, granting children agency, and setting firm but fair boundaries.

Principle 7: Understanding Our Ultimate Goal in Parenting

Clarity marks Principle 7, it connects parental decisions with the final aspiration in child-rearing through the Gospel’s lens. Weaving life’s ordinary moments into an extraordinary journey, it encourages progress over perfection. Colossians 1:28 states, “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.” It’s a powerful assertion that underlines the ultimate goal: nurturing the spiritual maturity of our children, thereby leading them to a profound relationship with Christ. 

Principles 11-14: Cultivating Character

Rounding out the 14 gospel principles, the final four bring it all together by focusing on character cultivation. They’re a testament to the power of faith, wisdom, and love in shaping a child’s spiritual journey. These principles remind parents that it’s not just about setting goals or exercising authority, but also about nurturing a Christ-like character. It’s through this character development that children can truly understand and embrace the gospel’s core values. The 14 gospel principles aren’t just guidelines for parenting; they’re a roadmap to raising spiritually mature children. They serve as a moral compass, guiding parents through the complexities of parenthood. They encourage a grace-based approach, balancing authority with love and respect, and emphasizing progress over perfection. By applying these principles, parents can foster a strong spiritual connection with their children, creating an environment where faith, love, and wisdom thrive.