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Preparing for Parenthood Through Scripture

Description

Putting your worries aside is easier said than done, but God’s Word overflows with the power and peace you'll need to get through any circumstance, including preparing for parenthood.

Are you planning on becoming a parent soon?

If you’re anything like me when I was expecting, your head is full of ideas around how to decorate the nursery, where to register for gifts and what to have at the ready—diapers, bottles, formula, etc.—when the blessed day arrives.

That wasn’t even half of what my husband and I had on our to-do list. In the end, a lot of things were left undone—almost a year later, two walls of our daughter’s bedroom are blank despite the tall pile of frames and pictures hiding behind her rocking chair. But there is one thing I’m so glad I got around to: preparing for parenthood through Scripture.

I looked to the Bible to help weather the wait as an expectant mom and to prepare for the responsibilities as a new parent. How about giving yourself the gift of God’s Word as you await your own little one?

Meditate on the importance of “instructing” and “teaching”

Early in the book of Proverbs, King Solomon lays out God’s plan for parents. Verse 1:8 reads, “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” My husband and I felt pretty confident that we could pamper and provide for our future daughter, but just how ready were we to be her instructor and teacher? For several months and on a daily basis, I made every effort to meditate on all of the lessons to follow—lessons to pass on to our future child:

  • Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23)

  • Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. (Proverbs 13:20)

  • A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)

  • Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans. (Proverbs 16:3)

  • Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)

  • Whoever loves a quarrel loves sin; whoever builds a high gate invites destruction. (Proverbs 17:19)

Though I know I won’t remember everything I learned during that time of study—and our daughter is certain to throw us some crazy curveballs—I embrace my job description as teacher and now know where to go for help, including the example of Jesus.

Study the character of Jesus in establishing your parenting style

Our daughter came home to us through the process of adoption, so we checked out a trusted resource in that area, the book, The Connected Child by Karyn B. Purvis, Ph.D., David R. Cross, Ph.D., and Wendy Lyons Sunshine. Though the book itself isn’t faith-based, one of the authors offers “Created to Connect: A Christian Guide to The Connected Child” as a free downloadable companion piece.

What I love about “Created to Connect” is that it shows the parallels between how Jesus loves us and how we are to love our children. The guide addresses topics such as life values, authority, defiance and setbacks, all from a biblical point of view. It helped my husband and I agree to a course of action for both the delightful and difficult moments of our life together. And, just like my journey through Proverbs, “Created to Connect” affirms that Scripture is the right foundation upon which to build our family. Some passages have already become especially meaningful to us.

Pick a theme verse that speaks to the excitement – and anxiety – of meeting and raising your child.

As I mentioned, our daughter joined our family by way of adoption. She was born 6,000 miles away on a remote island in the South Pacific, and we were required to stay there for up to six weeks before bringing her home. It was exciting and unsettling all at the same time!

But God gave us a Bible passage that became a great source of comfort and motivation over our years of navigating the adoption process. I carried Psalm 139:10-11 with me wherever I went: “If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

We not only leaned on these encouraging words as my husband and I saw our plans take shape and eventually took to the skies. We also claimed the verses as a lifelong promise for our daughter as she makes her home with us “on the far side of the sea.”

Putting all of our worries aside is easier said than done, but God’s Word overflows with the power and peace we need to get through any circumstance, including preparing for parenthood. I’ll never regret trying to provide our daughter with the very best beginning—a beginning based on Scripture.

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