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Assumptions of Christian Parenting at St. Paul Lutheran in Bonduel, WI


1. Parents are Christian.


What does this mean?  That one or both parents have a saving faith in Jesus.  They understand that their only hope for not being sent to the judgment of hell for their wrongs, their only hope for eternal life in heaven, is in Jesus.  They understand He took their punishment by His death on the cross.  They personally are trusting, have faith in, believe “Jesus died for me.  Jesus loves me.  God forgives me.”  They are following Jesus.


2. Parents want their children to be Christian.


What does this mean?  That parents want their children, above all else, to have the forgiveness and promise of eternal life that is found in Jesus and Him alone.  They want their children to be followers of Jesus, who not only trust in Him for eternal life, but who obey Him and follow His ways of love for God and love for others.  They want Jesus to be formed in their children, so that they will become little Christs!  They bring their children to the waters of Holy Baptism where they receive God’s name:  The Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


3. Parents need direction and encouragement in Christian parenting.


What does this mean?  A Christian parent does not automatically have all the tools or ability or encouragement to pass on the Christian faith as they might want to.  A person may not have had Christian parents who modeled Christian parenting practices or their parents may have been Christian, but did not practice “Christian parenting.”  Many parents wonder, “Where do I begin?  What can I do?”  Some Christian parents have spouses who are not Christian and do not support or encourage them in “Christian parenting.”  Therefore, two things follow:  1)  It is helpful to have a network of Christian friends who can encourage one another in the Christian parenting process and pray for one another; and 2)  by placing into their hands, tools, resources and helps for Christian parenting, one can be empowered to better fulfill their role as Christian parents.


4. God desires parents to develop Christian parenting habits in their family.


What does this mean?  So much of life revolves around the habits we develop.  We may know what we could or should do, but it never seems to happen (regular exercise, etc.).  By retooling our time and energies, by working towards creating Christian parenting habits, we can open wide the opportunity to help our families grow in Christian faith and love.


5. Christian Parents at St. Paul Lutheran in Bonduel understand that the church has invested great time, energies and monies in providing our children with Christian education both in our St. Paul Lutheran School and in providing additional growth opportunities for children with our Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, our Wednesday public school Confirmation classes and various SPYRT Youth Group events.


What does this mean?   Parents will make great efforts to have their children benefit from the school and educational programs the church provides.


6. The better a Christian parent understands what the vision is for children and youth ministry at St. Paul Lutheran, the more they will make an effort to have their children participate in all that is offered.


What does this mean?  Parents will understand that from Baptism to Confirmation to high school graduation materials and program are meant to give them direction in helping develop their child’s Christian knowledge and faith; that the Cradle Roll materials, the parochial School, Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, public school Confirmation and Youth Group classes will support that growth; and that having received a STRONG foundation BEFORE Confirmation instruction in 7th and 8th grade will open doors for deeper growth in not only Christian knowledge and faith, but in service to the Lord; that 7th through 12th grade will be a time youth can build leadership skills that will serve them throughout their lives both in and outside the church.

Six Habits of Effective Christian Parenting


HABIT ONE:          Modeling


The “Bible” that your child will read and follow, more than any parent wants to believe, is the parent’s personal life!  Never expect your child to grow in Christian knowledge and faith and love beyond what you model.  When asking, “What foundation do I want to give my child for the Christian life?  What do I want their Christian life and faith to look like after they leave my house?”  The answer is simple:  What you have modeled is what they will leave home with.  HABIT NUMBER ONE:  MODEL THE CHRISTIAN LIFE.  What is the Christian life?  Following Jesus!  Growing as a Person of the Word, a Person of Prayer, and a Person who Cares and Shares.  Examples:  Regularly go to Sunday worship and the adult education hour, let your children see you reading the Bible at home, pray with your children throughout the day; give to those less fortunate, sacrifice for others; tell others about Jesus!


HABIT TWO:          First Things First


This habit puts those things that are MOST IMPORTANT as FIRST PRIORITY in the regular activity of your family’s life.  There are so many things that pull at us to fill up and use our time, energies and personal resources.  This habit encompasses two sides of one coin.  The first side is that we must determine WHAT is MOST IMPORTANT to us (values).  And I maintain that outside of your own personal salvation and faith in Jesus, there should be nothing more important to the Christian parent, than Christian parenting.  The second side of this coin is, putting those things that are MOST IMPORTANT into FIRST PRIORITY when decisions are made in how we use our time, energies and resources.  Without any trouble, you can fill you and your child’s life with entertainment, exercise, education, multiple extra-curricular activities.  And who isn’t aware of how fast one’s financial resources are depleted – one could always find more ways to spend more money on your family:  The point is, unless you intentionally determine to put FIRST THINGS (that which you value the most) FIRST (a priority that is acted upon first), you can be sure that other less important things will fill the void quicker than you can shake a stick at it!


HABIT THREE:          Worship


This habit is twofold:  1)  Worship every Sunday; and  2)  family devotions every day.  In this habit, the parent understands the entire Christian life revolves around worship.  In this habit, the parent understands what worship is and its importance for the Christian.  Worship is FIRST and foremost, coming to God to receive the gifts He has to give in Word and sacrament.  Worship is secondarily our responding to God’s gifts with praises, thanksgiving, confession and prayers.  The parent understands that to worship is to be fed by God.  To miss regular worship is to become spiritually weak.  Regular worship fills the spiritual soul.  This habit does not leave the question open,  “Are we going to church this Sunday?”  It is a habit.  We do it!  Period!  Just as there is a time on Sunday morning to arrive for worship, so a time and place is set for daily family devotion.  This time is used to hear God’s Word and to respond in prayer.  There are many devotional helps!


HABIT FOUR:          Passing On the Faith


This habit flows from understanding that the Christian parent has the primary responsibility to pass on the Christian faith to their children.  They want their children’s faith in Jesus to grow strong since Jesus, His shed blood, His victorious resurrection are our only hope for life with God now and for eternity!  Regular times are set aside to teach your child the messages of the Bible, the Catechism, Bible memorization, prayers and hymns.  A part of this education is understanding that what goes in, is often what comes out.  So not only do we want to work at placing into our children’s minds the light of God’s Word, but we want to carefully guard what else “goes in.”  Christian parents therefore will guard what is watched on TV, what videos are watched, and what radio is listened to.


HABIT FIVE:          The Family Hour of Power


This habit revolves around setting aside one hour that is sacred for your family.  Just as a person religiously shows up for work on time, or for school on time, so each member of the family shows up for “Family Group Time.”  This hour should be divided into three equal parts:  a caring & sharing time, being in the Word, and spending time in prayer.  The following outline is a simple way to begin this weekly habit.


Prayer:         Ask one of the children to pray:  “Dear Jesus, be with us now, bless our family time together.”


Caring & Sharing:   Go around the table having each person answer three questions:

                                 1)  a fun question (like, “what’s your favorite TV show and why?”)

                                 2)  something you’re thankful to God for.

                                 3)  life update (what’s been happening this past week?)


The Word:   Either use a printed Bible Study or go through the a portion of the Bible asking 

questions as you go along.  It’s also great to go question by question through

Luther’s Small Catechism.


Prayer:         Begin by going around the table having each person pray,  “Thank you Jesus

for  ___________.”  As you become comfortable with praying together, you can extend this prayer time in many ways.  You could even have a family prayer journal and keep track of all the times God answers your prayers!


HABIT SIX:          Christian Music


Fill your child’s ears with Christian hymns and songs.  Encourage Christian music to be playing regularly in your home, in your car, and on you and your children’s music devices.   Not only will this provide a great way for your child to learn Scripture (many children’s songs are direct quotes from Scripture), but this will lay a marvelous foundation of times of worship.  The more your child is familiar with music during worship time, the better chance their heart can raise heavenward in worship to God for all that He has done for us in Christ.

Christian Parenting Resources and Suggestions