Parenting Like God

by | Sep 26, 2019 | Devotional | 2 comments


Raising two small boys under age 5 has me going back to Hebrews 12:5-11 again and again. This passage is a spoonful of encouragement on those days that are especially brimful of “teaching moments” if you catch my drift.

Here’s the gist of Hebrews 12:5-11. Don’t “despise the chastening of the Lord.” God disciplines those He loves. If we receive chastening at God’s hand, then that’s proof we are His children. We honor and respect our earthly parents, so we should likewise, and even more so, reverence our Heavenly Father.

The logic is lovely. God is the Perfect Parent. I want to be a good parent, so I try to copy Him. He disciplines and corrects His children. I must do the same. He disciplines out of love for His children. I should do it out of love, too.

As a mother, I particularly like verse 11: “Now, no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”

I remind myself of this when I’m doing the dirty work of discipline — enforcing much-needed (yet much-disliked) rules, allowing the boys to experience the natural consequences of their actions, and correcting their deliberate disobedience and rebelliousness.

“This isn’t going to be pretty,” I remind myself, “Not for them, and not for me. But it can have a happy ending.”

Sometimes, I see the happy ending right away. After a few tears and a brief conversation with mommy, my boys run off smiling and ready to “try again.” Other times, I feel like a failure, like I’ve done more harm than good.

But, then I have to remind myself that the “peaceable fruit of righteousness” doesn’t ripen overnight. These tender plants are still in training. If I teach my boys to respect my earthly authority now, then, later on, it will hopefully seem very natural to respect God’s authority when the choice is their own.

But, I’m realizing more and more that disciplining my kids requires an equal measure of self-discipline on my part. If I’m asking them to submit to me as the authority, then I’d better be submitting myself to God’s authority. When I’m in the act of teaching and correcting my boys, I find myself in the uncanny position of being taught and corrected by the Lord in the very same lessons that I’m trying to impart.

  • I can’t teach them not to throw tantrums if I’m losing my own temper on them.
  • I can’t teach them to speak respectfully if my own rash words cut and wound.
  • I can’t teach them to pay attention if all they ever get from me is partial attention.
  • And, a real biggie: I can’t expect them to behave a certain way if I haven’t taken the time to teach them how.

The list goes on and on. I expect a lot of my tiny tots. I should expect more of myself. I shouldn’t be shocked if God expects even more of me than I do. Every day, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that God is using my children to show me who He wants me to be. He’s using me to discipline them, yes, but He’s using them to discipline (to disciple) me and draw me to a closer walk with Him.

Sometimes I do get weary of the Lord’s chastening (Another tantrum to deal with? Don’t lose your mind. The snack bag erupted all over the floor during sacrament at church. Everybody stay calm!) but this passage in Hebrews reminds me not to despise it and to not wilt under it. It may not look pretty right now, but the end result will be a harvest of righteousness and peace.

So, what does this blog article have to do with you, patient reader? You are God’s child, so He is disciplining you in some way. He may not be using toddlers to discipline you. (If He is, then, hey-hey, call me!) Chances are good that He’s using other means. What is it teaching you, and are you submitting to it as a child submits to a parent? I hope this gives you as much food for thought as it has for me.

Bio Michelle new

This article has undergone ministry review and approval.



  1. Brother Gary Thompson

    Amen. THE GOOD LORD has in many instances used all three of my Children but especially my youngest Son Brother Justin in disciplining and teaching me many things. Great article. #TheTruth

  2. Teri-Lyn Tunno

    LOVED your blog!!! It definitely enlightened me and has me looking at certain situations differently and wanting to share with some parents I know. Many times those precious instances with your children will be looked back at with much laughter and fondness. God bless you all much Sister Michelle.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Further Reading

Walking in Circles

Is there anything worse than walking in circles?  Walking in circles, spinning your wheels, or going nowhere fast—whatever you call it, it's a frustrating situation to be in.  Now, I have a question for you. Does God want us to walk in circles?...

Read More

It’s Not You, It’s Him

"It's not's him." You may have heard this phrase before. It has been coined in book titles and movies, too. The comment follows the age-old "he said, she said" conversation. One takes credit. One gets blame. But this phrase is dismissive. The one-sided...

Read More

Never Miss a New Article

Subscribe to Our Email List
Sign up and get every new blog post sent straight to your inbox so you always have the day’s devotional at your fingertips.

We never share your email address with anyone for any reason, and we use it only to send you Gospel Blog emails. Just articles, not ads!

Your Story for God’s Glory

Share Your Testimony on Miracle Monday

We devote Miracle Monday to sharing miracle stories. From finding a lost wedding ring to healing cancer on the spot, Jesus Christ has done it all, big and small.

And we want to hear about what He’s done for you.

The Gospel Blog Is Open for Submissions

We encourage devotional-style or scripture-based articles in the ballpark of 500 words. We are open to any topic that glorifies God and unites the Church.