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When you hear the word “parenting,” what comes to mind? Is it unconditional love, exuberant joy, or another emotion? If you are a parent, you’ve probably experienced a wide variety of emotions, and they all come in different waves and at different times. We’ve compiled a list of bible verses that offer guidance while navigating the different stages of parenting. These passages will help provide support, meaning, and fulfillment as you navigate uncharted waters, as well as offer encouragement in turning to prayer to help you lead your most meaningful life as a parent. So crack open your Bible, grab a comfy chair, and let’s dive in.

1 John 4:19: "We love because He first loved us."

A very powerful verse, one that reminds us of the overwhelming love we feel for our children, and that this love comes from the fact that God first loved us this same way. Whenever you feel less than enough, remember that God loves you. You are enough. If at the end of the day, you didn’t get much accomplished as you’d hoped, but your kids were cared for and loved, that is all that matters.

Proverbs 3: 5-6: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight."

Sometimes we forget to lean on God. When the path ahead of us looks troublesome with too many unknowns, and we are unsure of what tomorrow may bring, we must remember that He is in control, not us. He already knows what lies ahead. By allowing Him into your heart, you can cast worry aside and trust that He will guide you to your destination safely. When the burden is too heavy, and you are carrying too much on your own, lean on Him. Trust in Him. He will lead the way.

Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

There may be times your faith is challenged. If you experience a heartbreaking loss, if your child is diagnosed with an illness, or if something happens completely out of your control - it’s hard not to look for someone to blame. Be assured God is NOT to blame. You must find strength in your soul by reaching down deep and holding onto your faith, for it is during these hard times that evil will try to open a door. This is when you must stay steadfast in God’s love, and know that He is with you on your journey.

Proverbs 22:6 "Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it."

One of the core jobs we have as parents is to teach our children basic Christian principles to help them lead productive, faithful lives. This can be learning right from wrong, ethical versus unethical behaviors, and virtues to uphold as a follower of God. Oftentimes our children learn by example, so it’s important that we remember our children watch and follow everything we say and do (at least the little ones) and we are their first teachers! Even the simplest of things, such as reading from a children’s Bible for a few minutes at night, saying grace before meals, or helping feed those less fortunate will instill good values at a young age that will be carried into adulthood.

1 Samuel 16:7 "The Lord does not see what man sees. The man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart."

Maybe you’re looking around today at a messy house. Maybe you’re in desperate need of a haircut, a proper shower or a personal chef to come whip up something delicious instead of take-out (again). Remember, God does not see these small details. He does not see the outward appearance of your life. Even in our Pinterest-loving world, this is not what matters most. While the outward appearance of your life today may not match your goals and aspirations, turn your gaze inward for a second, and feel what’s in your heart - love, hope, and God. 

Romans 15:13 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

As you continue to lean on God to guide your ways, it is His will for you to be filled with joy and peace. In times when your life is overflowing with happiness, remember to thank God for all the blessings he has bestowed upon you. Continue to look for the Holy Spirit to fill your soul, and for the joy and peace that surrounds you. Parenting is one of the most fulfilling experiences of life, and God has chosen you with his most cherished work. 

1 Peter 4: 8 "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins."

We are all blessed to be here on this Earth and fulfill God’s calling in our lives. The blessings of being a parent is a gift God has given to us, and he’s entrusting His children in our care. If there is one thing we can all do today to set the right example for our children, it is to love one another, and love deeply. This verse shows that love can conquer fear, trouble, weakness, doubt, and a multitude of other sins we face. Loving each other is “above all.” May our children learn to love as God so loved his only son, and may we all choose love today, and every day.

These passages tie so many of our parenting journeys together. We are all intertwined with common strands: to be a good person, to have faith and trust in our God, and love with our whole being. May you always look to God in times of struggle, trust the path He has set before you and remember to thank God for your blessings.