Intentional Parenting – Train Them Up

This week we are focusing on what it means to live a Christ Centered Marriage that is focused on Glorifying God during our 5 Days of Intentionally Living series.

A Biblical, Christ centered marriage must start with both spouses being selfless, learning to communicate clearly, and ever growing closer to each other and the Lord. The next big thing that most Christian marriages must have a firm Biblical grasp on is parenting.

The Christian Parent's Four Responsibilities

The Christian Parent’s Four Responsibilities

Intentional, Christ centered, Biblical parenting is a huge responsibility. It is not a role we should take lightly. We have been charged by God to care for these souls and raise them up in the Lord.

“How do we, who are so imperfect, even begin to perform one of the most difficult tasks in life – parenting? We begin by seeing our great God as He is, and then, in the power of His Spirit, we emulate Him. Though we will sometimes fail as His students, we can always point our families to their Perfect Father.” ~ John S. Barnett, Word Filled Families {Page 187}


Our goal as Christian parents is not to be perfect parents. We will never get there. Rather, our goal should be to point our children to their perfect Heavenly Father! What does this look like?

“The ultimate goal of Word-filled parenting is to lead our families to love God – nothing spectacular, nothing superhuman, just regular and consistent adoration of the ‘King of kings and Lord of lords.” ~ John S. Barnett, Word Filled Families {Page 186}


The Christian Parent’s Four Responsibilities

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” ~ Ephesians 6:4


1) Model Prayer

As Christian parents, we must model to our children the discipline of prayer. Day in and day out do your children see you turning to pray in your own life. What is the first thing you do when something good or bad happens? Is it turning to prayer? If not, start working on that today and let your children see the discipline cultivate in your own life.

Not only should your children see you praying, you should be daily praying for them! When they are young, constantly pray for their salvation. Pray that they grow up to know the Lord. Pray that they make wise and Scripture informed decisions. We can follow the example of Job who continually prayed for his children:

“And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.” ~ Job 1:5


2) Model Obedience

The Christian life should be lived in obedience. Obedience to God’s Word and walking according to the Spirit. Do your children see you being obedient to God’s laws and man’s laws {Romans 13:1-5}? Do you talk to your children about what it means to be obedient? Do you call yourself a Christian and yet blatantly disobey God’s word? Noah can teach us a lesson about the power of an obedient life:

“Noah models another facet of the Word-filled dad because he obeyed. Have you ever wondered how Noah did it? Every other family on earth was losing their children, who had all ‘gone to the devil’ – literally! But Noah’s children did not. Why was that? It was God’s grace through a man who had responded and cultivated a heart for God. There is a pattern to his life we all would do well to note. Job was a great dad because he prayed. Noah was considered great because he obeyed.” ~ John S. Barnett, Word Filled Families {Page 191}


By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” ~Hebrews 11:7


3) Model Leadership

Modeling leadership to our children is also so important. Dads, how are you teaching and modeling to your sons how to be godly husbands and fathers? Moms, are you demonstrating what godly submissiveness is? Abraham strongly led his family by submitting to God’s leading:

“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.” ~ Hebrews 11:8-10


4) Model Persistence

Living this Christian life, where you continually die to self and live for Christ, takes hard work and persistence. Establishing daily habits of prayer and Bible reading takes time, hard work, and determination. Growing into a godly man or woman is not an easy or simple thing, and you should model this to your children. We may stumble in our walk, but we must pick ourselves up each day and strive to bring honor and glory to God…this is what our kids must see from us day in and day out!

“An assignement for dads: As a father, it is a joy to teach my children, even in simple things like how to mow a lawn…I realize that a mowing lesson is a simple thing, but the idea I want to get across is the need to teach our children practical lessons in how to live. If we can teach them how to mow, and other things about everyday life, then along the way we will also have opportunities to talk with them, like Solomon to his sons in Proverbs.” ~ John S. Barnett, Word Filled Families {Page 200}


Raising up children in the Lord is not an easy task. It takes hard work, deliberation, and a lot of prayer…every single day! You should also regularly be studying God’s word so that you can grow in the Lord and read good books that show you how to be godly parents. Here are a few great resources we recommend for the family:

This post is part of 5 Days of Intentionally Living!* A mini-series that runs all week long brought to you by 16 bloggers. That’s over 80 posts on living intentionally. Come back the rest of the week for more Christ Centered Marriage posts!

Our Christian Marriages should be firmly rooted in the Word of God. But it can be hard to know how to do that or what that should look like. Join us as we explore what a Christ-centered, God-glorifying Marriage should look like! {Plus many practical tips}

*While we support this series, we have not read through everything on all of the series’ blogs and thus cannot say for sure if we agree with everything written on these blogs.*

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Note: These 4 responsibilities are adapted from the chapter “Moving Families Toward Godliness” from the book Word Filled Families by John Barnett.

*Disclosure: This post contains our Amazon affiliate link. Purchasing through that link helps benefit our family. All opinions are 100% our own.


  1. Sounds like I better pick up “Word Filled Families” soon!
    Thanks for putting together this series! It has been really beneficial to read every day!!

  2. I enjoyed and shared this article. I agree it is NOT an easy task to raise our kids. But the hard work, prayer and trust in our Father truly makes all the difference. It gives me peace…

    Thanks for sharing. I love your website too…