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Parental Boundaries

by Erica White


Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.

2 Corinthians 13:5


As parents, we are our children’s God given authority. With that said, we will always stand under God’s authority in every aspect of our lives and parenting is no different. And for the last several months, my heart has been stirred as I have prayed and studied to have a deeper knowledge and wisdom in parenting.


One particular topic caught my attention as an author pointed out how we, as parents, should never abuse our parental authority. This author was not referring to any type of physical abuse but was speaking more directly to the Godly parent who is striving to raise their child in the love of God within the biblical boundaries, God himself set.


How is it possible that someone like this would regularly “abuse” their parental authority? Abuse of authority is any parental act taken that is not approved of in God’s word.


Examples Would Be:

  • Incorrect Response To Anger

Anyone ever yelled at their child out of frustration? (I’m guilty.) Anger itself is not sin but how we act on it, can quickly become sin. Words, correction, or advice given in anger will never leave a positive effect in our child’s life. We know this, but do we take action to prevent it? If not, we are stepping outside of our parental boundaries and we will stand before God for our actions. Ephesians 4:26 tells us, "Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.

  • Selfishness

Am I the only one who has parented with selfish motives? Neglect due to our own desires when our children need our devout attention, is, in a way, selfishness. A woman once said, “My kids are not the distraction, everything else is”. This is the mentality I want to have! So many times it’s so hard to “pause” a project to turn our attention to our children’s needs. I don’t mean an emergency “need”, I’m talking about a need that could possibly wait but is more important than our current “project” or distraction.


  • Failure To Seek Forgiveness

Is it just me, or is it hard to tell a three year old that you are sorry for how you handled a parenting situation? And not just say it but mean it. We must humble ourselves before our children and before God. If we don’t, we are, in a sense, abusing our authority. Our children will gain our trust and respect when we live honestly before them and before God. They will also learn most from our actions. Proverbs 16:18 warns us that "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."


This past week, I found myself in a similar situation. I confronted my three year old in embarrassment, as I explained why I was sorry for my ungodly reaction and what the correct action should have been. I did not blame his actions causing my mistake, I was not there to talk about him, I was confessing my own sin. About 10 minutes later, my little boy hollered at me from his bunk bed, “Mommy, I’m sorry for being mean to you”. My heart melted as my little boy apologized for his earlier actions. This was the first time he had ever apologized on his own terms. He had learned from my example.


These examples are just a select few parenting principles taught in God’s word. I’m sure you can think of plenty more!


I challenge you today, as I have recently been challenged, to examine your parenting habits, making sure you are staying within the biblical boundaries God has set.

How can we expect our children to obey us if we are not actively striving to obey God?

I remember my dad apologizing to me after reacting with a tone of aggravation to a situation. My own aggravation quickly fell away as I saw my dad admitting to his imperfection. As a Father, he was openly striving to raise me God’s way. Little did he know, I would walk away with much more respect for his rules, teachings, and advice that day. He had showed me first hand that honesty was his goal and that he had my best interest in mind, not just his convenience. He also showed me that he recognized his accountability to God.


Let us give our children a reason to respect us.


Note from the Editor: Our guest writer today, Sis. Erica White, has a homemaking blog where she shares many helpful tips and encouraging devotions. We recommend you check her blog out by clicking the following link: https://asimplerlife.blog

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