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You probably have a book mark somewhere with promises to pray for your children. You probably have good kid verses on your refrigerator about obedience and kindness and sharing with others. You probably have a few standby verses you share with the little ones when they start to get defiant and lippy. All good.

But do you have any verses for yourself?

My kids need Bible promises, but on most days I need them even more. I’m prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I want them to love.

So here are ten promises from the Bible that every Christian parent should remember, especially the Christian parent writing this blog.

1. “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” (James 1:2-3). Since the verse refers to trials of various kinds, I assume that James is talking about more than martyrdom and death. Sleepless infants, tortuous bedtimes, muddy feet, spilled orange juice, moody teens–they all count too. And we should count them all joy, even when they feel like the biggest pain. God promises he’s at work to produce steadfastness.

2. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you” (James 4:10). You’re tired, scared, defeated, weary beyond all reckoning. Good. Get low, and God promises to lift you up.

3. “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1). It doesn’t depend on me. It’s not about me. My kids are not for me. Stop freaking out. Stop trusting in horses and chariots.

4. “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward” (Psalm 127:3). They are. They really, really, truly, actually are. Whether you have one child or two or ten or twenty, God has given you those children because he loves you. The world thinks they are burdens. God tells us they are blessings.

5. “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). Yup, that verses is for parents too. The anger in our kids is from their hearts, but the mouthy way they learn to express that anger may be from our example. Why do I think my gasoline will help put out their fires?

6. “Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city” (Proverbs 16:32). The only way to be a strong parent is to be a parent with self-control.

7. “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). Parenting is hard work. Period. But parenting up to the expectations of your (fill in the blank: mother, mother-in-law, girlfriends, next door neighbor, own little taskmaster) is impossible. Parent for Christ’s sake. He promises not to weigh you down with impossible burdens.

8. “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (Hebrews 13:16). God knows that you sacrifice your time, your desires, your sleep, your money, and often your own dreams for your children. He sees and he smiles.

9. “Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox” (Proverbs 14:4). Everything is a mess, all the time. What else did we expect? We have dirty oxen running around. But there’s joy, memories, laughter, sanctification, and gospel growth from those wild animals too.

10. “But he gives more grace” (James 4:6). Ah, sweet grace. Grace to forgive your impatience (again) and your laziness (again). Grace to get you off the ground. Grace to get you walking. And grace to lead you home.

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12 thoughts on “10 Promises for Parents”

  1. Thanks for these Kevin

  2. Tuck says:

    Thanks for this exhortation. I’m always encouraged by your posts. One quick comment, though. It’s dangerous to list a proverb as a promise. This was the mistake of Job’s friends. It’s interesting that, since you’re using Proverbs, you didn’t choose 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Is that a promise? Proverbs are general truths, not promises. A soft answer may not always turn away wrath.

    I understand that there are different kinds of proverbs. I’m also grateful for the instruction/exhortation that you included underneath them. I just think the phrase “promises from the Bible” is tricky when you’re using Proverbs. Thanks again for all you do!

  3. Absolutely love this! Well said–encouraging & useful!

  4. SLIMJIM says:

    Thank you for these verses; very helpful

  5. Jon says:

    Thanks for the encouragement and wisdom, brother!

  6. Melissa Woody says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I needed this so badly!

  7. This post was one of the most encouraging things I’ve read in a long time. I’m printing it off so I can read daily. Thanks!

  8. Lavonne Austin says:

    Thank you. Your comment are for all. Even great grand mothers.

  9. rene howitt says:

    Parenting is the hardest job God has given to us and yet the most rewarding. We must wait years for those rewards. While we are waiting there is no pay and very little thank you. It takes faith and trust that the sacrifices we should be making for our children will benefit God’s kingdom. We should be preparing all of our youth for the responsibility of parenting. There is much self sacrifice needed. Please join me in promoting classes like parenting and child development. These should be offered at every high school in America. All parents and school administrators should be guiding students to these classes. We can change the decline in the American family through education and trust in our God.

  10. Emily says:

    Exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you for this. I’m going right now to write these verses down.

  11. Angelina says:

    Thank you! Want to Pin this to my family board – seems to be a glitch with the photo. If you can fix it great – otherwise I will print this reminder.

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Kevin DeYoung

Kevin DeYoung is the senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina. He is chairman of the board of The Gospel Coalition, assistant professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary (Charlotte), and a PhD candidate at the University of Leicester. Kevin and his wife, Trisha, have seven children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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