Fostering Divine Dignity: Respectful Ways to Parent

As followers of Christ, we are reminded that every individual, including children, is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Our little ones may still be in the process of maturing, but that does not detract from their divine likeness. They are essentially adults in the making and should be afforded the same respect as any grown person. Jesus Himself held children in high regard, imploring us to let them come to Him, for they, too, belong to the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:14).

1. Cultivate Honor in Interactions

The biblical mandate given by Apostle Peter is quite clear: “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor” (1 Peter 2:17). The term ‘everyone’ indeed encompasses children. We, as parents, are called to bestow honor on our children by engaging them with respectful and dignified conversation. Never should we belittle them based on their age or maturity. Just as God cherishes His little ones, so too should we hold our children in high esteem.

2. Protect Their Dignity

When it becomes necessary to discipline our children, it’s important to protect their dignity while doing so. A thoughtful approach is to take them aside and address the issue privately rather than resorting to public discipline. The latter could lead to embarrassment and amplify their distress. It’s a simple act of kindness that we naturally extend to adults; our children deserve no less.

3. Empower Decision-Making

Another way we can express respect towards our children is by empowering them to make their own decisions, where appropriate. A case in point is their school attire. It’s worth asking them, “What would you like to wear to school tomorrow?” rather than imposing our choices. Of course, we should provide guidance to ensure their selections are appropriate. This empowerment not only honors their individuality but also communicates that their opinions matter to us.

Conclusion

Parenting, when imbued with respect and honor, reflects God’s love and care for His children. Let’s remember to treat our children and all children with the dignity they deserve. Avoiding public humiliation, empowering them with choices, and genuinely valuing their opinions are just a few ways we can practice respectful parenting. After all, each child is a precious gift from God and holds an esteemed place in the kingdom of Heaven. As we raise our children with grace and respect, we mirror the divine love that God has lavished upon us.