Be more Parent than Friend


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Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.


It hasn’t been easy being the mom of five children. There are times I’ve felt good about my decisions and other times when I’ve felt the pangs of regret. I’ve succeeded in some ways and failed in many others. Yet, God has given me much grace and as I watch the last one finish school—I’m immensely grateful for the role of being their mom.

If I was given one opportunity to share advice with new parents, it would be to set the goal of being a parent more than a friend to your children. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be your child’s friend or confidante at different times of their lives. In fact, I enjoy great friendships and love with each of my children on different levels.

Being more of a parent than a friend means that we’re seeking their good spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically even if they don’t want it. It means that there will be times when our children will get resist good teaching because they want what they want when they want it. And we will run the risk of being unpopular for a time… and that’s okay.

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This is different from frustrating our children with rules to empower us or wanting them to make us look good. Truthfully in this culture, parents who make the time and effort to protect their children are often unfairly portrayed as mean and domineering. As Christian parents, we follow Christ and our children follow us. In this manner, we demonstrate healthy boundaries and spiritual direction so that our children can enjoy their childhood without the pressures of growing up before their time.

It’s not easy and often we may feel the pressure to conform to the leniency of the culture that loves the “cool” dad or mom. In reality, those parents are setting their children up for failure in the realities of life. As we love them as Christ loves us, they will sense and know that our leading is for their good and success in this life and the one to come.


Dear Lord, I’m inadequate as a parent without Your direction and wisdom. Lead me to parent in the way that leads my children directly to Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ name, amen.

In His Service,

Crystal McDowell Signature

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