Biblical Parenting and Permissive Parenting are opposites! Are you struggling with permissive parenting in your family? Is that the best thing for your children?
(Note: at the end of this article – is a GREAT VIDEO on – “Parenting with Grace”)
This article will get into some specific problems regarding permissive parenting, and why the Bible does not support that parenting style. To be upfront about this, Fbc Mango promotes Biblical Parenting without apology.
GUYS – As Biblical Men, if you are raising children, you cannot raise them by default. You are entrusted with children by the Lord.
Psalm 127:3–5 “Lo, children are a heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”
According to modern psychology, there are 4 Types of Parenting Styles:
- Authoritarian Parenting
- Authoritative Parenting
- Permissive Parenting
- Uninvolved Parenting
The problem with that assessment is that it completely leaves out Biblical Parenting, which doesn’t actually fall into any of those categories. However, this article is about the problems with permissive parenting.
What is permissive parenting?
It is a permissive approach to parenting that doesn’t provide much discipline to children. Even when there is a serious problem, the parent doesn’t respond appropriately.
There are usually little or no consequences for misbehavior, and parents act more like friends than parents.
Children who are raised that way typically struggle with authority, and they fail to adapt to more structured environments.
7 Gigantic Problems of Permissive Parenting
1: God the Father is not permissive.
As fathers ourselves we are to emulate our Heavenly Father. Of course, we fully realize that nobody is perfect, but as Christians, there should be a measure of Christlikeness exhibited in our lives.
If you were to just glance over the Bible, and look at the Old Testament commandments, and the New Testament precepts, what would you conclude? It seems obvious that God has expectations of us.
Willful sin is to be dealt with. The scriptures are clear that a child is to be under authority.
2: Love requires discipline.
When a child is left to run wild it is only a matter of time before that child causes real damage. Either to himself or others.
Not intervening as a parent looks more like neglect than it does love. Love takes responsibility in parenting, but laziness isn’t “love”.
The proper discipline of a child will take work, requires patience, consistency, and plenty of love. Jesus said, “if you love me keep my commandments”.
This is not much worse than the armchair parent that never interacts with the children. Being more concerned about the remote control than your children is pure neglect.
Confession of a Free-Range Child:
I was a free-range child. I grew up in the mountains, and my parents let us roam freely. We didn’t use helmets, we didn’t wear a seatbelt, and we drank water right out of the rubber hose.
As boys, my brothers and I would adventure into old mines together, build ramps to jump our bikes and wander out into the middle of the lake on a dock that broke loose. Yes, we could have died.
Even then, there were boundaries, and my mom made sure we knew that. If we were too far to hear her whistle, we were too far. If the street lights came on and we weren’t home, we were in trouble. That was a different era back then. The world has changed a lot.
3: Learning self-control begins in childhood.
The formation of a child’s character begins at a very young age. The problem with permissive parenting is that it delays that development.
There are far too many ways that your child can indulge in very unhealthy ways. This has led to childhood disorders and obesity.
If you want your children to have good self-control when they are teenagers and adults, then you have to start when they are young.
Permissive parenting is dangerous and will result in your children facing unnecessary temptations. Moreover, permissive parenting is a contributing factor:
- Candy and Junk Food consumption
- Too much television and screen time
- Selfish demanding behavior
- Disrespectfulness to authority
These are just to name a few things that need to be brought into check early on.
Those early years of childhood development are formative. A biblical parent dares not waste them.
Keep in mind that as Christian, we are setting an example that others are watching. They know that we claim to follow Jesus, and they watch to see what that looks like.
You cannot control what your children do, but you can certainly control how you respond to your children as a parent.
4: Children need clear boundaries.
Children do not have the perception to set the right boundaries in their lives. It is up to the parent to set clear boundaries and enforce them.
Without boundaries, children develop insecurities and trust issues that can last well into adulthood. When a child is traumatized as a result of something the parents should have prevented, it’s instinctive for that child to lose trust.
As they get older, children will even learn to question your parenting. They may ask questions like “why didn’t you stop me”, or “why didn’t you tell me that would happen”.
Permissive parenting disengages that natural process that the Lord intended for it to be.
Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.“
To “train” a child there must be boundaries. Those boundaries must be clearly explained to the child, and there must be consequences for infractions.
Only then can a child know the joy of obedience, and loving hand of correction when needed.
Boundaries may include:
- Physical boundaries (the street, the stove)
- Verbal boundaries (foul language, “no”)
- Emotional boundaries (angry outbursts, etc.)
- Social boundaries (spending the night, etc.)
These are just to name a few ideas of proper boundaries for children.
5: It is unbiblical.
Needless to say, Permissive Parenting is unbiblical. Parents have too many scriptural mandates to be “hands-off”.
As fathers, we are supposed to raise our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4 “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.“
The word “admonition” is an “important word” to pay attention to here. To admonish means to correct and reprove. The passive parenting model does not provide that.
The Bible also teaches us that children will act foolishly because they are children. For that reason as responsible biblical parents, we are to correct our children when they behave that way.
Proverbs 13:24 “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”
This scripture is talking about loving discipline. Loving discipline does not spare correction. Knowing that it is good to teach children to do right, chastening is part of good biblical parenting.
Wrap up 7 Gigantic Problems of Permissive Parenting
Problem #1: God the Father is not permissive.
Problem #2: Love requires discipline.
Problem #3: Learning self-control begins in childhood.
Problem #4: Children need clear boundaries.
Problem #5: It is unbiblical.
If you know someone that is a permissive parent, then tread lightly. If they are Christians, they need to be biblically admonished with a meek spirit. Some Christian parents just don’t know any better.
Perhaps you could share this article with them while telling them that you love them and their kids, and thought this might be a help to them.
As parents, we all know that parenting is not for the weak at heart. Some are better at it than others. Just remember, that as Christians we are to “bare” one another’s burdens.
Here is that GREAT VIDEO I promised at the beginning of this post – on “Parenting with Grace” by Mike Edwards.
If you are wanting to improve as a father, there is a lot of support available for you. It would be smart for you to maybe open up to your brothers in Christ about it, and ask them to pray for you.
“As the Father has loved me, even so, love I you”. ~ Jesus
There are a lot of resources available out there on biblical parenting if you are interested. I have compiled a list for you to check out, and hope that it will be a blessing to you and your family.
- The Christian Parenting Handbook
- What the Bible Says About Parenting by John MacArthur
- Parenting By the Book by John Rosemond
- Shepherding a Child’s Heart: Parent’s Handbook by Tedd Tripp
(Check out our GREAT article here on Active Manhood “5 Simple Steps to Being a Better Dad“)
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