Parenting Styles


As parents our job is to do all things with love, especially when we parent our children. God wants us to bring up children who love Him, live for Him and make an eternal impact in their world.  (Deuteronomy 6:5-7).

I believe good parenting is achieved by loving our children well. We need to be careful not to be either extremely legalistic or permissive. Scripture teaches that God has rules, structure and guidelines. But God’s discipline in parenting is balanced by his love, affirmation, and grace. This is considered to be the authoritative parenting style as coined by Sociologist Reuben Hill.

One of God’s primary attributes is love. I John 4:8-1 1, “…God is Love.”  Since God loved us, we also ought to love one, another especially our children.  Our job is to train our children to be what we want them to be. In our home we desired our children to have Godly character. Our job begins at each birth and continues on until our children reaches maturity.


God’s model for parenting demonstrates a healthy balance of both discipline and love.

Focus on The Family used the research by Reuben Hill who conducted a study of thousands of teens and parents in Minnesota. Mr. Hill put all of his research on a grid with an x-axis, a y-axis, and four quadrants. The horizontal axis measured how much discipline or control parents exercised in their relationship with their child. The vertical axis measured love. Hill found that different parenting styles produced different responses among children.



High love, low discipline/control

These parents are usually indulgent and are more interested in being best buddies with their children.  Appropriate boundaries are not established. These parents rarely discipline their children. Life lessons are often learned later in life at a higher cost.

Children brought up in this home environment tend to rank low in happiness and self-regulation. These children are more likely to experience problems with authority and tend to perform poorly in school. (1)

Proverbs 13:24 He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.

When Parents are… Children become…
  • Overprotective
  • Spoiled
  • Yielding to pressure
  • Manipulative
  • Desperate for harmony
  • Disrespectful
  • Rescuing
  • Irresponsible
  • Too helpful
  • helpless
  • Lack of boundaries
  • insecurity

Biblical example: 1 Samuel chapters 2 and 4 (Eli’s was a permissive parent as seen with his sons, Hophni and Phinehas.  Eli was fully aware of his sons sins as were the people but Eli never discipline them.


Low love, low discipline

This is the worst of the parenting styles.  Parental involvement is very low as is communication, love, and responsiveness. There is very little attachment or affection between the child and parent due to neglect. This parenting styles is often seen in homes where both over achieving parents work and are driven by worldly success keeping them uninvolved. Parents with addictions or mental issues may also fall into this category.

Children brought up in this home environment tend to rank lowest across all life domains. These children tend to lack self-control, have low self-esteem and are less competent than their peers. (1)

1 Timothy 3:4 He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him.

When Parents are…
  • Children become…
  • Apathetic
  • Self sufficient
  • Ambivalent
  • Emotionally hardened
  • Uninvolved
  • Rebellious
  • Lacking follow-through
  • Underachievers
  • Lacking boundaries
  • Insecure

Biblical example: 2 Samuel chapters 13-15 and 1 Kings 1:5-6 (King David)


Low love, high discipline

Children are expected to follow strict rules and failure to do so results in punishment. Often there is little or no reason behind given rules.  A common phrase of a parent to the child when asking why is, “Because I said so.” Communication is difficult and usually combative, especially as the child gets older which often leads to rebellion. This parenting style is seen in homes where there is an angry alcoholic parent who rages.

Children brought up in this home environment tend to be obedient and proficient, but they rank lower in happiness, social competence and self-esteem. (1)

Colossians 3:21 (NLT) Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged.

Ephesians 6:4 “Parents,’ do not exasperate your children; instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

When Parents are… Children become…
  • Domineering
  • Rebellious
  • Not flexible
  • Fearful of failure
  • Performance-oriented (vs. people-oriented)
  • Under or overachievers
  • Critical
  • Overly sensitive to criticism
  • Black/white thinkers
  • bitter

Biblical example: Genesis 29:1 through 31:55 (Rachel’s father, Laban)


High love, high discipline

Children are expected to follow establish rules and guidelines which are clearly understood. Parents are responsive to their children and tend to listen to questions. These parents are more nurturing and forgiving rather than punishing.

Children brought up in this home environment tend to result in children who are happy, capable and successful. (1)

Luke 2:40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.

When Parents are… Children become…
  • Loving
  • Secure
  • Encouraging
  • Confident
  • Comforting
  • Compassionate
  • Sincere
  • Honest
  • Teaching
  • Wise

Biblical example: 2 Timothy 1:5-7 and 3:14-15 (Timothy’s mom and grandmother)

What parenting style did you most identify with? What parenting style does your spouse identify with?  As informed parents what parenting style will you use?


Photos from Raising Generations Today

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to God.

As I reflect on my experience last weekend at the Raising Generations Today Conference in Corning, NY, I am filled with joy and thanks. It’s been said a picture is worth a thousand words so below is my story along with a few comments.


Proverbs 11:25 “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.”


Caryn and I at the Detroit airport. We had over an hour together.

I began my trip with an unexpected opportunity to spend an hour with my eldest daughter at the Detroit airport.  I had not even considered the possibility of seeing her until the day before when I realized I was flying through Detroit. I left her a voice message saying, “I will have a two hour layover at the Detroit airport but I know you are probably busy and an hour (as I calculated the time of getting to her and back through security) is not much time for the hassle of trying to connect.” She called back saying, “Mom, are you kidding me! Even if we had only 15 minutes to see each other I will be there.”  🙂


Stacy, Kelly, Me, Angie and Elisa

Above are just a few of the amazing women I was able to spend time with. It was delightful to hear the impact they each are having where God has placed them.  Thank you God for you have strategically placed each of us exactly where we are to be life givers. We each bring the good news of life, love, and salvation to our sphere of influence.

How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of the messenger bringing good news,
Breaking the news that all’s well,
proclaiming good times, announcing salvation,
telling Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7


There was much attention given to conference details from a quiet prayer room, to a gathering room with comfy sofas to visit with one another.  There were lots of yummy desserts provided by the local Poppleton Bakery.  I was so thankful for a delicious spread of sweets. It was encouraging to sit around Friday evening chatting.



Me, September and Michelle




Me and Lisa

I am thankful for the many new friendships and connections made last weekend.  I eagerly anticipate God allowing many of us to meet again soon but until then continue to invest deeply into your family as you bring up the next generation.

Listen, dear friends, to God’s truth,
bend your ears to what I tell you.
I’m chewing on the morsel of a proverb;
I’ll let you in on the sweet old truths,
Stories we heard from our fathers,
counsel we learned at our mother’s knee.
We’re not keeping this to ourselves,
we’re passing it along to the next generation
God’s fame and fortune,
the marvelous things he has done.

He planted a witness in Jacob,
set his Word firmly in Israel,
Then commanded our parents
to teach it to their children
So the next generation would know,
and all the generations to come—
Know the truth and tell the stories
so their children can trust in God,
Never forget the works of God
but keep his commands to the letter.  (Psalm 78:1-7 The Message)






Modesty Is An Orientation of the Heart


As a mother of three daughters I desire to instill in them both dignity and modesty.

My daughters grew up in an environment that valued modesty. As such, we did our best to show them how their attire and demeanor had a correlation with the way they would be treated by men. My husband monopolized teachable moments to point out “sexualization” in the media and discuss how some of the girls on magazine covers, and in movies, were revealing too much skin. As such, our daughters began to understand that wearing little clothing was like advertising their bodies.


7 Tips for teaching MODESTY to children

M Modesty first begins with you. Model virtue and beauty to your children and point out positive role models.

O Own it. Teach your children to walk with confidence and self-respect.

D Define standards for modesty early on and stick to these standards. It is important to be clear and consistent. If you haven’t set the tone early on, it will be harder to expect your teens to suddenly cover themselves up.

E Explain the reasons behind your decisions. As your children mature, dialogue with them about modesty and ask them what they think.

S Scrutinize clothing choices with your children as well as their media choices. Once again, it is helpful to maintain open communication with your children.

T Train your children to think about the reasons behind their choices. This is often accomplished through open dialogues, because it provides a safe outlet for your children to express their thoughts.

Y Your body is good. Modesty should never be about shaming the female body. We simply dress modestly because our bodies are God’s masterpieces. In fact, our bodies are a ‘temple of the Holy Spirit’.

So how is a woman to dress?  In response to this question I wonder whether or not it is about the clothing, or lack there of, or if it is more about the heart attitude. We should be asking our daughters why they choose the outfits they do. Are they trying to bring attention and glory to themselves, or to God? Are they mimicking what others are wearing to fit in? It’s certainly okay to look nice and fashionable, but I believe that the posture of the heart is key. This can be accomplished by encouraging our children to cultivate a deep and meaningful relationship with Jesus. I encourage you to be active and interested in your children’s spiritual development.

1 Timothy 2:9 And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes.

1 Peter 3:3-4 (3) Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. (4) You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. 

It is impossible to dress in a way that prevents other people from stumbling 100% of the time. This, however, is not the point. Modesty is not about wearing a burlap bag in an attempt to hide the female form and somehow prevent men from lusting. Modesty is about valuing yourself. It is about learning to love how God made you as a woman and standing tall. It is about knowing how precious you are, every part of you, and not wanting or needing to flaunt it through less fabric on your body. Modesty is not gauged by whether or not someone will easily be tempted to lust after you. It is poise, grace and a sense of value that naturally manifests itself through the attire that is chosen on a daily basis. Teach your daughters their value and instill in them an understanding of their strength.

Fathers, I encourage you to be present in your daughter’s lives and let them know how proud of them you are and how beautiful they are. Let them know that they are leaders and they have a powerful voice. This, in return, will have the greatest impact on what your child chooses to wear. You can teach them about modesty, and by all means please do, but without captivating their heart they will see through the rules and have no problem wearing jackets before leaving the house in an effort to cover up their plunging necklines.

How do you handle modesty? I’d enjoy hearing from you.