A Return to Biblical Parenting As Seen Through Noah
Even those who claim allegiance to Christ have a bit to show in spiritual fruit.
There was a time when Christians, both young and old, conducted themselves in a manner representative of the transforming power of Christ. Barna Group states that 77% of people surveyed say religion is losing its influence on American life. Of the people surveyed, 56% believe the Bible doesn’t have enough influence on American society today.
The descent of Christianity doesn’t stop there. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to identify a Christian publicly when by all appearances they appear no different than those who are not. Doesn’t the Bible remind us in Romans 12:1-2 to not conform to this world? Many professing Christians align themselves with a mix of moral relativism and metaphysical worldviews rather than subscribe to a biblical worldview on the basis that they don’t believe the Bible is God’s spoken word. Many professing Christians are not familiar enough with the gospel to be transformed by it, much less share it with someone.
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The question asked by many is what can the New Testament Church do to turn this around? Should churches today develop yet another ministry to address the counterfeit Christianity plaguing the body of Christ? Should Christian heritage and Christian living become emphasized by a new Sunday school curriculum?
It is my firm belief that the solution to many of the aforementioned problems doesn’t lie on the shoulders of the church but on those of the family unit.
Noah: a biblical example of parenting
The biblical account of Noah begins in Genesis 6. Noah had the daunting task of raising his children in what was the most wicked time in history. Man’s wickedness prevailed over every imagination enough that the heart was continually evil (Genesis 6:5).
Despite man’s fall into wickedness and God’s judgment over him, Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6:8-9). This infers several key insights about his faith and his living.
- Noah was a just man
- Noah’s life stood out in contrast to a world consumed by wickedness
- Noah was obedient
- Noah had a devout love for God
Aside from Noah, his family also found grace in God’s eyes (Genesis 6:18) and was considered righteous (Genesis 7:1). Noah’s example was the same at home. He lived out his love and faith in God and modeled it in front of his family, teaching them in the process to do the same. His family’s spiritual life was an active one. When Noah communicated to his family what God had instructed him to do, we see that his family was obedient. More specifically, Noah’s wife was obedient to her calling and supported the effort of building the ark. Noah’s sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth were very likely helpers to their father’s building of the ark.
It took approximately 100 years for the construction of the ark, from the time Noah was first mentioned in Genesis 5:32 (he was 500 years old) to the time he entered the ark Genesis 7:6 (he was 600 years old). For one hundred years, Noah and his family worked together while confronting the challenges of their time.
Noah demonstrated amazing resolve and leadership in the face of the biggest miracle God would offer him and his family. God spared them from the judgment in the flood. What mercy and grace that Noah’s family even got into the ark (Genesis 7:7) in the first place.
Although the Bible is silent on many particulars of Noah’s parenting style and methodologies, he knew his family was being led by him. That is a true testament to his faith, love for God, character, an example as a parent and husband.