In the search of the ideal blueprint for raising their children, many Christians have seized hold of mistaken notions about parenting. They believe, for example, that having children should bring happiness, that happy children are a sign of good parenting, and that following the right set of parenting principles guarantees their children will become godly adults. But a closer look at what the Bible says about parenting exposes these beliefs as guilt-inducing myths and replaces them with the fresh hope of truth. The entire Old Testament is a narrative of God's own fathering of the nation Israel, whom he calls "my first-born son." Other stories of families in the Old Testament and Jesus's redefinition of family in the New Testament also reveal startling truths about parenting that move the focus from imperfect human efforts to God's holy purposes.
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