Becoming a peaceful parent

Written by Ann Swindell
Published on October 25, 2022

I could hear the kids squabbling again and I found myself sighing in frustration. What in the world could they be arguing about now? 

I was in the kitchen preparing dinner as they were trying to bike around each other in the driveway—probably fighting over who had the right of way. But as I headed outside to unload my frustration onto them, I felt the gentle nudge of the Holy Spirit encouraging me to pause.

I took a deep breath and asked the Lord to help me respond to them in peace rather than anger.

By the time I made it to the driveway, the kids were happily playing again, and I was able to give them a wave before finishing dinner.  

Not every issue with our children is so easily resolved. In fact, the daily realities of raising kids are full of opportunities for frustration, annoyance, and irritation. Whether it’s the constant messes they make, the immense amount of attention that kids need, or the repetitive actions required to care for them (dishes and diaper changes, anyone?), it can be easy to lose our cool and regularly feel overwhelmed.

But the good news is that with some intentional actions, we can learn how to better walk in peace as parents… even in the midst of daily frustrations.

Aim for a perspective shift

So much of parenting is a long game. Yes, there are daily needs we must attend to, but raising a child consists of millions of accumulated actions, responses, and decisions over time. What feels frustrating and overwhelming with your child today? It won’t last forever. But the souls of our precious children do last forever—and this is why we aren’t just aiming to raise kids who behave well today. 

We are aiming to raise human beings who respond rightly to the Lord forever. This long-game of parenting requires shifting our hearts and minds to an eternal perspective that filters the weight of our “light and momentary troubles” against the “eternal glory” that is ahead for those who love Christ Jesus:

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

Peace comes as we ask God to help us focus on the eternal, long-term work of parenting rather than getting out of joint over the smaller daily issues. Is this hard to do? Of course. But as we ask God to help us fix the eyes of our hearts on the long-term goals we have as parents, we can walk in greater peace. 

Immerse your mind in the word

The scriptures tell us this wonderful truth: “Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble” (Psalm 119:165). When we love God’s law—his word—we grow in peace. And as we read and study the Word of God, it changes us:

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). 

If we allow the Bible to do its work in our hearts and minds, penetrating to the deep places of our minds where we are uneasy, and if we allow the Bible to shape our attitudes, we will grow in Christlikeness. This, in turn, will enable us to more fully walk in peace as we trust him more.

Ultimately, we become peaceful parents when we spend time with the Prince of Peace himself, and one of the clearest and best ways we can do that is to read the Bible consistently. 

Walk in peace

So much of the anxiety and stress that we face in our day-to-day parenting responsibilities has to do with temporal standards of perfection: having a clean house, getting the baby a nap, breaking up the sibling fights, making sure our high schooler gets better grades, hoping our child gets into a good college. These are not inherently bad things, but if we make these temporal goals our ultimate goals, our lives will be full of anxiety and fear. 

But with God’s help, and by immersing our minds in his word, we can gain an eternal perspective that helps us to withstand temporary struggles, seeing our children as eternal beings whose souls are being shaped and formed over the long haul.


Consider a few extra resources:

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Ann Swindell

Ann Swindell is the author of the new book The Path to Peace: Experiencing God’s Comfort When You’re Overwhelmed (Bethany House). She is the owner of Writing with Grace and lives in West Michigan with her pastor husband and their two kids. You can connect with her online at AnnSwindell.com.

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