A Parenting Lesson From Jesus

by Dan Martin


“Come,” He said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” He said, “why did you doubt?”

And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14: 29-32 (NIV 1984)

Notice how Jesus uses the opportunity as a “teachable moment” in Peter’s life. When Peter was afraid and beginning to sink, Jesus reaches out his hand to save him, yet allows him to feel the weight of his doubt as he begins to fall. He then pulls him up and into the boat and says, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” What I love about the example is that Jesus teaches us a great lesson about parenting; while our children are experiencing struggles and failures, that can be a great time to speak truth into their lives. Jesus could have saved Peter, pulled him into the boat, dried him off and helped him get warm. Instead, Peter was extremely “teachable” when he was reaching for help, and the timing of Jesus’ words are a great example to us as He demonstrates His love, authority and faithfulness. His presence remained despite Peter’s skepticism; He loved over the disbelief, yet ultimately drew Peter closer to Himself through His timely teaching.

We too, shouldn’t solely protect our kids from harm and destructive behavior. We need to equip them with the truth and the skills they will need in life to navigate the waters successfully. Teachable moments happen every day, and we need to look for opportune times to speak into those moments, while they are happening.

Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 (NASB)

Dan Martin directs pureHOPE’s parenting ministry. He and his wife are the parents of three teenagers. You can contact him directly at dmartin@purehope.net or follow him on Twitter.

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