Discernment Questions for Parents

By Phillip Garside

It is the parent’s charism to signify the paternal image of God in this world. The

way our children regard us as parents speaks to the way we are sculpting that image.


Some simple questions about our parental methodologies that take the Imago Dei into

account can help us grow as parents and grow in how we understand ourselves as

children of God.


How do we want to be regarded by God?


The short answer to this is that we want to be regarded as persons who relate uniquely. We want to be loved in a way that we can understand and accept. We want our intentions trusted. We don’t want responsibility beyond what we can bear. When we seek forgiveness, we want our circumstances considered.


As parents are we sculpting this image of God? Are we relating to our children this way?


What do we want our relationship with God to be? We want to approach God

with respect, but we also want to be able to trust that he has our best interests at heart.

We want to be able to trust that if there is hardship, it is for some greater good.


We don’t want our relationship with God to primarily be one of fear and anxiety, especially over

things we see as peripheral or pointless. As parents, are we sculpting an image of God

that allows our children to see him as relatable in this way?


What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or

hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? According to Luke 11, If we ask, God will

give us the Spirit, the love that proceeds between the Father and the Son.


Our children are asking for love, and in asking for that they are asking to see the face of God, for God is love. Are we constantly consciously trying to help them experience that love?

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