Presence is the essence of parenting. Parenting is more than accomplishing a task, choosing the most effective method of discipline, or producing a well-integrated contributing member of society. As Scripture attests, and ample statistical and anecdotal experience affirms, effective, God-honoring parenting essentially means developing an intimate, trusting, and growing relationship with a child.
This relationship, in turn, cannot thrive unless parents are sufficiently, even abundantly, present. In keeping with this conviction, we set forth the 3 “R’s” of parenting in our book Equipping for Life—realism, relationship, and responsibility. In this short piece, we’ll focus on what we believe is at the very core of such a relational approach to parenting—a father’s and mother’s continual nurturing and guiding presence with their children.