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The 10 P's of Parenting Tips

Woman and kids playing with wooden blocks,The Passionate Mom
Dare to Parent in Today's World
by Susan Merrill Director iMom Thomas Nelson

Our children need walls. That’s why God gives them moms.

I know it sounds crazy, but I found my parenting vision and plan in the Old Testament book of Nehemiah.

Stay with me, now.

Nehemiah was an amazing man who lived about twenty-five hundred years ago. Yes, the world has changed a bit since then, but let me tell you something: Nehemiah had a passion for the people he loved, just as we moms have a passion for the children we love.

Nehemiah was born into a time fraught with change and uncertainty. In 586 BC, the king of Babylon captured Nehemiah’s people, the Israelites. The Babylonian army then ransacked, destroyed, and burned the city of Jerusalem, including Solomon’s temple and the wall protecting the city. Those Israelites who survived were enslaved and marched eight hundred miles away, to Babylon.

Forty-seven years later the king of Persia invaded and conquered the Babylonians, and he encouraged the Israelites to return to Jerusalem; so they did. Once resettled there, they worked to restore what the Babylonians had destroyed.

After years of hard work, the poor Israelites managed to restore the temple, but that was as far as they got. The city and its surrounding wall were still a mess, and years passed by with the people and the temple exposed and in danger. The Israelites needed a leader to rebuild the wall and to provide protection and a future.

Nehemiah was the answer.

His mission was to build a wall around the city of his people for their safety and security. It was a seemingly insurmountable task, with impossible odds for any man. Most moms probably think the same thing—this job of parenting is basically impossible for any woman.

But Nehemiah did not concern himself with impossibilities, and neither should we. His vision was bigger than the obstacles. He was called to build the wall to protect his people and provide them a secure future. Similarly, regardless of the challenges we face, we need to protect our kids and provide them a secure future.

Nehemiah had what every mother needs to parent well in today’s world, and he provided a pattern for us to follow. That pattern is marked by ten Ps:

The 10 Ps of Parenting Tips

  1. Perception
  2. Pondering
  3. Passion
  4. Prayer
  5. Patience
  6. Preparation
  7. Purpose
  8. Planning
  9. Problem solving
  10. Perseverance

Cultivating these ten Ps and learning how they fit together will help you accomplish your goal of being the best mom you can be.

We can see how they unfold in the life of Nehemiah. He knew what he was called to do.

He perceived the situation, he pondered every task, he was driven with passion to search for solutions, he prayed for direction, he patiently waited for opportunities, he methodically prepared to take action, he maintained his purpose, he developed the plan, and he persevered through problems to the end.

Things did not always go the way Nehemiah would have liked, but no matter what happened, he performed well. He could not control the outcome, but he could control his own performance. And when it was all said and done, he could look back and say, “I did what I was called to do, and I did it well.” That is all we can do as moms.

Nehemiah loved his people, and he knew they needed a wall to protect them and provide them a future hope. We’re not going to build literal walls, as Nehemiah did, but we can follow Nehemiah’s basic insight.

Our children need walls. That’s why God gives them moms.

“Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name.” – Nehemiah 1:11a

Your Turn

Nehemiah’s life laid a framework of 10 Ps we can put into practice in our own parenting. Which of the 10 Ps of Parenting challenge you most with where you are today? Leave a comment on our blog below.

Photo by: Nagy-Bagoly Ilona (