No matter what you believe theologically speaking (or don’t believe) or who you answer to spiritually (or don’t answer to), participating in the quest to be a more effective parent day after day is a way to honor something and someone bigger than yourself. It matters how we treat our children because it reflects on the good and loving nature of the God who created the universe (whether you believe that’s the case or not). Any life that we’ve been fortunate to carry and to nurture is a miracle in and of itself, and a way to pay it back (to say thank you and to show our gratitude) as well as to pay it forward (to put something good and wonderful into motion) is to take our responsibility seriously (without being serious about it, per se), and to parent in a way that imitates our heavenly Father and the way he parents us. To some, they take this the wrong way and go all Old Testament with the severity of approach (which is not entirely fair to say because the Old Testament shows very clearly that our God is a God of compassion and mercy and patience and wisdom, full of loving-kindness whose mercies are new every morning). But to others who are willing to think about this more deeply, we will come to understand that the full parenting experience includes boundaries and grace. Truth and choice. Love and letting go. (All at the right times for the right reasons and to the right extent.) Aspiring and striving to be a truly good parent is a form of worship to the good God who gave us the ability to be a parent in the first place.