Hope Frost, Kim Frost, Tate Frost, Ryan Frost, Eve Frost

Reflection: Four Key Principles that Shaped Our Parenting

By Kim Frost, SBS Parent and Alumni Parent

As I reflect on the greatest gift and position I have ever been given, I am overwhelmed with emotion: being a parent is definitely the hardest job but also the most rewarding. More than 20 years ago, I remember praying for my children daily for God’s grace and protection from my own mistakes. 

Today, we can see how God’s grace has carried Ryan and me through parenting our three children—two who are now SBS Alumni and one currently in high school. While we often have fallen short, God continued to pour out His grace on our family even as we navigated how to intentionally parent each individual child. 

Along with God’s Word and our own family experiences, StoneBridge played a huge part in shaping our approach. As our oldest daughter Hope entered pre-kindergarten here, all of our hearts were being transformed by God’s truths and wisdom that seeped from the curriculum and every aspect of our experience at the school. We soaked it all up. We began to parent based on the principles we were learning. 

In retrospect, there are four main Scriptural principles that defined our parenting.

1. A Family Verse

We landed at this school years ago when God providentially placed me in a neighborhood Bible study with amazing women, including long-time StoneBridge pillar Martha Shirley, who at the time was a teacher at the school. Our intentionality began with being completely engaged in our children’s lives from the very beginning—learning as much as we could from the curriculum our children were being taught. 

One of the first things Ryan and I did as parents was pick a family verse. We hung it on the refrigerator, memorized it, and tried to live it by—individually and collectively. Our family verse is Colossians 3:17.  “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” 

We chose this verse because we believed that our daily goals, living, and work should honor God. This verse became the foundation of our parenting and one we instilled in our children. We honor God in all we do. We work hard and play hard, and we do it all to glorify Him. 

Frost family 3

2. Discipline

Discipline teaches obedience and the result is always short-term pain and long-term gain. This principle is true spiritually, physically, and mentally, and is the one most practiced in our family. In Hebrews 12:4-11, we are reminded that haphazard living leads to destruction. As parents, Christian discipline requires us to watch our child to observe the direction in which they are going. Because of that, we have been intentionally involved and engaged in their lives. We know what is going on in their lives, we ask questions. This requires work and communication but it is crucial to being tuned in to the direction of their lives. We talked about anything and everything, literally. We still do even as they mature into adulthood.

We also set clear boundaries and helped our children set boundaries and understand why they are important. Our hope is that what started as external becomes internal, from imposed discipline to self-discipline—the essence of “self-government,” a key principle taught at StoneBridge.

Our son wrote it best in one of his papers, “Discipline is a noun and a verb. You can have discipline and be disciplined.” He articulated what we were trying to instill in all areas of their lives. Both types of discipline are important. Disciplined lives reap rewards.   

A perfect example of this principle at work in our family related to screen time. We have rules and there are consequences when they are not obeyed. We know every password on their social media accounts and electronic devices. We limited screen time for all of our children and their devices had to be plugged into our room at night. The night before our 18-year-old son Tate left for Plebe summer, his phone was still plugged into our room at 10 p.m. 

Those who know us also know that athletics plays a big part in our family. We believe too much free time is not a good thing. We kept tight schedules and planned out everyone’s week on Sunday night so our children could plan ahead on school work, athletics practices, events and more. We were involved in helping them organize their week and be disciplined with their time.

3. One Another

The phrase “one another” occurs over 100 times in the New Testament, and 59 of those are specific commands that teach us how (and how not to) relate to one another. Before we even had kids, Ryan and I decided that we wanted our kids to backpack or bike across states and through continents with us no matter how old they were or how old we were. Lofty goals, we know! This principle of “one another” was critical to making this possible.

Frost family 1

In John 13:34-35, the Bible specifically details that the most important “one another” is to love one another. This is no small command; it encompasses a lot—serving, forgiving, holding one another accountable. It first and foremost requires love. This emphasis on love of one another fostered intentional and dependable relationships within our family. It was our desire to continue to develop these relationships—child to child and child to parent. Seeking to live out the “one anothers” daily has resulted in a strong family unit.

Today, we are still very intentional about doing as much together as a family as possible, whether that is enjoying a pizza/movie night, game night, or working out. (Often I bike while they all run because I’m by far the slowest now and can’t keep up! They used to bike next to me and Ryan while we ran.) 

This also includes engaging in real, deep conversations about hard-to-tackle topics: our kids know (even still) they can talk to us about anything. The “love one another” principle at work in us has encouraged a family environment that allows us to have these kinds of conversations.

4. Iron Sharpens Iron

Similar to the other principles mentioned above, Proverbs 27:17 may be short but it is packed with wisdom. This verse ties into the “one another” idea, but extends the principle into embracing godly relationships—relationships that we are confident have our best interest in mind. These are the people who understand what God has for us and support us in realizing His best for us. 

This proverb demonstrates how we benefit from each other. We embraced this ideal within our family because we believe we make each other better. We help sharpen one another so that we can better accomplish what God has for each of us. It involves motivating one another and being willing to accept counsel, advice, and criticism from one another. Those relationships stir us to do whatever we need to do to improve so that we can use the talents God has given us to the best of our abilities. 

We also encouraged our children to make the right choice, which is typically the difficult one. We pushed them to take the hard road and not the easy road, encouraging them that what they sow is what they will reap. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people (in your family or outside of it) encourages excellence and reminds us of our why—to honor and glorify God. 

***

We truly believe that if it had not been for StoneBridge and the principles we discovered through the curriculum of our school-aged children, our parenting would have been very different. We learned from so many along the way—godly teachers, faculty, and friends. We are forever grateful for how Biblical-principled thinking shaped us as parents and shaped our children. 

James 1:22 succinctly states “Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves, do what it says.” We are witness to the truth that spending time learning what your kids are learning and thinking about and reasoning through His principles together as you parent them reaps an enormous harvest. God’s words and His principles truly have the ability to transform the lives of families and generations. 

WATCH MORE:

StoneBridge 2023 Valedictorian Tate Frost Speech

StoneBridge 2021 Valedictorian Hope Frost Speech