The Gospel and Parenting - Chapter 3 "How Should the Christian Live?"

MAIN IDEA: As Christians living in the world today, we must have a nurturing* home.

*Nurturing - the process of caring for and encouraging the growth or development of someone or something

  • Parenting is not just hard work, but it is heart work.

  • Parenting involves pouring out our life as we pour ourselves into our children.

  • Being a parent is one of the most important callings of God.

Three Elements of parenting that must be in woven into the nurturing home.

  1. Communication that enables us to understand and engage our children. One thing that must not be forgotten in communicating with our children, is the ability to understand them.

    1. Proverbs 18:2 "A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion." This Proverb reminds us to take pleasure in understanding the person whom we are talking to.

    2. Proverbs 18:13 "If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame." This Proverb reminds us to slow down and listen before we give an answer.

    3. Proverbs 20:5 "The purpose in a man's heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out." This Proverbs reminds us to be patient when communicating with our children.

      1. Our children need a parent that will ask thoughtful questions that cannot be answered with simple "Yes" or "No" answers.

      2. Our children need parents who have trained themselves to listen to not only what is said but not said.

      3. Our children need parents that are not afraid to enter their world.

  2. Gospel-centered discipline and motivation.

    1. The Gospel must be at the center of all parenting. Whenever we are trying to secure proper behavior, the Gospel is not at the center of our parenting...behaviorism is. Behaviorism and the Gospel do not mix. Behaviorism seeks to produce change by appealing to the child's self-interest. On the other hand, the Gospel produces change through conviction of sin and faith in the power of Christ to forgive, renew, and empower your child to love God and others.

    2. Godly nurturing and shepherding must target the heart!

    3. Keeping the Gospel at the center of your parenting, does wonderful things for correction and discipline.

    4. The Gospel motivates obedience.

  3. Displaying God's glory for our children in the daily challenges of life.

    1. All people are designed to worship even children. We do not cease to worship, but sometimes what we worship is not what we should worship.

    2. The following list is some "idols" that you or your children may worship. An important question to ask yourself and your children is, "What things are in my own life that are substitutes for God?"

      1. Pride and performance - Some thrive on performing

      2. Power and influence - Lust to control, arrange, or organize.

      3. Pleasure and sensuality - Thrill seeking

      4. Possessions - Craving stuff

In Closing...

This chapter speaks to the enormous task that we have as parents. The only way that I know how to parent in this every changing world is to rely on the Word of God to change me, direct me, guide me, and teach me. I pray that as you read this post you will feel the weight of the challenges of parenting. Furthermore, I pray that that weight will force you to your knees to pray and ask God for wisdom. Thanks for reading.