MAIN IDEA: What can parents really expect from church when it comes to helping them raise godly children?
Parents have no shortage of needs and concerns that they would like for the local church to address in some way.
Steve and Candice Watters the authors of this chapter in the Gospel and Parenting spent 13 years at Focus on the Family. Their purpose in writing this chapter is to encourage parents to avail themselves to the local church. In their opinion the local church is best positioned to help them. The word avail is a King James word that means, "to turn to your benefit."
Two primary commitments that the local church should embrace to best help parents flourish.
A commitment to help fathers and mothers live out what is known as the vocation of parenting through the Word of God, prayer, and fellowship.
The Word of God – Parents have a steady supply of advice on how to parent from family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, social media, and culture. However, parents need a revelation...a revelation of creation, the Fall, and the redemption of Jesus Christ. Parents need the gospel to transform them from the inside out, thus transforming their parenting. Parents can grow in their vocation of parenting through a commitment to the Word of God and through a commitment to a personal Bible Study.
Fellowship – Parents have to understand that they cannot make it on their own. Many parents are involved at some level with their child's sport or extracurricular activity, but they also need to be actively involved in church. Why? Because life is too difficult to go at it alone. Parents need people who will stand by them speaking the Word of God into them when their world is caving in. Parents need the fellowship of brothers and sisters in Christ who aren't wasting time trying to keep up the appearances of a model family, but who are instead walking in grace-repenting of sin and putting on new life in Christ. Parents, need more than superficial interactions that come at the ball park or at the dance studio, they need real relationships!
Prayer – Prayer is vital for men and women to survive and thrive in the vocation of parenting. A great way for parents to serve their kids is to pray for them.
A commitment of pastors and leaders to lead faithfully in their own homes as they serve pastorally in the church as loving, committed parents. Personally speaking here, there are times that I disappoint myself and most importantly my God. However, when that happens I have to be quick to repent, seek forgiveness, and move forward. I am not perfect and I do not pretend to be, but one thing I am is a work in process.
In closing I want to speak about GFBC specifically. GFBC wants to help parents to understand their vocation of parenting. Parenting is a calling to love and serve your children. At GFBC we want to help parents parent better by offering solid Biblical Teaching and Preaching, fellowship, and prayer.
The best parenting help that GFBC offers to parents is the preaching of Pastor Kevin on Wednesday Nights and Sunday Mornings. Pastor Kevin preaches the whole counsel of God's Word in a way that every person can walk out with an application for their life. Another great parenting help that GFBC offers parents is our lifegroups. In our lifegroups we go deeper into God's Word together by focusing topically in our studies. The Word of God, fellowship, and prayer shape men and women in their vocation of parenting.
Finally, parenting is one of the hardest yet most rewarding thing that I get to do. Seeing parenting as a vocation changes how you parent. Just this morning as I was praying for one of our girls on an issue she had been having the Lord encouraged her and showed her what to do. In conclusion, my encouragement to you is to pray, seek the face of God constantly, stay in the Word of God, and to be consistent in attending church and a lifegroup.