Indelible Grace Church

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Parenting Seminars

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Parenting is not an indifferent matter in the Bible, but of great importance. Many believing parents want their children to become Christians, but are often unsure how to proceed.

Ultimately, parenting is not a matter of techniques or practices, but a set of priorities and values. Godly parenting is the mission to raise up our children to know the love of God in Christ. That’s the main thing. Everything else – academics, sports, music, friendships – are good things, but not the ultimate thing. Knowing what is the ultimate thing structures the limited time and energy we all have as parents. So that teaching faith in Christ becomes the non-negotiable thing in the family.

Some people wonder: aren’t there no guarantees our children will become Christians? And, of course, that’s true. God is sovereign. We are not. We cannot control the hearts of our children. But exceptions to the rule do not make the ordinary means of the Bible’s pattern of generational faith meaningless. Proverbs 22:6 says “train up a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Or consider 2 Timothy 1:5 and the example of Timothy learning the faith from his mother Eunice and his grandmother Lois. Also, sociologists have identified something called the “4-14 Window,” which is this crucial window of teachability and tenderness of heart when children are between the ages of 4 and 14 years old. 63% of adult Christians came to faith during that age range.

Finally, some concluding remarks:

(1) If you look at Ephesians 6:4, parenting is addressed to “fathers.” This does not reflect a kind of reflective sexism of the ancient world, but the Bible’s instruction that fathers have the primary and lead responsibility in parenting. This is radically counter-cultural in a world where fathers are providers and mothers do the parenting.

(2) The church is a partner, not a replacement for parents. Many parents assume, “isn’t it the church’s job to instruct our children in the Christian faith?” But an hour a week is impossible to do this task well. Think about any serious endeavor – playing the piano or taking martial arts lessons. If a child only receives a single hour of instruction per week without any reinforcement at home, that child will never achieve deep mastery of that skill. Christianity is infinitely more deep and complex than the piano or martial arts. Deuteronomy 6:7 says that teaching our children faith is a whole life endeavor, involving every part of life.

(3) Finally, a word of grace to parents. Many parents feel beleaguered and overwhelmed. This is not by accident. Parenting is an enormous task, far greater than running a company or governing a nation, because raising up a human being is vastly more involving and complex. So all parents will experience significant mistakes, failures, and short-comings. Indeed God designed it this way. So that through parenting, we can experience more deeply his grace and forgiveness. And this approach will make us better parents. No child wants to be parented by a “perfect parent” who never makes mistakes. That is a crushing burden. Godly parents should be quick to apologize, and model for our children humility and a life-long pattern of repentance.

In the end, parenting is gospel-reenactment. We must always parent our children remember that in Christ, we are all sons of God loved and disciplined by our Heavenly Father. This is the strength we can draw from in our moments of despair and discouragement.

If you would like to listen to the parenting seminars, you can listen here.

Above photo: the parent panel from the first class

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 December 2019 21:16