Biblical Parenting 2…
As I previously wrote in the first post of this series (please click HERE for the full post),
Christian parenting doesn’t mean we should beat and hammer our children like a blacksmith. But what about parenting them like a potter? But what about with the gentle and loving and artistic and strategic hands of a potter, smoothing and shaping slowly, patiently, meticulously, lovingly, sacrificially, personally (getting our hands muddy and our backs sore in the process)?
Please click HERE for a phenomenal video about master potters.
Our children will at some point jump off our spinning wheel. But the hope in our Holy Spirit-powered and Biblically-grounded molding is that they—compelled by the grace and Truth of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit—will choose to by faith jump onto HIS spinning wheel as He rebirths and remakes and transforms them forever.
Below are just a few Bible passages on parenting…Sip through them. Ask God to help you notice both the specific descriptions/verbs of parenting as well as the overarching responsibility that comes with Christian parenting. These verses below should show us God’s high standard as well as our utter inability to meet those standards apart from continual dependence on the Lord Jesus! These verses should discourage us from our own abilities—thus lowering our self-esteem—but also encourage us to cling to the Father’s ability—thus raising our God-esteem.
You don’t have to read all of these passages in one sitting. Perhaps read one each day with your spouse and children, talking briefly about them and closing in prayer. May the Father, Son & Holy Spirit give us wisdom, encouragement, strength, humility, love and all of the fruit of the Holy Spirit as we intentionally guide our children to the Lord Jesus; may we ultimately trust them into HIS loving hands, for He did say, “Let the little children come to ME, and do not hinder them” (Matthew 19:14 NIV).
The secret things belong to the Lord our God,
but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever,
that we may follow all the words of this law.
Oh Christian parents, will you look at reading the Bible, to and with your children, as a privilege not a burden? Will you look at sharing God’s Word with your children as the distributing of a spiritual Trust Fund from Him to them as they get older? Just as you wouldn’t withhold from them the physical food they need to live each day, will you choose to not withhold from them the spiritual food they need to live each day? (Jesus said, “Man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4).
“12 Assemble the people—men, women and children, and the foreigners residing in your towns—so they can listen and learn to fear the Lord your God and follow carefully all the words of this law. 13 Their children, who do not know this law, must hear it and learn to fear the Lord your God as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”
4 So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe,
5 and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan.
Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites,
6 to serve as a sign among you.
In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’
7 tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord.
When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.
These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”
Oh Christian parents, will you tell your children of the mighty deeds of the LORD, both in the Bible and in your own lives? Will you explain to them “what these stones mean,” the stones that remind you of the ways that the LORD has carried you through every trial that you have faced and are currently facing? Will you be the spiritual TMZ of the LORD, the only true Celebrity in the universe, constantly reporting to your children every move that you see Him make, reporting and displaying Who He is and what He has done?
There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded
that Joshua did not read to the whole assembly of Israel,
including the women and children,
and the foreigners who lived among them.
Oh Christian parents, do you read the Bible out loud with your children? Yes, they might feel bored; yes, they might fight you and complain and roll their eyes; yes, it may seem like a waste of time, like they are getting nothing out of it; yes, it may be easier to just let them play more video games and for you to just continue hanging out on Facebook and Pinterest.
But will you follow the example of Joshua and read God’s Word out loud with your family? Will you trust that God’s Word never returns void, that it always accomplishes the purposes for which the LORD sends it? (Isaiah 55:10-12) Will you continuously scatter the seed of the Bible into the minds & hearts of your children like Johnny Appleseed, trusting the Holy Spirit to grow & bloom His fruit in all of your lives?
2 Chronicles 20:12-13
Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.
We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
13 All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord.
Oh Christian parents, when you are facing stressful and seemingly impossible situations/issues (career, finances, relationships, marriage, health, sin, etc.), do you hide all of that from your children and just put on a happy face? Or do you gather with your children and fix your eyes on the Lord together? Do they see you admit to God, out loud, that you the parents have no power to get yourselves out of a particular situation? And do they see you boldly and confidently go to Him who has all power to carry you through whatever you face?
The People’s Confession of Sin
10 While Ezra was praying and confessing,
weeping and throwing himself down before the house of God,
a large crowd of Israelites—men, women and children—gathered around him.
They too wept bitterly.
Oh Christian parents, do you ever confess your sin to God in the presence of your children? It probably would not be appropriate to confess ALL your sins in their presence, but do you confess any sin in their presence? Do your children know that you are more disappointed in your own sin than you are in their sin? Do your children see you willingly and humbly place yourself under the authority of Christ Jesus the way they are under your authority? And do your children see you receive both the discipline of the LORD as well as His comfort when you sin? Do they see King Jesus go after you, one of His wandering sheep, place you on His shoulders and rejoice as He carries you back to the rest of the flock and the beautifully narrow path of holiness?
The choirs sang under the direction of Jezrahiah.
43 And on that day they offered great sacrifices,
rejoicing because God had given them great joy.
The women and children also rejoiced.
The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away.
Oh Christian parents, do you & your children ever rejoice together in song and with great joy because of what the LORD has done for you? Do you gather together with a song of worship to sing praises to God because of the manger, the cross and the empty tomb? Gather together and sing for Who the LORD is, what He has done, and what He promises to do…may God help us to rejoice together with our children!
Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
This takes time—teaching our children the fear of the Lord means that we will have less time to participate in our own hobbies, whatever they may be. Regarding spiritual growth, there is no such thing as “8 minute abs.”
This is personal—this is to be done primarily by parents (not outsourced to pastors). To teach this we must know the Lord, we must be learning how to fear Him, must be digging deeply into the Bible ourselves if we are going to teach our children how to do it.
This is invitational—we are to have a posture of inviting our children to listen to us and grow to know the Trinity. I’m not saying that we are to always give our children the option—they will usually choose video games & t.v. over Bible devotions, prayer & worship! (though honestly, many adults make this same choice as well!) We make sure they brush their teeth, bathe, do their homework, etc.—spending time with the LORD is even more important!
But by invitational I mean that we are to show them what a privilege, what an honor, what a blessing, what a reward it is to GET to be able to know the God of the universe, to be with Him, “to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord, to seek Him…” (Psalm 27), etc. If we view this as just another set of chores in a long list of burdensome tasks, so will they. But if we continually ask the Lord to “restore to us the joy of His salvation” (Psalm 51), if our children see over time that we are disciples of Jesus willingly and joyfully, it will help them to “taste and see that the LORD is good” (Psalm 34:8).