Biblical Parenting 5…
As I previously wrote in this series (please click HERE for post 1, HERE for post 2, HERE for post 3, HERE for post 4), Christian parenting doesn’t mean we should beat and hammer our children like a blacksmith.
But what about parenting them like a potter? What about, with the gentle & loving & firm & artistic & strategic hands of a potter, smoothing and shaping our children slowly, patiently, meticulously, lovingly, sacrificially, personally (getting our hands muddy & 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 the Lord Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit—will respond, by faith alone through grace alone in Christ alone, to jump onto the LORD’s spinning wheel in repentance and faith as He rebirths and remakes and transforms them forever.
Below are a few Bible passages on parenting…Sip through them. Ask God to help you notice both the specific descriptions/verbs of parenting, the overarching responsibility that comes with Christian parenting, and the God-chosen consequences for parenting His way or the world’s way.
These verses below should show us God’s high standards 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, children, or friends, 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 Christ through His perfect Word; 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).
11 He came to that which was his own,
but his own did not receive him.
12 Yet to all who did receive him,
to those who believed in his name,
he gave the right to become children of God—
13 children born not of natural descent,
nor of human decision or a husband’s will,
but born of God.
As Christians through repentance & faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we must remember and be humbled by the fact that we too are children under God. No matter how mature, old, successful, experienced, talented God allows us to become, we are His children, and He is in charge of us…we must submit to & obey God to the same degree that we ask our children to submit to & obey us. This hopefully will help us not to press standards on our kids that we don’t practice ourselves…
4 We sought out the disciples there and stayed with them seven days.
Through the Spirit they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem.
5 When it was time to leave, we [Luke and Paul] left and continued on our way.
All of them, including wives and children,
accompanied us out of the city,
and there on the beach we knelt to pray.
We must include children in ministry, in prayer, in serving other Christians, in caring for missionaries, etc. Don’t just send them off to watch t.v. to keep them quiet/keep them busy/get them out of the way; include them, disciple them, let them see what it looks like to follow Christ!!!
7 Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children.
On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”
8 In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children,
but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.
God has no grandchildren. Our children are not automatically Christian because we are, no more than a professional athlete’s child is in the league simply because their Mom or Dad is. We need God’s help everyday to actively and consistently guide our children but also to place them into the LORD’s hands, for only He can open their eyes to see Jesus & receive Him as their Savior & King…
1 Corinthians 4:14
“I am writing this not to shame you but to warn you as my dear children.”
Part of loving our children is gently but firmly warning them as the Holy Spirit leads.
Our warnings may not make them happy in the short run
but God may use the warnings
to make them holy in the long run.
1 Corinthians 14:20
20 Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children.
In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.
We must not allow our children to have “tiny amounts” of something that is clearly sin, no more than we would allow them to drink a glass of water that had trace amounts of poison in it. Again, we need the Holy Spirit here; this doesn’t mean that we keep them locked in the basement!
But we must not treat sin lightly, what is clearly sin. Don’t teach them about sin by letting them sin! You don’t teach kids about narcotics by letting them sample the narcotics! God can give them HIS wisdom, which is better than “street-smarts,” without them having to actually experience the sin…
2 Corinthians 12:14-15
Now I am ready to visit you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you,
because what I want is not your possessions but you.
After all, children should not have to save up for their parents,
but parents for their children.
15 So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well.
The Bible talks about leaving a legacy, an inheritance, for our children. Not JUST financially, but spiritually first and foremost. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you invest daily in a spiritual 401k for your children…
Fathers, do not exasperate your children;
instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Oh goodness what a powerful & personally convicting verse, how easy it is to do this.
One of the ways we exasperate our children is putting higher standards on them then we place on ourselves.
Another way, and a worse way, is to place on them higher standards than God places on them through His Word.
And yet another way we exasperate our children is to NOT bring them up in the training & instruction of the Lord, to simply keep them busy doing all kinds of other activities.
- In one sense, to let our children eat candy all day each day would make them think we are the coolest parents in the world!
- But in another way, deep down in words they can’t express right now, doing this would frustrate them, exasperate them, would make them miserable–physically and spiritually–in the long run.
When they as adults would deal with the problems that would come from the terrible diet we allowed them to gorge on as children, they would retroactively feel exasperated and hurt (and rightly so!) that we cared so little for them by feeding them so much junk.
Loved ones, the same is true spiritually. If we are truly spiritually reborn disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ through repentance & faith, then we should desire to do the hard work of discipling our children, of showing them each day in different ways how amazing the LORD is, how much they need Him to pay the penalty for the sins, & how much He loves them through the cross. To exasperate them is to NOT train them in the LORD’s instruction…
Fathers, do not embitter your children,
or they will become discouraged.
Don’t despair, Christian parents,
at the dizzying heights and sheer face cliffs
of the mountain of Christian parenting—you are not alone!
“Now to Him
who is able to do
than all we ask or imagine,
according to his power
that is at work
to Him be glory
in the church and in Christ Jesus
throughout all generations,
for ever and ever! Amen“