Biblical Parenting 6…

potter (7-25-17)

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, HERE for post 5), 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).

1 Thessalonians 2:7-12

Just as a nursing mother cares for her children,

so we cared for you.

Because we loved you so much,

we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.

Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship;

we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone

while we preached the gospel of God to you.

10 You are witnesses, and so is God,

of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed.

11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children,
12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God,
who calls you into his kingdom and glory.

How are we nourishing our children through God’s Word? Are we working hard only to give them earthly things that will rust, or to introduce them to the Lord Jesus Himself each day, He Who never changes?

Are we disciplining, encouraging, comforting, and urging our children to live lives worthy of God?

Do we model for them a life of joy in the LORD, submission to the LORD, rest in the LORD, sacrificial commitment to the LORD, perseverance in the LORD, obedience to the LORD, risk-taking for the LORD, etc.?

Oh what a high calling/responsibility Christian parenting is…

1 Timothy 3:4

He must manage his own family well

and see that his children obey him,

and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect.

Ah, not just to make sure our kids obey us through an iron whip, but to use godly methods (“manner worthy of full respect”) that will be approved by Jesus Himself when we stand before Him.

How we do something is just as important to God as what we do.
Results must never justify methods, the ends must never justify the means…

1 Timothy 5:9-10

No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty,

has been faithful to her husband,

10 and is well known for her good deeds,

such as bringing up children,

showing hospitality,

washing the feet of the Lord’s people,

helping those in trouble

and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.

In a list of qualifications for a widow to receive help, one of the examples of good deeds is bringing up children! Doing this well—with dedication and compassion and sacrifice according to God’s Word the Bible—is just as important as other good deeds like sexual purity, serving other Christians, serving those in trouble, etc.!

2 Timothy 1:1-9

Verse 5: I am reminded of your sincere faith [Timothy],

which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and,

I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

May the LORD help us to pass on to our children a living faith in Jesus! God has no grandchildren—our children are not automatically Christian because we are.

But by the daily grace of the LORD we can show them what a living faith in Christ looks like! What a legacy to give/leave our children!!!

Both of Paul’s letters to Timothy are Truth about spiritually parenting our children, since Paul was a spiritual father to Timothy.

Paul gave Timothy grace, mercy and peace from God; do we give these things daily to our children? There is MUCH MORE to providing for our families than just money, food, clothing, and education…

Do we constantly remember our children in our prayers?

Do we long to see our children, to really see/know them? Do we give them opportunities to speak, to share, to lead, to make mistakes & learn from them?

Paul sees Timothy’s faith in Jesus in Timothy’s life; we are to help our children live out their faith in Jesus, not only store it up in their brains.

Timothy’s faith is his own (God has no grandchildren, only children!), but his faith in Jesus was distinctly shaped by both his Mom and his Grandma! What a legacy we can leave with our children!!! This is also encouraging to Moms who for one reason or another do not have the support of their husband in raising their children spiritually; it is interesting that Paul does not mention Timothy’s Dad.

Are we teaching them how to “fan into flame” the gifts that God has given them? How do we do this? (give them opportunities to use those gifts! But what if they don’t care/don’t want to use them?)

Have we prayed over them to receive, know, and use the gifts that God has uniquely given to them?

Are we teaching them that following Jesus involves suffering for doing good? How do WE suffer for following Jesus? Let’s talk with our children about some of the ways that we suffer as Christians (see HERE for more thoughts on this). Do they know the difference between external duty/obedience and internal holiness?

2 Timothy 3:14-16

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of,

because you know those from whom you learned it,

15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures,

which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

Timothy was taught the Bible “from infancy”!

  • The people who taught him (Grandma, Mom, & Paul) lived out what they taught.
  • Let’s focus on helping (not coercing) our children to receive Jesus as Savior!
  • Then focus on shaping their character so that they are prepared to do good works!

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
immeasurably more
than all we ask or imagine,
according to his power
that is at work
within us, 

to Him be glory
in the church and in Christ Jesus
throughout all generations, 

for ever and ever! Amen 
(Ephesians 3:20-21).

potter 2 (7-25-17)