Biblical Parenting 7…

potter (8-20-17)

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, and HERE for post 6), 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 the Holy Spirit 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).

Titus 1:6

An elder must be blameless,
faithful to his wife,
a man whose children believe
and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.

Not that we can make our children believe,
but a powerful question to bring before the LORD is this:

is our main goal for our children merely

behavior modification (mere external obedience to commands) or
spiritual rebirth thru repentance & faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?

Are we discipling our children
& modeling for them what it means
to be a cross-carrying/self-denying disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ?

In other words, do they know the Lord Jesus (fellowship)…
or do they just know some stuff about Him?

Do they see Him as King, Lord, Master, Savior in their daily lives (4-D)…
or just an idea/concept on a page (2-D).

Hebrews 12:4-11

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,

    and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,

because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,

    and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

Endure hardship as discipline;

God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Oh dear Christian parents, do you ever share with your children
how our heavenly Father disciplines YOU, corrects you,
puts you on a time-out and grounds you because of your sin?

May we model for our children true submission to the LORD,
may our children see us joyfully living under His authority and yoke each day,
may they see us grow & mature in holiness by the grace of God.

.
Truthfully, the entire letters of 1, 2, and 3 John are important to teach to our children.
These letters constantly use the word “children” because John is writing to his spiritual children. Here are simply a few of the passages & lessons to be learned as we parent our children.

1 John 2:1-2

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin.

But if anybody does sin,

we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins,

and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

We are of course to teach our children not to sin! So many downplay this!

But we are to also teach them what to do if they do sin
to run toward the LORD and not away from Him,
to repent and to fall on His Cross as their forgiveness,
to weep over sin & rest in His finished work for them!!!

 

1 John 2:12-14 (NIV)

12 I am writing to you, dear children,

    because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.

13 I am writing to you, fathers,

    because you know him who is from the beginning.

I am writing to you, young men,

    because you have overcome the evil one.

14 I write to you, dear children,

    because you know the Father.

I write to you, fathers,

    because you know him who is from the beginning.

I write to you, young men,

    because you are strong,

    and the word of God lives in you,

    and you have overcome the evil one.

Once our children have received Jesus as their Savior and are learning to follow Him as their King, we are to remind them of their identity in Christ—who they are according to the Bible, not the culture! We are to remind them of the great and comforting promises of God!!!

I know this is a lot, but please don’t despair, Christian parent,
at the dizzying heights and sheer face cliffs
of the mountain of Christian/Biblical 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 and spinning wheel (6-7-17)