Grace in Parenting: Wisdom From Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson

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We are so excited to welcome author, Biblical counselor, mother, and grandmother Elyse Fitzpatrick to Rooted 2019 in Chicago. Elyse will deliver one of the plenary talks focusing on our theme, Death to Life. We are also fortunate to have Elyse leading a workshop that shares a title with her gospel-centered parenting book: Give Them Grace: Dazzling Kids With the Love of Jesus.(see excerpts below)

Here’s what Elyse says about her workshop:

If there is anything parents, youth workers, and youth themselves need, it’s grace. In this session we’ll discuss what “grace in parenting” looks like and how being personally dazzled with the love of Jesus is the only way to parent or lead with grace.

Elyse’s co-author (and daughter!) Jessica Thompson delivered a wonderful plenaryat Rooted 2017 in Sam Diego, and she will join us this year to lead a workshop entitled “The Talk” that shares some of the wisdom from her latest book, Mom, Dad, What’s Sex? Giving Your Kids a Gospel-Centered View of Sex and Our Culture:

Developing a holistic view of sexuality is something the church has failed at. We have defaulted to rules as a way to control and have forgotten that the gospel is the only thing that changes us, even our sexuality. In this session, Jessica will explore how the gospel and sexuality intersect.

In advance of hearing these wonderful women teach, we wanted to give you an idea of the hope and help they have offered parents. Following are a few gems from Give Them Grace:

The Role of Prayer in Parenting:

… your child’s salvation does not depend on your faithfulness in prayer. It depends solely on the prayer of your faithful High Priest, Jesus Christ… What you need as a praying parent is a deep drink of the great love of God, your Father, not more commands to pray. You know you should pray about your parenting. Do you know that he loves you?… The Lord isn’t disappointed in you or in your parenting.

How Our Failures as Parents Don’t Hinder God’s Plans for Our Kids:

When God calls our children to come to him, even if we haven’t gotten it all right, even if we’ve trained little Pharisees or have a house full of prodigals, nothing is impossible for him. He can break through all our flawed methods and redeem all our failed errors. The world tells us our children’s success depends upon our success. The world knows nothing of God’s ability to use our failures as means to bless. “What is impossible with men is possible with God” (Luke 18:27).

Difficult Children:

We think that compliant children will best teach us about his grace and the gospel, and they can. Compliant, believing children are frequently reflections of his great kindness. But the Lord also teaches us of his grace and the gospel through difficult children. We learn what it is to love like he loves. We learn how to walk in his footsteps, and it is there, in our personal “upper room,” where we learn to wash the feet of those who are betraying us. It is there, kneeling before our rebellious children, that the real power of God is demonstrated. The compliant child’s life lies to us, assuring us that she is good because we’re such good parents. Difficult children tell us the truth: God loves his enemies, and he can infuse us with grace that will make us lay down our lives for them too. Their rebellion is a verification of the gospel; we produce sinful children because we are sinners, but God loves sinners. God’s power is displayed through our failures when we tether ourselves to the gospel message of sin and forgiveness, no matter how desperate the situation becomes.

Giving Your Kids Grace:

Sure, giving them grace (instead of law) is scary. The law seems so reassuring, but it is a false assurance. It is only his grace that is sufficient to sustain and transform us. Grace is stronger than all our work and all our weakness and it is made perfect when we humble ourselves before God’s desire to glorify his Son and not our great parenting (1 Cor 12:9). Salvation is of the Lord- he is the Savior.

Join us in Chicago October 3-5 to hear more about God’s grace for you and for your children.

For our Rooted review of Mom, Dad, What’s Sex click here; here’s our podcast about the book with Jessica and her co-author (and brother!) Joel Fitzpatrick.

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