Scripture Fuels the Christian Parent
Job descriptions for pastors are often ridiculous. They reflect our human desire for “game changing” leaders to “take us to the next level.” We are oftentimes looking for some kind of super-person to organize, strategize, vision-cast, and execute programs and initiatives, all for the glory of God of course. In reality, what the Church needs is shepherds who imitate Christ.
Just like God places elders as shepherds to lead His family (the church), God appoints shepherds to lead families. That would be YOU. Your position is not based upon your incredible talents, your awesome personality, or your ability to get things done. Your only hope as a Christian parent is based upon the faith you possess in the only “game changing” leader who ever existed, Jesus.
So how does your faith in Christ fuel your role as a Christian parent?
Keep your new life vigilantly. Not because you might lose it, but because your new heart is all about the glory and fame of the one who gave it to you. The self-reflective work of examining our thoughts and actions in order to flee sin and practice righteousness is an act of worship for the believer.
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23
Fear God, not man. It is not what people think about you that gets the final say, it is what God knows about you. And God knows that you are His, because you are Christ’s. God has chosen you, for this role at this time, and he will be faithful.
In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death. Proverbs 14:26-27
Make known God’s faithfulness in your household. Remember your captivity in sin? Remember your enslavement to this world? Remember how Jesus pursued you while you were running away? His grace to us is now our story to tell, that it may be his grace to those in our household as well.
The living, the living, he thanks you, as I do this day; the father makes known to the children your faithfulness. Isaiah 38:19
Humble yourself like a child before God. Only because Christ humbled himself for you, are you able to humble yourself before God.
Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3-4
Walk in love and forgiveness, not grudge bearing or record keeping. As recipients of the unconditional love and forgiveness that are found in Jesus, we are freed to love our families in the same way in an effort to confront them with the good news of Jesus.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2
Love, treasure, honor, respect, and cherish your spouse. No works-based love allowed! Love your spouse as Christ has loved you: sacrificially, unconditionally and intentionally. Enjoy the incredible blessing and life that comes from humbling yourself and placing your spouse’s needs before your own.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Ephesians 5:22-25
Instruct and discipline your kids in the Lord, not in emotional outbursts. God has given you the grace through Christ to not just “survive” but to enjoy the hard and the easy of parenting. Just as God disciplines the children that he loves, so do we.
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4
Rest. You are filled with the same Spirit of God that raised Christ from the dead. Your position before God is secure, and your power as a parent is rooted in Him that is in you.
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing
one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord
with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our
Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:18-21
In Christ we are freed from needing to be loved by our kids in order to unconditionally love our kids. The former turns our kids into little gods we serve by killing ourselves to keep them happy. The latter trusts in a God who saves us by dying. What grace! God has equipped those (namely,YOU) who believe in Jesus to fulfill the role he has given them through the indwelling presence of His Spirit. Wouldn’t it be terrible to spend another day parenting, yet missing out on all that God gives freely through faith in Jesus?