A few weeks ago at church we started a new sermon series called Parenting with Joy. So far it has been excellent and very helpful, applicable and convicting.
Although Dave and I are trying to have a baby, we are not parents. Not even close. And we know this for sure. I so appreciate how the Holy Spirit works being active in our lives because these sermons can apply to many hearts in many walks of life all at the same time. It is so neat :]
Midway through the first sermon, Gospel-Powered Parenting, a dear friend of ours, Pastor Peter, made a point saying that Christian parenting is all about ‘the baton pass’. To reflect from Scripture we briefly looked at Deut. 6.4-7, Deut. 11.19 & Ps 78.4. Christian parenting must be Gospel-powered or it is not uniquely Christian.
Here comes my favorite part…
Peter said, “How we view God determines how we parent our children. Gospel-powered parenting is a commitment to parent my children in the way God parents me.”
How do you view God? Distant? Near? A hugger? Arms folded in frustration? Head shaking back and forth in disappointment? Your homeboy? Your Savior? A friend? Compassionate? A loving Father?
How you and I view God and what we know of Him may not be 100% accurate. It is a life-long relationship with Jesus Christ and God the Father and to search the Scriptures to know more of Him and become more like Him. Oh but to search to know Him more and more is so important and not just in parenting! One of my most favorite authors, A.W. Tozer said it like this, “What comes to mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us” (emphasis added).
So really, what do you think about God?
And again, not that this has but one avenue through parenting where this can all flesh out, but what about it daily life and in discipleship?
God is extremely patient with me. All the freaking time. He is not shocked by my sins, He is never surprised I did this or did that and this is never an excuse to continue on in these things without a fight or sin all the more. BUT what if we lived like this with everyone?
“If there’s anything in life that we should be passionate about, it’s the gospel. And I don’t mean passionate only about sharing it with others. I mean passionate in thinking about it, dwelling on it, rejoicing in it, allowing it to color the way we look at the world. Only one thing can be of first importance to each of us. And only the gospel ought to be.” ~The Cross-Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney, p.20-21
To further on the parenting idea, Peter said that our goal in parenting is to please Him in the process of passing the baton of faith to our children. How they run with it…and if they run with it…is between them and our Sovereign God.
“Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.” ~1 Cor. 3.5-9
…I must be encouraged and trust the Lord if I have passed the baton well. Whether it is in parenting or in discipling. It is so exciting, but very intimidating and scary.
I am not perfect.
No one is perfect.
But we have a great God who has given us everything we need for life and godliness.
Oh Lord, help us use what you have given us to honor you and pass that baton well. I know I will need your help and I am desperate for it.
Our Lord will do what He pleases and what brings Him the most glory and us the most good.
He is for us.
Parenting is a gift and a blessing I have not yet been given the grace to know. Discipleship is an honor. Knowing Christ Jesus my Lord is far surpassing all these things…I hope I live out my gratitude and love for Him in a way that those I am around sees something different and chooses to take the baton and run well, run hard, to pass it off to someone after them.