Below are the notes from last week’s class on the Gospel and parenting.
Our gospel identity is more important than Our parental identity. Our relationship with God is your most fundamental identity.
Easy to say and hard to live. This means that providing for and training your children cannot overtake your pursuit of your relationship with God in Christ.
You Are a child before you are a father or a mother.
You are a recipient before you are a provider.
You receive comfort before you give it.
You are loved before you love.
Your parenting does not define your relationship with God.
Dangerously easy to turn our parenting or our children’s record into a functional gospel.
The gospel is the gospel, and not our parenting. Good parenting does not get us closer to God, and poor parenting does not reduce God’s love for us.
- 2. Motivation
In view of the mercies of God, offer your bodies as a living sacrifice.
Perhaps the most constent challenge to parenting is to do it for God, as a response to the gospel more than doing to guarantee a certain outcome for our children.
Parenting does have an effect on children, faithful parenting can help children and unfaithful parenting can exasperate or tempt them…but no parent can produce good fruit in their children, God alone can do that…and no parent turns their child into a sinner…they start that way…and if parenting is ultimately motivated out of a desire for a good children, or a fear of bad children…either way children can become a substitute for God, either leading us away from God in pride or away from God in despair.
Your parenting is not ultimately an equation…work hard enough and get good results. Ultimately…your parenting is an offering to the Lord…who never misses a moment…the gospel saves us first for the lord, and the secondarily for the good of others. Important that we get the order right.
- 3. Reflection
Parents that desire to teach the gospel to our children should adorn the gospel with our conduct.
It is for a God calls himself our Father, and that he describes his treatment of his as exceeding even the care of a mother… Our love, patience, gentleness, integrity, and godliness should showcase before our children the kind of God who gave himself to save us, who meets us with mercies new every morning, whose love is abounding, who knows our frame.
We should see in the gospel the character of God and especially the steadfast love of God toward his people…and we should desire to reflect this character toward our children.
Prepare them practically…
- Teaching them the reality of authority.
- Teaching them the discipline of listening
- Teaching them the end result of sin.
- Teach them the hopelessness of our own strength
- Teaching them the experience of love
- 5. Presentation
We must teach the gospel to our children. This is the greatest treasure and legacy we can leave them. It is their greatest need. It is their greatest inheritance. Their future lies centrally in telling them the gospel again and again until the day they believe it and then reminding them of it so that it can stay fresh in their hearts.
Our children need to hear about the old old story…of how God in his love sent his only son.
For those children who are self-righteous they need to hear that Jesus only died for those who know themselves to be sinners.
For those who are aware of their rebellion, they need to hear that Jesus Christ died for the worst of sinners.
For those prone to melancholy and depressing, they need to know that Jesus bore our biggest burden on the tree.
For those struggling with a purpose in life, they ned to know that Jesus offers them grace and salvation and union with him forever.
For those who have no sense of their future, they ned to find their identity in Jesus Christ.
For those struggling with worldiness and impurity, they need to see in Jesus Christ the greatest glory ahd greatest wisdom that can be seen in this world.
We must learn to tell the same gospel story from a thousand angles in a thousand moments.
Look for the gospel in the Scriptures…
Look to tell the gospel to them when their failure is obvious. Motivate them to believe the gospel, to trust in Jesus, to come to Him because they need him and because he saves all who come to him in faith.