It’s easy to feel like we have so much to do, and, yes, our schedules are full. But there really are only five things God wants us doing in our parenting. Today AMBrewster starts a series to introduce Christian parents to those five jobs and equip us to do them better.
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Welcome, friends. It’s great to spend this time with you again.
And if this is your first episode of Truth.Love.Parent., thank you for being here. We pray that the Lord is glorified as we learn to be the parents He called and created us to be.
Before I get started today, I have to tell you about two amazing people and the opportunity they’ve afforded you.
We’re quickly coming up on our second full-year of podcasting, and I thought it was going to take a lot longer to get to the place where we are. But faithful followers of Christ have chosen to be a blessing to TLP and make it possible for us to spread our reach.
I’m talking specifically about our Patrons. They’re people just like you who love the Lord and their families, and who want to be a blessing to other parents all over the world.
And — specifically — I’m talking about Matt and Sonja. In addition to being a monthly supporter, Matt and Sonja have arranged for me to be in the Dallas area on Monday at 7pm, September 17th, 2018.
And you are invited.
That’s right. Matt and Sonja are hosting our first ever TLP Meetup. If you live in or around Dallas or would be willing to make the trip, you are invited to hang out with us.
I’m going to give you even more details shortly, but — for now — if you’d like to attend, please send an email to TeamTLP@TruthLoveParent.com or you can go to the Truth.Love.Parent. Facebook page and click that you’re attending the event.
Alright, let’s jump into our discussion about a parent’s first job.
To start us off, I want to explain the dynamic.
We’re going to discuss a Christian parent’s 5 jobs, but the one we’ll cover today is the premier responsibility. The other four are all facets that exist within this first one. In fact, the other four don’t make sense outside of this prime responsibility.
I think the best passage to introduce this parental responsibility is II Corinthians 5:11-21. I’m going to jump around just a little so as not to get ties up in the beautiful depths of this section of Scripture.
“Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others . . .14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised . . .17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Here it is in a nutshell. All people have sinned and are therefore separated from their Creator. We all require reconciliation.
That’s why Jesus came. He became sin for us and died so that none of us would have to be eternally separated from God.
So, if we’ve been reconciled through Christ’s death, we’re supposed to be new creations. Old things need to pass away. All things need to become new in the light of our reconciliation.
And — as part of that reconciliation — God has given us a task. We are to be Ambassador’s for Christ, sharing that ministry of reconciliation with everyone we meet.
Starting with our children.
Now, I know — if you’ve been with us for any amount of time — you’ve heard about Ambassador Parenting. In fact, it's the crux of everything we do here. All of our episodes deal with some facet or other within Ambassador Parenting.
And this idea of being an ambassador isn't new with us. You've probably heard it a hundred times. That's because it was God's idea. He's the one who tasked us with the job.
If this is a new concept to you, or you haven't heard our previous description of an Ambassador Parent, I highly recommend you listen to episodes 26 and 27. Those two episodes lay the foundation for — what we like to call — The 5th Parent: the only parenting style that glorifies God.
But today is not going to be a rehash of that information.
We're going to build our concept of Ambassador Parenting by looking at a couple different passages.
The first is Ephesians 6:19-20.
In this passage, Paul is asking for prayer that he’ll boldly open his mouth to proclaim the mystery of the gospel. And he asks this because — in verse 20 — he says that he’s an “ambassador in chains” for that same gospel.
1. The first thing we need to understand today is that our being an Ambassador must start with the Gospel.
It’s doesn’t make sense to tell someone to obey the Bible if they haven’t submitted their lives in salvation to the One who authored the Bible.
Biblical counselors understand that reality that you can't counsel unsaved people. You can evangelize them, but you can't truly, biblically counsel them because they won't accept the commands and motivations of Scripture. Everything you’re doing has to point back to the Gospel.
Once they accept that, then they have the Holy Spirit empowering to understand and live out the commands of Scripture.
2. The second truth about the Ambassador is that we must be bold.
It seems almost funny that Paul would ask the Ephesians to pray that he would be bold when it came to proclaiming the Gospel, but he did. When you’re chained in a Roman prison, I’m certain it can be intimidating to continue speaking about the things that landed you there in the first place.
I’m sure we can all understand his request.
But why do we have to be bold?
Well, remember what an Ambassador Parent is. We’re supposed to nothing more or less than perfectly represent our Sovereign.
God the Father is bold. Jesus is bold. The Holy Spirit is bold. We must be bold when we communicate His Truth.
So, first, we must ground our parenting in the Gospel. Even if our kids are already born again. The Gospel is not the past, it’s the Christians present and future.
And, two, we must be bold in our Ambassadorial Parenting. We have nothing about which to be afraid. When God is with us, who can stand against us?
We talk a lot about fearful parenting in episode 37. That episode was written for all the parents who have terrorists living in their homes. It’s been huge blessing to many of our listeners, and I encourage you to check it out to equip yourself to parent boldly.
Okay, for our remaining points we’re going to transition to the Old Testament.
Now, the English word “ambassador” doesn’t show up in the Old Testament in the ESV, but it does in the King James.
In the ESV, the word is translated envoy. Same idea.
But the base Hebrew word is so picturesque.
The same word that can be translated “envoy” is also translated “hinge” like in Proverbs 26:14, “As a door turns on its hinges, so does a sluggard on his bed,” or the word can even be translated “pain.”
The word basically refers to something that is compelled by pressing.
A physical spasm is constrained by the pain. A hinge is compelled to move at the bidding of the door. And the ambassador moves and speaks in the same way. The envoy naturally bends to fit the will of the master.
And so I want to look at two verses from Proverbs.
The first is Proverbs 13:17, “A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a faithful envoy brings healing.”
3. Our third lesson today is that the Ambassador Parent is a healing parent.
They say that men like to fix things, but — let me put it this way — God likes to fix things. He’s in the eternal business of reconciling and redeeming and sanctifying and changing broken things.
This is not a man’s way of parenting, this is an Ambassador of God’s way of parenting.
Do your children experience healing from the way you parent?
Do you calm their fears? Do you relieve their stresses? Do you ease their burdens? Do you answer their questions? Do you satiate their desires? Do you address their sin? Do you help reconcile them to God?
Now, I know, that job seems so immense — especially if your children are older! The older they get the more painful their consequences get, the more overbearing their difficulties, and the more egregious their sins.
But friends, if the idea of injecting healing into your children’s lives seems too big for you, then at least you’re beginning to understand.
It is too big for you. It’s too big for me. But God didn’t call us to be Dictators or Jokers or Doormats or Judges. He called us to be Ambassadors.
The job is not too big for Him, and He expects us to address the situation in His ways for His purposes in His power.
That’s the only job of an Ambassador.
First, we need to root our parenting in the Gospel. Second, we must be bold to proclaim the power of God. And third, we need to be a parent that heals.
Sometimes the healing process hurts. Consider surgery. But Proverbs tells us that the wounds of a friend are faithful.
Hebrews tells us that the momentary pain of God’s chastening is hard, but —when we submit — the result is eternal and glorious.
Break: We’re not quite done with today’s episode, but I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Johanna, Aaron is my husband, and Micah and Ivy are our kids.
I’m looking forward to reminding you of some important resources that some of our listeners forget about.
But first, if this episode has been a blessing to you, will you please rate and review TLP on iTunes or Facebook?
Also, you can share this episode with your friends on social media or — if you’re using an iOS device — you can easily email this episode to someone you love.
Lastly, don’t forget to check our episode notes at Taking Back the Family. They contain all the verses Aaron cites, and do a great job of summarizing the main concepts.
You can also read the complete transcript of the episode if you’d like to go back through the material at your own pace.
Enjoy the rest of the show.
The Ambassador Parent is a healer who boldly proclaims the Gospel.
4. But, finally, the Ambassador Parent is a reconciler.
We’re going to end where we began by making full-circle. II Corinthians 5:19 and 20 said that God has entrusted us with the ministry of reconciliation. And that reconciliation occurs primarily as we introduce people to God and they’re reconciled to Him.
But that ministry needs to continue on even after the person is born again. Consider Proverbs 25:13, “Like a cold snow in the time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the soul of his masters.”
In this verse, “messenger” is our word for Ambassador. And the word I want to focus on is the word “refresh.”
This word is very broad and can be translated any number of ways, but the basic idea of the word is that there is movement back to the point of departure.
Imagine working in the hot fields of the middle east. You’re sweating like crazy as you bring in the harvest, when — all of a sudden — there’s a change in temperature and the chilly breeze brings a flurry!
How refreshing that would be!
Like a cold drink on a hot day or diving in a pool after a hard workout, so is the Ambassador who does his job well.
Now, this may sound an awful lot like healing, and I do think the ideas are related, but I love the image of bringing things back to where they’re supposed to be.
This is the Ambassador Parent.
Since we’re Gospel-centered, we boldly speak God’s Truth with full assurance that it’s exactly what’s needed to heal and reconcile.
Now, I know how great that sounds, but I also know that it can come across like pie-in-the-sky-in-the-great-by-and-by. It seems too good to be true.
So, on our next four episodes we’re going to dig deeper into how to practically be an Ambassador Parent. There are four more jobs God has given us, and they each help us be a better Ambassador and parent.
So, make sure you subscribe to Truth.Love.Parent. so you don’t miss an episode.
And — if you’re going to be anywhere near the Dallas area on September, 17th, 2018 — please let us know so we can hang out.
TeamTLP and I are dedicated to helping you become an intentional, premeditated, disciple-making, Ambassador Parent to the glory of God and the good of your family.
So, to that end, I’ll see you next time.
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