Christian Parenting 101 will step you through the most foundational elements God has planned for your parenting. Join AMBrewster as he outlines the prerequisites and introduces you to the most important job you have.
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I’m glad to have you hear with me today as we get back to the Christian Parenting basics.
I’ve already been challenged by this study and look forward to being challenged again as I share it with you.
But before we do that, I’d like to share a 5-Star iTunes review we received from Freddy.
He said, “My wife and I have been listening to Truth.Love.Parent. for over 6 months now. The quality of the Biblical insight into parenting, coupled with the thorough notes have been invaluable to us as we are raising our 3 and 1 year old girls. Thank you so much for the wisdom; that is so much needed in this world today.”
As we cruise into our second year of ministry, I can’t express the joy comments like this bring my heart. The Lord’s wisdom is super-abounding and free to any who seek it. Thank you all for joining me today as we pursue God’s wisdom.
And now on to the things we wished we knew before we had kids.
I guess — to be fair — some of us did know it. At least we’d heard this information before. And no doubt many of us have heard it since we’ve had kids.
So, Lord willing I pray we enter today’s discussion with renewed hearts and a desire to truly learn what we may have previously struggled to heed or be consistent in.
Today’s show is going to follow the same format from episode 90, “How to Be a Truth/Love Parent.” That episode has been very popular, and I believe it has to do with he way we dug into Ephesians 4. So today, please join me in a passage we’ve cited a number of times, but have since not really mined for its parenting treasures.
Let’s look at Deuteronomy 6:1-9.
I know, some of you already know what it says, and others of you will immediately recognize it. Others of you may have even preached sermons out of this text, but I encourage you to pray as David did, “Open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of Your Law.”
Here’s an overview, verses 1-6 are the prerequisites we need for the class Christian Parenting 101 which runs from verses 7-9.
So, let’s start in verse 1. Moses is writing this to the children of Israel, and he says,
““Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it,"
Before we continue, let me speak to the fact that the vast majority of my listeners are what the Scriptures would refer to as Gentiles. Most of us are not Jewish, but that does not mean that this passage of Scripture doesn’t apply to us. Yes, there are specific Jewish promises in these verses that refer to them claiming the Promised Land, but there are principles and commands and promises that extend to all of God’s children. They apply to us as well.
So, as we look at this first verse we notice a couple prerequisites. After our study on Peaceful Parenting in Philippians 4, we should be very familiar with the concept of a Promise Prerequisite. God says that He instructed Moses to teach the people His commands, statutes, and rules because God intended His followers to keep them. We have to do our part because of Who He is.
This, my friends, is the bedrock of all that we’re going to study today, all that we’ve ever studied, and all that we hope to study. If God is not able to claim ultimate and supreme authority, if He’s not able to expect us to follow the commands He issues, then He’s not a God worth worshipping. And if He is a God worth worshipping, then what are we doing not obeying Him?
The fact that God is Who He is — a God worthy to be feared by us and our children and our children’s children, makes what He has to say more important than the stock market, the presidency, the PTA, Black/White/Blue/Pink Lives Matter, our bank statements, our children’s grades, our promotions, our friends, and our feelings. Nothing in this universe is more important.
So, what He’s about to say next should cause us to put everything else on hold. He's established His authority. Up to this point Exodus we’ve learned that He’s created the world, sustained the world, judged the world, made promises and kept promises, performed miracles, and mighty removed His children from bondage in Egypt. And then God says, “Listen to me and do what I say.”
And so He tells us — starting in verse two — what His awesomeness requires in our lives:
“2 that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son's son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. 3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey. Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.”
Here we see 3 prerequisites and 4 blessings.
1. The first command/prerequisite is “Fear the Lord”
2. Carefully keep all His statutes all the days of your life. I took this from three parts in the passage.
3. Now, the third prerequisite is related to the last. Carefully keep all His commandments all the days of your life.
And again we need to see that He reminds us throughout these verses that that He is the personal Yahweh, our supreme God. We humans are so forgetful. That’s partly why this study is so challenging to me. I forget while I’m making breakfast that God is Who He is. I forget while I’m watching movies, teaching my children the martial arts, I forget that He’s the all-loving, all-powerful, all-wise God of the universe while I parent. And it’s at those times of spiritual amnesia that I fail.
God knows too well how many reminders we need, and we all need this reminder today.
Alright, so those are the three commands gives us in this passage, here are the four blessings.
I’m not going to go through each of them, because I think the meaning is very clear, however I want to point out anther temptation we can have. There’s a movement all over the world — one that’s very prevalent in African countries — often referred to as the prosperity gospel. Joel Osteen would be an example of this in the US. This movement is heretical and unbiblical. Some of the most physically unprosperous people in the entire Bible were Paul and Jesus. I think you understand where I’m going.
I’m going to call out Joel and everyone else of his deceptive ilk. What they preach is a lie. The only people prospering in the prosperity gospel in Africa are the church leaders who take advantage of the blind allegiance on their followers.
This passage is not promising that everyone who fears the Lord and keeps His statutes and commandments will be healthy and wealthy with no problems. First, some of the specifics of these promises were unique to the children of Israel — such as the “land flowing with milk and honey.” Second, there’s nothing in these promises that requires the blessings be physical, and third, the rest of Scripture must be taken into account. Jesus said we would be hated and persecuted and reviled. But the prosperity Jesus names in Matthew 5 is not a new car or vacation home, it’s joy and contentment in the face of persecution.
There’s much more I could say about that, but I need to move on.
Okay, Christian Parenting 101 requires the foundation laid in verses 1-6. In order to be successful in our parenting, we need to major in the Fear of Lord and have our proficiencies in Statute and Commandment Keeping. Only then can we hope to receive the blessings of such a life, and only then can we also hope to parent well.
So, God’s laid the foundation. And now we get into the part of this passage that’s so familiar:
“7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Honestly, I only have one point to make from all of this. You need to personally, diligently, constantly, vividly, passionately, repeatedly, and intentionally, educate your children in the Fear of the Lord, His statutes, and His commandments.
So, Christian Parenting 101 is simply educating our children to fear God and live in His Truth.
If you wonder what this looks like, listen as I read Moses’ example in verses 20-25.
“When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the Lord our God has commanded you?’ 21 then you shall say to your son, ‘We were Pharaoh's slaves in Egypt. And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 22 And the Lord showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes. 23 And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers. 24 And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. 25 And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us.’
A child has asked his father why they do what they do. He wants to understand that family philosophy, the dad takes the opportunity to explain everything he knew about how God was working with their people. He shares Who God is, what God did, what He promised, what He commanded, and the spiritual motivation behind it.
I’m very excited about Natasha Crain’s new book, “Talking with Your Kids about God” because the title may as well have been called “Christian Parenting 101.” She and I are working to schedule that show as close to the books release date as possible.
I’m also looking forward to our next episode. I’ll have a special guest on the show who will help us practice what we talked about today. The show’s called “Tackling Tattling,” and I can’t wait for Jessica Mair and I to share with you how we apply God’s Truth to that dangerous behavior.
And the episode after that will also piggy-back this one. It’s called “Train Your Child to Stay with God” and it’ll conclude our third season before we move into our next series called “The Merest Christianity” which will unveil the deepest question of our families — why do we and our children do what we do, and how do we fix the bad things we do?
I hope you’ll join us for everything I’ve mentioned and more as we cruise into our second year of ministry.
Also, don’t forget your episode notes on TruthLoveParent.com.
And speaking of our website, be sure to join The TLP Family and enroll in your first TLP parenting course!
Why do we offer all of these resources? Because Christian Parenting 101 is relatively simple to understand, but it’s not always easy to do, and we want to help you every step of the way.
See you next time.
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