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Well, today I may be attempting the most fool-hardy thing I’ve ever tried.
Today I want to sum up in less than 20 minutes a doctrine over which wars are being fought at this very moment.
But before I attempt the impossible, let me do something very easy. Please let me say thank you to Johanna, one of our faithful, monthly Patrons.
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We are a listener-supported ministry, and we appreciate your prayerful consideration of partnering with us.
Okay, let’s do the impossible.
There will be some of you who are going to disagree with me out of hand. Others of you will embrace everything I’m saying, and it will serve as confirmation for a belief you’ve had for a long time.
And others of you — those who haven’t ever considered this topic — may walk away convinced, skeptical, or at least curious.
My desire is that we all come to terms with this gorgeous Truth from God’s Word. Its veracity will give you so much hope in your parenting.
The topic for today is the Sufficiency of Scripture in parenting.
The word sufficiency means that something is enough. You don’t anything else to be complete, satisfied, and whole.
Friends, my hope for you today is that you come to understand that you don’t need anything more than God’s inscripturated Word for your parenting. You don’t need books. You don’t need videos. You don’t need this podcast.
In fact, all of those things only have value if they constantly push you back to God’s Word. That’s why we work so hard to be true to the Bible on this show.
And, I’m honored that you would entrust me to speak wisdom into your family, but please understand me when I say that as long as you are bathing yourself in Scripture, Truth.Love.Parent. and ministries like ours are simply the icing on the cake.
We’re here to remind you that you’re not alone. We’re here to help you see those things that maybe you hadn’t seen yet. We’re here to explain some hard concepts. We’re here to help.
But the best help we can give you is to turn you back to the Scriptures because the Apostle Peter said in II Peter 1:3, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.”
Please note that everything we need for life and godliness comes solely through the knowledge of Jesus Christ. And the Bible is the only source of that knowledge. Human tradition, opinion, philosophy, and ideology doesn’t matter accept where it perfectly aligns with the Bible.
Now, there are those out there who disagree with me.
They point out that the Bible doesn’t help you teach your children math. They observe that professionals talk all the time about disorders and diseases that are nowhere mentioned in Scripture. They are quick to remind us that God’s Word doesn’t teach you how to handle a baby with colic.
And they’re right.
But does that mean that the Bible is not sufficient for our parenting?
The Doctrine of the Sufficiency of Scripture states simply that there is nothing more humanity needs to know about itself or God in order to live as He planned. That means that every question we’re going to have and every difficulty we face can and will be answered by the Bible.
Now, I want to let the God argue for Himself, but before we turn to our passage for the day, I want to admit that questions about how to install an electrical box in your basement or how to dissuade your daughter from being interested in that boy are not going to be answered as straightforward as we may like.
The Bible is also not going to provide us esoteric, mystical, extra-biblical revelation. There aren’t symbols and hidden meanings behind every page of Scripture. Don’t get me wrong, the Bible is filled with powerful and necessary imagery, metaphor, and figurative language, but my point is that I’m not going to find some veiled advice for my electrical box in Colossians 1:11, “May you be strengthened with all power.”
Instead, God is going to answer those questions with the only thing that matters. I Corinthians 10:31 tells us that whether we’re eating or drinking or updating our electrical work, we must glorify God.
A few verse earlier we read, “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.”
Augustine said to “Love God and do whatever you want.” If we truly understand what it is to love God, then there will be glorious freedom in how we parent. You are different from me. Your kids are different from mine. And there is a nearly infinite color wheel of possibilities for how we can parent to the glory of God.
The most important realities are that we speak the Truth in love to our kids, point then to Christ, encourage and edify them in the Lord. As Ambassador Parents we need to expect no more or less than God does in every page of His Word and then trust Him that there is liberty in the areas not addressed.
That means that the Bible is sufficient to parent your teenage daughter through the hormones of a crush. There are answers for parents of children whom the world has labeled hyperactive, defiant, or depressed.
There’s guidance for every stage from infancy to marriage. There’s wisdom to lead your children through what to wear, what to eat, with whom to be friends, how to approach education, and how to play.
The Bible will teach us to glorify God as we install that electrical box.
There are foundational Truths for absolutely every difficulty you will ever face in your parenting . . . or in anything else for that matter.
And I truly feel sorry for people who don’t believe this. Their God is either forgetful, unloving, not as powerful as he claimed, or just a liar.
No one will ever convince me that man’s opinions on medicine, philosophy, health, economics, sexuality, government, or parenting is vital to my ability to live a Christ-honoring life on this planet.
If that were the case, then what about the billions and billions of people who lived before the planet was graced with the opinions of Dr. Spock?
Were children incapable of glorifying God before Prozac was invented in 1987?
No, my friends. Every human from the dawn of time until the second death have been given everything they need for life and godliness. Everything else is either a distraction or a subtle joy.
So, let me move on and deal with two topics.
First, I want to turn to Psalm 19 to help you see — from’s God’s own mouth — the sufficiency of His Word.
And then I want to explain something called Your Parenting Bible.
1. Please allow me to read Psalm 19:7-14: “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
What a beautiful Truth!
God’s law is perfect for your family. He designed it to revive your souls.
His testimonies concealed in His Word are sure. Even though our children are born with foolishness knotted in their hearts, the Bible was given to us to make our families wise.
The Lord’s precepts are right. When we parent in God’s righteousness, our families will rejoice in righteousness.
God’s commandments are pure. In those times when things seem muddled and hard. When the difficulties surrounding our terrorist children loom ever dark, God’s commandments enlighten our eyes and help us see the next step.
The Bible teaches us to fear the Lord, and when our spouses and children and we fear Him, we will live clean and wholesome lives that will endure forever.
The rules of the Lord are true. When the world tries to stake their claim on truth and convince us that the Bible isn’t relevant or — worse — it’s a dilapidated old book full of violence, prejudice, and puritanical prohibitions, we can confidently know that His rules are Truth and are altogether righteous!
And every word of The Word is more valuable than all the fine gold in every hole in every continent on this earth.
They’re sweeter than the most decadent treat. They bring a smile to your lips, a glint to your eye, and a spring to your step. In fact, you may just mount up with wings as eagles.
His Word warns us and our kids. It points out every danger we may encounter from this world, from the flesh, and from Satan.
The Bible is completely, totally, 100%, undeniably without error. When mankind dreams up some ridiculous answer for the woes of humanity and it contradicts God’s revealed will, you can know that man is wrong and God is right. And your kids can have the same confidence.
God’s Word is the only source that can help us teach our children to be innocent from hidden faults. It’s the only document in the world that can help our kids stay away from the dominion of presumptuous sins.
Only the Bible can help your children be blameless and innocent.
Let us pray with David the final verse with this one small change: “[When I parent] let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
Now, I’m not going to go any further. We could take a year to step through the Scriptures and build this doctrine out from every book of the Bible. We could plumb the depths of this Truth for a very long time.
But instead of presuming to tackle such a task on this little podcast, let me encourage you to study this Truth. You could start with Psalm 119. The longest chapter in the Bible is dedicated completely to Truths about the Bible. It will delight your soul.
There are also a ton of resources from a hundred trusted sources including the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, John MacArthur, John Piper, Answers in Genesis, 9Marks, and Paul David Tripp, just to name a few.
Let God’s Word argue for itself.
Okay, let’s talk about our second topic for the day.
2. Your Parenting Bible
I was first introduced to this concept when I was getting my certification from ACBC. I was taking a class from Jim Newheiser. Now, before I continue, let me first say that I had a great interview with Jim in episode 110. It was about how parenting is more than a formula.
I was introduced to his talk on that subject in the counseling class in the same class I took.
Now, if you go to TruthLoveParent.com and click on the Parenting Tools tab, you can navigate to The Best Podcasts page. On that page you’ll see a number of my favorite podcasts, but near the bottom you’ll see Care and Discipleship from IBCD.
That is a version of the class I took for my certification through the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. There is so much good stuff there, and so much of it revolves around marriage and parenting.
If you haven’t heard it yet, I want to encourage you more strongly than I ever have to listen to every episode.
And while you’re learning so much amazing Truth from God’s Word, you’ll hear Dr. Newheiser talk a little about his concept of a Parenting Bible.
But here’s the kernel idea:
Your Parenting Bible is only as big as the passages and verses you regularly use with your family.
For some of you, your Parenting Bible may only be a couple verse long — like “be kind one to another” and “Do all things without grumbling.”
But maybe you don’t even have those two.
But that’s okay. Today we talked about the fact that God’s Word and God’s Word alone is what you need to be the best parent you can be. It will not only empower you to be the person you’re supposed to be, but it’s also the most important content we have to communicate to our kids.
So, we all need to make it a daily habit to speak Truth into our kids lives. Just like we learned in Parenting 101, “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 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. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
That means we need to know God’s Word and use it.
So, every time you integrate a new verse into your daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or second-by-second routine, you’re building your Parenting Bible.
Some people teach their kids the ABC’s with 26 verses. Some people like my sister simply breath out Bible as easily as anything.
And as our Parenting Bible’s grow, we’ll be able to answer more questions and handle more issues.
In fact, wouldn’t be amazing if our Parenting Bible’s were as thick as the Bible itself? Wouldn’t it be great if we could regularly apply every Truth of Scripture to our kids?
A long time ago, when I started this podcast, my wife asked me what I was going to do when I ran out of parenting verses.
I hope I never run out of biblical Truths to apply to our parenting!
If God’s Word is sufficient for everything we will ever need for life and godliness in our parenting, then until we’ve dealt with every question, situation, issue, and struggle, there will be at least one more episode to do.
And I hope you’ll be there with us.
Will you please share this episode? Honestly, I can’t think of a better episode to share. The world is so confused about Truth. We all need to submit to more knowledge about God.
Of course, I pray our episode notes will be a blessing to you. You can find them linked below.
And I look forward to starting a new series with you next time called “Your Family Needs to Go to Church.”
Now, I know, like today’s topic, most of you will already have your minds made up about this.
I hope that you’ll approach this series with an open mind. If you’ve had some bad experiences with church, I hope you’ll find some important direction.
If you already attend church every time the doors are open, I want you to listen to the series with a desire to discover whether or not the church you attend is one God wants you attending.
It should be a revealing and helpful series for all of us.
Can you believe it? I got through that in less time than I normally do; which leaves me with enough time to invite you to send in your parenting questions to TeamLP or our team of Counselors. If you’d like us to support our claim that any and all parenting questions can be answered from the Bible, feel free to send us your struggles.
TeamTLP will consider your request for an upcoming episode and our Counselors will be happy to help you personally in any way they can.
Isn’t the Bible awesome?
I look forward to opening with you next time. See you then.
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