Oh, great! Now I have to be my kid’s teacher too! Christian parenting may seem difficult, but the reality is that our main responsibilities are quite simple. To be a Christ-honoring Parent, we need to stop trying to be original and be the “hinge” God created us to be. Join AMBrewster as he unwraps what it means to be your child’s Educator.
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Welcome back to what I believe is our 16th series. We’re coming up on our second year of podcasting twice a week, and I can’t wait to celebrate that with you.
But first, I’m really looking forward to our upcoming TLP meetup in Dallas, Texas on Monday, September 17th, 2018.
The plan is to meet at 7:00 and hang out. Our hosts, Matt and Sonja, want to make the event whatever will benefit and encourage you the most. They’re prepared for this to be a time of conversation, teaching, prayer, fun, whatever it needs to be to build you up and help you be the Ambassador Parent God has called and created you to be.
So, if you’ll be in the Dallas area on the 17th and would like to attend, please send an email to TeamTLP@TruthLoveParent.com or like us on Facebook and click that you’ll be attending the First Ever TLP meetup.
Lord willing, it will be one for the history books.
But, you know what, you may be listening to this episode long after September 17th, 2018. That’s one thing I love about this podcast. The topics we discuss are evergreen and eternally relevant and practical because it’s grounded in God’s Truth.
So let’s get into today’s topic.
Last time we started a new series called “A Parent’s 5 Jobs,” and we saw that our first role is an Ambassador of God. I encourage you to listen to the episode before jumping into this one because the rest of the 5 jobs are part of being an Ambassador Parent.
In fact, if you don’t do these four jobs, you won’t be an Ambassador Parent.
Now, the main text for the rest of the series is a familiar one. It’s II Timothy 3:16.
Let me explain why this will be our text before diving in.
As Christians, our one goal is to become more like our Savior. We do this through a process called sanctification where we’re transformed from glory to glory into the image of Christ. We saw this in great detail in our recent “Your Family Needs to Go to Church” series.
And I do an Intensive Week every year for my guys at Victory Academy that’s called “What Do You See in the Mirror?” And the idea is that people should see Jesus in us more than they see us in us.
So, if we’re a growing and maturing follower of Christ, then this is obviously going to spill over into our relationship with our spouses and kids.
Is it spouses or spice? I don’t know.
Anyway, since all that we say and do should be what God Himself would say or do in that situation, then we need to take our parenting cues from God.
That’s why I did episode 123, “Parenting Like the Holy Spirit.” I found that particular study so beneficial for me.
And that’s also why we’re spending all of Season 7 discussing the Truth of God as revealed in His Word.
Our parenting must be in God’s image, and the only way we can do that is to parent from God’s Word. This was the foundational Truth we discussed in episode 174, “The Sufficiency of Scripture in Parenting.”
So, that’s why we’re going to use II Timothy 3:16 as the jump-off point for the rest of this series.
Those of you familiar with the verse will instantly recognize it as unpacking the Doctrine of the Sufficiency of Scripture by explaining what God designed the Bible to do.
Let me read the verse for you: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
So, if God created the Bible to do four unique tasks, and He also called me to be an All-Bible Parent, then it’s safe to assume that God wants me to at least participate in the four tasks for which He created the Bible.
And with that lengthy foundation laid, let’s turn to our second job.
God wants Christian parents to be Educators.
Now, don’t freak out on me.
We did do a show back in episode 79 called, “What's the Parent’s Role in their Children’s Education?”
And I believe the conclusions to which we came apply directly to this parental responsibility. I would recommend that episode as a way to further today’s study.
But, I’m not saying that God has commanded all parents to teach their children the subjects commonly associated with modern academia.
But that doesn’t change the fact that God wants you to be an Educator.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching.” God did a divine, miraculous act of inspiration specifically so that His holy Word would be beneficial for teaching. In fact, we learned earlier that the Bible can teach us everything we and our families need for life and godliness.
That means that as we participate with God and utilize His Word in our Ambassador Parenting, we will be the primary medium God will use to teach our kids.
I say primary, because I believe that’s how God created it to be. Yes, there have been many people over the ages who sent their children away for education in the form of book-learning and apprenticeships, but that was the exception.
Nowadays, however, everyone in the US is expected to send their children to school for at least 8 hours a day. And the age we’re supposed to start sending them is getting lower and lower every couple years.
That’s one reason I did The Family and Education series starting in episode 80. If we choose to delegate our parenting to another for a large majority of the day, we’d better not do it casually or brainlessly.
In case you hadn’t heard it already, we discussed if you should consider sending your kids to a public school, Christian school, homeschool, or boarding school, and we finished the series off talking about the future of Christian higher education in America.
My point is, when it comes to spiritual Truths, we parents must be actively involved in their education.
This is bedrock of the Deuteronomy 6 passage we studied in Christian Parenting 101.
This is heart of Solomon when he wrote the book of Proverbs. In the first chapter he writes, “Hear, my son, your father's instruction, and forsake not your mother's teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.”
He then explains how sin will destroy while the wisdom Solomon wished to impart to his son would give life.
In essence, teaching is simply giving information, presenting Truth.
And when we educate without Truth, we’re failing God and our children.
In Matthew 15:9, Jesus says, “In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”
The Greek word translated “teaching” from Timothy was actually translated “doctrines.”
When we teach our kids the doctrines of men, we’re involved in a worthless endeavor.
Now, teaching Truth is not the same as training. Training includes teaching, but training is much more.
In reality, teaching is easier than training. Training is this job and the next three combined!
Training is the epitome of being an Ambassador Parent.
Teaching is simply the impartation of reality. And reality is revealed to us in the Bible.
Do you have a regular time of family Bible-time?
How big is your Parenting Bible?
Do your children know that when they have a question, you are going to do your best to make sure it’s answered in line with the Scriptures?
Whether it’s why we do chores or eat healthily or speak kindly or wait to date or work hard or play hard, do you root the instruction in the Gospel?
Do you boldly teach God’s perspective of changing a tire? Do you offer healing to your child who’s reeling from a broken relationship, failed grade, or death in the family?
Do you instruct your kids how to love God and others? Are you the source of knowledge when it comes to decision making?
A Special Guest of ours, Natasha Crain recently shared her heart on Facebook. She said, “Here is my number one piece of unsolicited advice to those of you with kids still in the preschool and younger stage: Make family Bible study part of your family routine NOW. I get so many emails from parents with older kids who struggle to get something like this started because the kids aren't used to it, so they fight it (not that that should make you give up). But when your kids grow to see that regular Bible study time is just part of your family's rhythm, it's accepted from an early age (not that THAT means it will always be easy!). Start with just 30 minutes once each week.”
I’m so glad she said that, because without a solid foundation of teaching, our children will be prone to wander toward their own destructive lusts. II Timothy 4:3-4 puts it this way: “The time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”
It’s scary how accurate that is when you consider the average Christian school senior class.
Now, let me stop right here and say that I understand how monumental this sounds. And I understand that there are many of you who feel overwhelmed by all of this. Not only does being our child’s spiritual Educator seem like a huge task, but if we don’t do it (and start it early), it may be harder later!
That’s why so many parents view teaching as the thing they pay everyone else to do. They send them to school, they send them to church, and they really don’t want to have to teach.
But let me encourage you with three things:
1. God commands it and He empowers what He commands. If you are His child, you can do what He’s called and created you to do.
2. Have you ever had to learn a new language? It’s awkward and hard and strange at first. But it slowly gets more natural after time and practice.
Ambassador Parenting is exactly the same. I listened to three different podcasts lately where the guests all acknowledged that spiritual change can seem scary or hard.
The reality is that it’s not really hard to learn to Chinese. How many millions of little children speak Chinese? It’s not hard, it’s just different. And — if we think that life is okay the way it is — we’re not comfortable embracing different.
But we must. God wants us to be daily conformed to the image of His Son, and that means that tomorrow I have to be different from the man I was today.
3. We are here to help. It may sound way too hard to be the Teacher in your child’s life who helps them discover God’s will. Perhaps you think you know nothing about that. Well, that’s why we did a whole series about how to help your children discover God’s will for their lives.
Our greatest goal is to partner with God by using His Word to equip you to be the Ambassador Parent He knows you can be in His strength.
So, yeah, I paint a pretty vibrant picture. I set a high bar, but we need to be excited as we see the high biblical expectation before us and work to reach it in God’s power for His glory.
Break: Thanks for listening! And there’s still more to today’s episode. We just wanted to remind you that you can access today’s free episode notes at TruthLoveParent.com under our Parenting Tools tab. Or you can click the link below.
You can also email us at counselor@TruthLoveParent.com for free help with your parenting issues.
And lastly, will you consider sharing this episode? It’s easy to do from the Apple Podcast app. With just a click you can share it on social media or email it to a Christian parent who’d be blessed to hear this.
And now for the conclusion of today’s episode.
Lastly I want to look at Titus 2:7.
Up until now we’ve looked at the nature of teaching and the source of our teaching, and I’ve tried to encourage you that you can do this, but before we finish up today, I want to look at four ways that we’re to teach.
In Titus 2:7 Paul tells Titus, “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned.”
1. We teach through our actions. We need to be a model of the Truth we say we believe. Why should our children follow God if we don’t? Why should our children trust Him if we don’t?
2. Our teaching needs to be consistent. The word translated “integrity” refers to something being incorruptible or un-decaying.
Not only must we be consistent because God is, not only must we be consistent because the Truth itself is consistent with itself, but we must also be consistent so that we don’t lose our children’s trust.
How can we Educate our kids if they don’t trust us?
3. Our teaching needs to be dignified. The idea of dignity is that it has gravity. The Truth God expects us to give to our kids is weighty. It’s significant.
I believe this is a foreign concept to the average American. We’re encouraged to come as we are and stay as we were. Informality and business casual has become our default.
But God wants us to teach with an understanding of the eternal consequences of being ignorant of His will.
4. Our teaching needs to be well communicated. The word “sound” refers to being whole, healthy, complete, or mature. And Paul adds that our speech should not be able to be condemned.
This is the only place in the Bible where this particular Greek word translated “condemned” is used, but the idea is that our speech needs to be such that no one would think ill of it.
Now, this is a big soap box for me, but I believe I Corinthians 10:31 applies to our speaking as much as it does anything else. Some people say I’m a grammar nazi, but my main goal is to speak correctly and communicate clearly. What good is it if my speech is not sound?
But I think this idea extends beyond our grammar, pronunciation, or public speaking abilities. In order to truly have sound speech, we must have speech that lines up with Truth and love. It’s speech that always stays in The Communication House.
So, our main job is to be an Ambassador for our great Master, Yahweh.
That means that a big part of our job will be to teach our kids about our Master. We need to teach them Who He is when they’re afraid to go to sleep. We need to teach them Who He is when they lose their tournament. We need to teach them Who He is when they complain about loading the dishwasher. We need to teach them Who He is when they wonder why the world is so full of pain and suffering.
And we need to live it out in our lives with integrity, dignity, and maturity.
To that end, I cannot recommend enough Natasha Crain’s books. She’s written “Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side” and “Talking to Your Kids about God.”
But she’s also started GAP, the “Grassroots Apologetics for Parents.” This program was designed to train parents with an understanding of how to teach God to their children.
We’ve linked it a number of times on our Facebook page, and I strongly encourage you to check it out. It’s just rolling out, and she’s had a fantastic response so far.
Church groups, homeschool groups, Christian school groups, and online groups are all being created to help parents learn to be the Teacher they need to be.
I know that today’s lesson wasn’t as enumerated as they normally are. Today’s episode notes should present everything a little cleaner than I did here. Just remember that the only textbook you need to be the best Educator your children have ever had is the Bible.
You need to know it well and teach it well. You need to submit to it and model it.
And — on our next episode — we’re going to learn about the next step in training our children. This second job is a little harder, but we know that God will never leave us nor forsake us in our parenting.
So, I’ll see you next time.
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