What do you do when your kids disagree with you? What if they don’t believe the Bible? Join AMBrewster as he teaches Christian Parents how to be God’s Interpreter to their kids. Good parenting requires more than teaching; we must be ready to answer sin’s delusion.
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Welcome back to our Parent’s 5 Jobs series.
Please start in episode 184 to get caught up on the first two responsibilities.
But before we get to the 3rd job, I’d like to thank Scott and Mindee for supporting us every month. We are a listener supported ministry, and Patrons like Scott and Mindee make it possible for us to glorify God by equipping parents all over the world to be intentional, premeditated, disciple-making parents.
And, I also want to remind you of Matt and Sonja, two other patrons we are heading up our very first TLP meetup in Dallas, Texas on September 17th, 2018.
If you are going to be in the area, we’d love for you to stop by. We want to be whatever blessing and encouragement we can be to you. So, whether that means hanging out, prayer, counsel, teaching, or whatever, we want it to be a profitable time for you.
So, find someone to take care of the kids that night and plan to attend our first ever TLP meetup. I can’t wait to meet you face to face.
If you’d like to attend, you can email TeamTLP@TruthLoveParent.com or like us on Facebook and click that you’ll be attending.
And if you’d like more information about how you can become a Patron for as little as $1 a month, you can click on the “5 Ways to Support TLP” link in the description of this episode. Scott, Mindee, Matt, and Sonja would highly encourage you to do that.
Okay, so what is the third job God has for us?
Our first job is Ambassador, and that job-description makes it clear from where our authority and strength comes.
And it also delineates what we do, how we do it, and why we do it.
And last time — before we dive in II Timothy 3:16 — we talked about how God has revealed Himself in His Word and expects us to parent using it. And since He’s created the Bible to do four specific jobs, we as Ambassador Parents should use the Bible to accomplish those roles in our children’s lives.
So, the second job at which we looked was Educator or Teacher. God wants us to use the Scriptures to educate our children in Who He is and how He created life to be lived.
But, you know what? Sometimes teaching’s just not enough.
Have you ever noticed that it doesn’t seem to matter how many times you tell your child not to touch something hot . . . they end up doing it anyway.
Why does that happen?
Well, like we saw in our Merest Christianity series, it boils down to what they believe. It’s a worldview problem. They heard you say it was hot. They know what “hot” means, but they have a different take on the outcome.
So they touch it.
What this reveals is that your children have an interpretation problem. Their interpretation of reality is delusional.
Therefore, in II Timothy 3:16, God informs us that He created His Word to act as an interpretive guide.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching [and] for reproof.”
The noun translated “reproof” is a hapax legomena. That means it’s only use one time in the entire Bible.
Still, the concept is used throughout Scripture. To reprove means to refute an error.
Here’s how it works. Instruction informs the child what is right, but when the child decides that his version of right is more right than the Bible’s, then we have to exercise our next job by refuting their delusion.
Now, we did discuss the importance of interpretation once before. In episode 104 — which would be a great follow-up to today’s discussion — we looked at II Timothy 4. From there we built a framework for our interpretation that included rebuking and exhorting, and we looked at a number of other important prerequisites to being a good Interpreter.
But today we’re going to go even further in our understanding of being an Interpreter Parent. And we’re going to do that by looking at one of the verb forms of the word in II Timothy 3:16.
It’s used 16 times in the New Testament, but we’re just going to look at 6 principles for Ambassadorial Interpretation.
Our principles of interpretation are . . .
1. God interprets life for us.
In John 16:8 we read, “And when he [referring to the Holy Spirit] comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.”
Now, I know that the idea of interpretation and conviction seem very different, but they’re actually identical. To convict someone of something is to convince them that they’re wrong. In essence, to persuade them that their few of reality was incorrect . . . their interpretation of life was inaccurate.
We see this principle of divine re-interpretation in Hebrews 12:5. “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.”
And Jude 1:14-15 says, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly.”
Episode 123 was called, “Parenting Like the Holy Spirit” and it was based off John 16:8. And, as Ambassador Parents of God, it makes all the sense in the world that God would use us to accomplish the task of helping our children interpret life correctly.
The next principle is that not only does God interpret life for us, but . . . .
2. God commands us to interpret life for others.
Matthew 18:15, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.”
Ephesians 5:11, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”
I Timothy 5:20, “As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.”
Titus 1:13, “This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith.”
The reality is that we’re all going to succumb to a delusion at some point. We’re all going to believe — if even for a moment — that we are right and God is wrong. And — in that moment — we’re going to be in desperate need of a correct interpretation of life and Truth.
And the same goes for our kids.
That’s why God created families to work the way they do, and why He called us to live in community. We need each other to keep our heads on straight.
I praise God that when I’m not thinking right, my wife is able to point me to Truth, and I praise God that when she’s living in a delusion, I’m normally interpreting life correctly enough to help her.
And the same should go for us in our parenting.
Unfortunately, it too often occurs that we and our children are both living in a delusion that needs reinterpreting.
Now, I keep using the word “delusion,” but I think we need to understand it a little better. So . . .
3. Interpretation is necessary when delusion is present.
John 3:20, “For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.”
A. That you or your kids are living in a delusion is revealed by sinful living.
II Timothy 4:2-4, “Reprove . . . with complete patience and teaching. For 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.”
B. Delusion is also revealed by worldly desires that contradict God’s Truth.
Titus 1:9 supports this reality when it observes than an elder “must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.”
My friends, it’s actually really easy to spot misinterpretations of life. If it contradicts God’s Word at any point, it’s a delusion. It’s not reality.
C. But in II Timothy 4:4 we also see that people who are in a delusion will desperately fight to remove themselves from the presence of people with the correct interpretation of life and surround themselves by others who share their delusion.
John 3:20 gives us another instinctual response of delusional living. Sinful people will hate the light and run from the light. The verse right before this one says, “people love the darkness rather than the light because their works [are] evil.”
When our kids aren’t interpreting life correctly, we not only need to seek them out (because they may not be interested in hearing what we have to say), we also have to make sure we’re giving the correct interpretation of life.
We mustn’t ask them to trade their delusion for ours. That’s why . . .
4. Ambassadorial Interpretation must expose delusions to the light of God’s Word. (Truth)
Ephesians 5:13, “But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible.”
I’ve seen this work time and time again. The most hardened, unreasonable child must either accept the veracity of God’s claims or deliberately make arguments they know are false because they don’t want to admit they’re wrong.
But whether they admit it or not, they know the truth. Their delusion is slowly being shattered.
But when we demand that our kids stop worshipping themselves — which is definitely delusional thinking — and ask them to worship us instead, we’ve substituted their idol for our own.
I say it a lot, but I must keep repeating myself because you and I do this far too often. If our children aren’t interested in worshipping God, what makes us think they want to worship us?
Of course, the problem isn’t that we think they want to worship us, it’s just that we are so bowed down at the altar of self, we’re not able to see reality. One person put it this way, “It’s hard to see anything correctly when our noses are shoved in our own belly-buttons.” I tell the guys at Victory that they’ll never love others when their eyes are rolled back into their heads.
This is why we use terror tactics against our terrorist children. They’re living in a delusion that sin is okay; they’re yelling at us, brow beating us, complaining, being unkind, whatever. But since we’re living in a delusion too, we yell at them, threaten them, make it about me-versus-them instead of us-versus—sin
My friends — and I’m saying this for me as much as I am for you — we will never cure our child’s delusion by injecting our own.
Ambassadorial Interpretation can only happen within the context of God’s revealed Truth.
But — as we well know — there’s a second requirement when it comes to reinterpreting life.
5. Interpretation must be motivated by love. (Love)
Revelation 3:19, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.”
God reinterprets life for us because He knows we’d otherwise be destroyed.
This ties into the last point as well because true love for our kids will compel us to want God’s best interest for them. When motivated by true love, we would never dare to force our delusion on our kids.
Again, the issue is that when I’m worshipping at the altar of self, I’m loving myself . . . not God, and not my child.
If you haven’t heard our “Four Family Love” series, please check it out starting in episode 128.
Now, before we look at our last principle for being an Interpreter Parent, please give your attention to my wife.
Break: When the episode’s over, click on the link below to get our free episode notes, and then share this series with a friend who would be encouraged by it.
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And now for the conclusion of today’s show.
Okay, by way of review, God is in the business of helping us reinterpret life, but He also commands us to participate in the same responsibility.
And we know we need to move from Teaching to Interpreting any time sinful actions or desires are present. We also need to watch out for when our kids run from Truth and surround themselves with people who share their delusion.
When it comes time to help our kids reinterpret the realities and situations in life, we must rely on God’s Truth and God’s love lest we accidentally lead them into our own misinterpretations.
And, lastly . . .
6. Your authority to interpret another’s life resides in God.
Titus 2:15, “Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.”
This ties us back to the first and second principles, but it’s so important to verbalize.
How many of you have been convinced by your own children that you’re a bad parent for correcting them?
How many of us have convinced ourselves that we’re bad parents because we’re doing things the world says are horrendous?
My friends, if you’re being an Ambassador Parent who is accurately and lovingly applying God’s Word to your family, you can rest assured that you are pleasing the Lord.
Don’t let anyone steal you peace.
And if, right now, you’re struggling to have peace in your parenting, we have a series just for you. It’s called “Peaceful Parenting,” and it starts in episode 69. I pray it will be a blessing to you.
Okay, so God wants us to imitate Him in our parenting. Therefore we teach our kids what’s right, and when they decided that God’s Word is wrong, we need to help our kids interpret life correctly by reproving them. But what happens if they don’t listen? What happens if they do?
On our next episode we’re going to study the fourth parenting job to which God has called you.
Don’t forget to check out patreon.com to learn more about supporting TLP, and feel free to write us at Counselor@TruthLoveParent.com if you’d like some personal advice or TeamTLP@TruthLoveParent.com if you’d like to suggest a topic for the show or sign up for our TLP meetup.
Remember, friends, your kids are going to slip into delusions from time to time. Make sure you’re there with the Truth and love to pull them out.
See you next time.
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