Making resolutions can seem laborious, arbitrary, and — given previous failures — pointless. But God loves change, and when we make Christ-honoring resolutions, we have much better chances of accomplishing them in the power of God. So, join AMBrewster as he teaches Christian parents how to make resolutions that glorify the Lord.
Check out 5 Ways to Support TLP.
Listen to the following episodes on Apple Podcasts by clicking the titles.
“Help Your Children Discover God’s Will for Their Lives” (episode 158)
“Teach Your Children to Obey” (episode 138)
“The Four Family Loves” (episode 128)
“Teach Your Children to be Grateful.” (episode 212)
“A Parent’s 5 Jobs" (episode 184)
“Planning for a Successful Family” (episode 16)
“Refocusing Your Family after the Holidays” (episode 18)
“How Your Family’s Future is Tied to the Past” (episode 119)
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We took a little break from our normal format over the past three episodes. I hope they were beneficial for you as you prepped your kids for an awesome Christmas.
And I pray those same Gospel Truths won’t fade throughout the year.
In fact, we’re going to talk today about how to help those lessons stick.
But before we do that, I want to share a Facebook recommendation we received from Carol. She wrote, ”TLP provides only [the] best, encouraging messages for True Christian parenting. Thank you for blessing my family! Highly suggest podcasts!”
Thank you so much, Carol. Your superlative review thrills my heart.
You too can rate and review us on iTunes, and you can recommend us on Facebook.
When you do this, you not only help spread the word about TLP, but you encourage TeamTLP and I more than we can say.
So, if you haven’t done that yet, please take a couple minutes to rate, review, and/or recommend, and I would love to share our review on the show.
Also, today is the last day of Season 8.
By the way, you can go to TruthLoveParent.com to see a complete listing of all our Seasons and episodes. We categorize them by Season, by topic, by series, by Top Ten, and by Special Guest.
We have four seasons a year, and I’m honored to be introducing you to Season 9.
We thought long and hard about a good theme for Season 9, and this is the direction we decided togo. For the next three months we’re focusing on Fresh Starts.
Psychologically speaking, the start of the year is a great time for new beginnings and second chances. Of course, biblically speaking any time is the perfect time for fresh starts, and that’s one reason I’m overjoyed that our podcast is always available. And since our content is evergreen, you can listen to them at any time and be blessed, challenged, admonished, and encouraged.
Now, when it comes to change, my whole ministry at Victory Academy for Boys is all about it. We serve a God of change. He doesn’t change, but He’s all about changing us.
If we couldn’t change and grow and mature, there would be no point to a podcast like this. But the biblical reality is that God has provided a way to radically revolutionize our lives and families.
So, we’re going to start the New Year with an episode called, “Your Parenting is Not in Vain.”
Then we’re going to dive into a series called “How Do You Start Being . . . ?”
During that series we’re going to answer questions like “How Do You Start Being an Ambassador Parent?”
You see, there’s a very big difference between knowing about something and becoming that thing. Though the journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step, it’s often that first step that perplexes us.
If we knew how to take that step, we likely would have already taken it.
So, we’ve talked a lot about Ambassador Parenting, but I think we sometimes look at it like a toddler looks at Mount Everest. Why even try?
So, my plan is to discuss some super-practical ways of implementing what we already know about God’s expectations for our parenting.
We also want to talk about how to go from being a reactionary parent to a premeditated parent. We want to discuss the first steps necessary in becoming a Disciple-Making Parent.
In fact, we’re even going to lay out some very attainable action-steps for each of the Parent’s 5 Jobs.
We’re also going to unveil the eternal glory of what it means to “Parent in Christ.”
So, I hope you’re excited about this season. And whether or not this is your first time with us today, I want to encourage you to go back and listen to any of our older episodes you may not have heard.
Our content is ever-relevant because it’s rooted in God’s eternally relevant Word.
Alright, so it’s a new year, and it would be great if this fresh start could produce some new and exciting and more mature versions of us and our kids. So, how can we do that?
Well, in episode 158 we discussed “Help[ing] Your Children Discover God’s Will for Their Lives.”
Part 1 of that study revealed that our whole purpose in this life is to glorify God by doing His will.
We proved this by acknowledging that the Holy Spirit does the will of the Father and Jesus does the will of the Father. But we also saw that Paul and the other apostles did the will of the Father, and finally that we’re supposed to do the will of the Father as well.
Please take the time to listen to that series. In it we fill out all of these ideas with Scripture and practical application as we discuss how to help your child discover God’s will for their lives in general and — more specifically — their occupations.
And then, in Part 1, we focused on Philippians 1:3-11 and we found that Paul tells us — in part — what the will of the Father is.
In that one section we learn that it’s God will for us to partner in the Gospel, abound in knowledge and discernment in our love, approve what is excellent, be pure and blameless, and be filled with the fruit of righteousness.
And then in Part 2 we got even more specific. We saw what it means to be excellent, pure, blameless, and righteous.
For example, we learned that God wants your kids to live opposite of the world. But He also wants them to live opposite of their flesh. He wants them to be so consistently good that the world cannot blame them. God also desires for your kids to obey their authorities and give to people in need. Of course, it’s also God’s will that they abstain from fornication, be thankful in all things, and . . . basically do everything the Bible commands.
By the way, we have tons of other episodes that build on the concepts we learned in that series. For example, in episode 138 we start the “Teach Your Children to Obey” series.
In episode 128 we unfolded “The Four Family Loves” series to teach our families how God defines love.
And in episode 212 and 213 we discuss how to “Teach Your Children to be Grateful.”
Any and all of these shows will be a fantastic compliment to today’s study.
So, what’s the point in me taking all of this time to review the “Help Your Children Discover God’s Will for Their Lives” series?
I would argue that the single best things in life for which to aspire are the things for which God commands us to aspire.
In Psalm 37:4 we learn, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Psalm 1 teaches us that we will be blessed when we delight in the Law of the Lord.
Here’s my point, if I know what God’s will for me is . . . then I should be aspiring to nothing more or less than fulfilling that will in my life.
This means that when it comes to making New Year, Middle of the Year, or End of the Year Resolutions, we should start first with the Lord’s expectations.
Is it good to resolve to get better grades in the New Year? Sure, but I would ask why you weren’t getting better grades earlier.
I think what we’ll find is that — in order to get better grades — you must first become a better person. You must be more responsible, consistent, diligent, wise, and obedient. The Bible doesn’t say anything about “getting good grades,” but it says an awful lot about being the type of person who will likely — as a result of maturing in Christ — find it easier to get good grades.
Now, I’m not preaching a health, wealth, and straight-A Gospel here. I’m just saying that when I follow after Christ, I will become a more diligent worker. That will, in one way or another, have an impact on my grades. Regardless of whether I’m innately a C-student or an A-student, I will be much closer to realizing my best.
Like we’ve said often on this show, it doesn’t matter so much what you do, but who you are.
In fact, we made the identical observation in the first part of “Help Your Children Discover God’s Will for Their Lives” series. I said, “We will never do what we’re supposed to do if we’re not who we’re supposed to be.”
Now, the title of today’s episode is “How Your Family Can Make Resolutions that Glorify God.”
I believe we it’s a good idea to make New Year Resolutions, and I believe that it’s part of our parental responsibility to help our children understand what resolutions are, how we can make good ones, and how we can be successful at them.
In fact, I would argue that what I just described is the core of the “Parent’s 5 Jobs.”
That series starts in episode 184, and it talks about how we’re supposed to teach our children the right direction, help them understand when they’ve gone the wrong direction, counsel them in how to change directions, and train them to continue going the right direction. And we do this because we’re — first-and-foremost — Ambassadors of God.
New Year’s Resolutions can be a valuable part of that process because they require that all five parental jobs be applied in order to make them successful.
We need to teach our children what God says about their lives, we need to help them see that they should resolve to make a change in the areas where they lack, we need to help them practically work through what it means to change in that area, and we need to support them as they strive to be successful in their resolutions beyond January.
So, what does this look like?
Well, in order to make a resolution that glorifies God, I propose we must do the following.
1. We need to know God’s expectations.
If we haven’t studied the life of Joseph or Daniel, if we haven’t considered the implications being a light in this dark world, if we’ve never heard about the one-anothers, then we have no hope to accomplish them in our lives.
With that said, I believe every Christian on the planet should start with this New Year Resolution — “By the grace of God, I want to know His Word better this year.”
2. Resolve to be what God commands.
Now, this can sound daunting, I know. I agree with you — to try to resolve to be all that God commands us to be is impossible and will likely end up being discouraging.
So, here are two sub-points:
Let’s just be painfully transparent. We all need to grow in our sanctification. There are ugly little things about you that — honestly — you know are wrong. And if you can’t think of anything, then please understand that you may be living ignorantly of God’s Truth, or you’re in a I John delusion of being incapable of seeing your own sin.
This is why it’s extremely important to have other people who can help us see the darkness in our own hearts.
And — as a Biblical family counselor — the best issues with which to deal are not the low-hanging fringe fruit; before we can ever hope to deal with the splinters we have to deal with the logs.
I know, I’m mixing my metaphors. The point is, if you’re going to make resolutions that glorify God, get down to the real root of the problem.
Biblically speaking, here are the big ones:
1. Pride — this is the biggest root issue in all of our lives. From this ugly, malignant stump grows all sorts of sin. In fact, the rest of this list grows from pride.
2. Lack of Trust
5. Hate — as opposed to love
Imagine if just there 5 issues were addressed with each member of your family. Imagine children who humbly trusted God and worshipped Him in Truth and Love.
So, have a conversation with your children individually and talk about these five areas. Ask them with which they struggle the most. Speak to them about the past year, draw their minds to a bird’s-eye-view of their choices and help them identify which of the Big Five they should resolve to tackle this year.
And — before we move to our final point — I want to thank Cara and Johanna for being faithful supporters of TLP. Without their monthly contributions, we would have a hard time doing what we do.
You can learn more about what it means to support TLP by clicking on the “5 Ways to Support TLP” link in the description below.
Okay . . .
3. Submit your secondary resolutions to God’s Truth.
Is it okay to resolve to get better grades, finally learn to play the piano, make the bed more consistently, and try to cut out sugar from your diet? Definitely.
But real success is going to come from working toward God’s goals for His purposes and in His power.
Why does it glorify God by making my bed? Why would the Lord be pleased by reducing my sugar intake? Study the Word, understands God’s will for our lives, desire change for His glory, and take everything back to His Word.
So, in review . . .
Later, in February, I hope to do an episode about how to keep momentum in resolution-keeping. But the vital first step is to actually start with resolutions that matter.
Not eating candy will only work as long as I find value in it. The moment I believe candy will give me more pleasure than broccoli, I’m going to eat the candy.
But when I root my diet in the nature and power of God, I have a far better motivation to keep working at it.
Please share this episode with your friends and family.
And check out our other New’s Year episodes. I’ll include a link in the description below to these and all of the episodes I cited today.
You can also download our free episode notes from Taking Back the Family.
And don't miss your opportunity to start the New Year off right with our next episode, “Your Parenting is Not in Vain.” It will be a hope-filled episode for your parenting.
And — speaking of hope and encouragement — you should fill your social media with Christ-honoring things this year. You can do that by following Truth.Love.Parent. on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Join the many other moms and dads who’ve found strength, admonishment, peace, and challenge in our carefully curated posts.
God loves new beginnings, and we believe He wants to do something amazing in your family this year.
So, to that end, I’ll see you next time.
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