What does it take to be more resolved in your parenting? How does a parent go from spontaneous and improvised to planned and purposeful? Join AMBrewster as he helps Christian parents take the first steps to being Premeditated Parents.
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Listen to the following episodes on Apple podcasts by clicking the titles.
“The Communication House” (episode 38)
“Five Steps to Becoming a Premeditated Parent” (episode 3)
The “Peaceful Parent” series (episode 69)
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Welcome back to our “How Do You Become” series.
I always encourage people to listen to the whole series in order because they naturally build on each other, but this particular series is one in which — I suppose — you could jump around.
Either way, make sure you listen to the whole thing.
And, while you’re at it, don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode, and please consider rating, reviewing, and recommending.
Perhaps when this series is over, you can let us know what you thought!
It’s a huge blessing and help to us as you share this ministry with your pastors and friends.
And I want to thank Johanna for making this episode possible. She’s not only part of TeamTLP, but she also gives financially to support the work God is doing here. That’s deserving of double-honor!
However, she wanted to thank you today, so invited her to do so.
*Johanna’s Thank You*
You can learn more about supporting this ministry by clicking on the “5 Ways to Support TLP” link in the description below.
For less than the price of a coffee a week, you can help us spread God’s Word to the corners of the world and assist dads and moms as they become the Ambassador Parents God created them to be.
Recently, Jess sent in a generous donation via our PayPal link and she said, “Your podcast has been such a blessing to me. Thank you for your commitment to Biblical truths!”
Whether you give or not, we seek to remain committed to biblical Truth and continue to bless families, but we do ask that you please prayerfully consider what you will do in 2019.
Also, TeamTLP and I love to do whatever we can to thank our Patrons for their sacrificial giving. We sent all of our 2018 Patrons a gorgeous 16x20 canvas print of The Communication House.
You can learn what that is on episode 38.
By the way, if you’d be interested in purchasing The Communication House on canvas, you can send an email to TeamTLP@TruthLoveParent.com. They really are beautiful, and they’re more than just art — they’re designed to remind your family about how God expects us to talk.
They’re perfect for the “Make Your Commitment Visible” step of becoming a more Christ-honoring parent this year. There is so much value in posting your goals and reminders in your homes. Even Deuteronomy 6 commands us parents to put God’s Word on our doorposts.
Okay, let’s talk about how to take the first steps to being a premeditated parent.
I have to admit, much like my realization about Intentional Parenting, we haven’t done a ton of episodes just about Premeditated Parenting.
However, like intentionality, that’s what our whole ministry is about.
Let me explain how by working through our four main points for this series.
1. Learn the Truth about being premeditated.
As part of this point I’ve been sharing the resources we have on this subject. The list of episodes we had on being an Ambassador was very long. But we only had four last time, and this time I only have two resources.
But here’s why.
Being intentional and premeditated are two sides of the same coin.
Intentionality is the decision to deliberately exercise your intellect to know the truth and your faith to live the truth.
But being premeditated is to intentionally make a plan. Intentionality is a prerequisite to Premeditated Parenting, and Premeditated Parenting is the living out of our intentionality.
To simplify it, a Premeditated Parent plans their parenting. They develop courses of action for various situations and eventualities so that they minimize the temptation to improvisational, emotion-laden parenting.
I have three resources that will deepen your understanding of this concept. I’ll mention two now and one later.
The first is episode 3, “Five Steps to Becoming a Premeditated Parent.” I will allude to those 5 steps today during our “Make Small Changes” section, but I will also give you some other practical first steps to being a Premeditated Parent.
Also, I plan to do a future episode that deals with the significant biblical data concerning the importance of having a plan. There’s a lot to say on the subject.
The second resource is our episode notes and transcript which we publish with every new show. They’re all on our blog, Taking Back the Family, and you can find that at TruthLoveParent.com or linked below.
So, what do we do with this knowledge . . .
2. Decide to Believe the Truth about being a premeditated parent.
Just like with everything else we’ve learned and will learn, the burden of responsibility lies on us to accept God’s Word as Truth and choose to live accordingly.
We need to believe that God doesn’t simply want us feeling our way through life. He didn’t created us to emote from one experience to another.
He doesn’t want us improvising throughout life.
The whole reason He gave us the Bible is so that we don’t have to make things up as we go.
Do you believe that?
Do you believe that you can have a plan for facing your teenager today? Do you believe that you can prepare for the terrible twos? Do you trust God that His Word has everything we need for life and godliness?
God has a plan. He has a will, and we can work toward that will.
As always, I encourage you to talk to God about this. Once again, it’s wise to admit your shortcomings in this area. Talk to Him about the struggle you’ve had being prepared to point your kids to Him. Be honest about your failure to parent in the Gospel.
Tell Him that you understand that He gave you His Word for a reason, and that you should be actively preparing to meet the onslaught that Satan is currently slamming against your home. He warned us that Satan was a roaring lion actively seeking whom he may devour; let God know that you realize that you need a plan.
And then praise Him for giving you one.
Thank Him that His word has everything you need to glorify Him in your parenting. Praise Him that there are commands and principles and illustrations to help us answer those hard parenting questions.
Thank Him that He offers grace and wisdom and strength to put those answers into your Parenting Bible and use them in your home.
And decide to believe that you can be a premeditated parent to the glory of God.
Number 3. Get Some Help being premeditated.
That’s right, get your parenting community in on this. You do have one right? Are you working on this?
Who do you have in your life to whom you’ve given permission to be brutally honest about your parenting?
Who knows that you want to be an intentional, premeditated, Ambassador Parent, and who’s going to help you become that?
So, when you have that person — and if your spouse professes to be a Christian, they should definitely be the first on the list — talk to them about this goal.
Make sure you're both on the same page about what it means to be premeditated. We don’t want anyone thinking about murder here.
Make sure you know the Truth God wants you to use as the foundation of your plans.
And then you can help each other develop a parenting strategy.
Let me take this moment to remind us, as well, about the importance of our friend being someone who actually experiences our parenting. These people should know how we parent, they should be around us and our kids enough to see us fail to put our plans into practice and be successful at it.
When you look at community this way, it takes it far beyond just a ladies’ day-out or a play date. These opportunities are for life-on-life discipleship — yes, to grow deeper in your relationship — but to do so as you grow more into the image of Christ.
We all need help, and your accountability partner/mentor/counselor/friend should be assisting as you develop a Christ-honoring way to deal with your daughter coming home late, your child experimenting with drugs, your son’s failing report card, your daughter’s refusal to learn how to use the toilet, the sexual images you found on your kid’s device, your child’s apathy concerning spiritual things, your daughter’s materialism, your three year old’s constant screaming, and everything else we encounter in our homes.
We need a plan, and, if your friends love God and are dedicated to submitting to His revealed Word, they can be an amazing part of the process.
And that will help us . . .
4. Make Small Changes.
Let’s start by reviewing the 5 steps to becoming a premeditated parent we learned in episode 3.
Even though we’re going to quickly review them, I suggest you listen to the episode if you haven’t listened to it or heard it in a while.
1. Study your past reactions.
This point is about being honest with your past parenting performance when it comes to being planned and purposeful.
2. Prepare a Christ-honoring response.
This is where we take what we’ve learned and develop a specific plan for eventualities we know we’re going to face in our homes.
There are two ways to approach this:
Either way, pick something and start working on it.
But how do you know what to do? Well, that’s where you need to turn to the Scriptures. God’s Word has everything we need for life and godliness, and it’s our responsibility to discover and submit to it.
I also recommend you ask a counselor or accountability partner to help you with your plan. Make sure it has a couple sets of mature, biblically-informed eyes evaluating it.
3. Practice that response.
You can practice your responses with other children or in lower-intensity situations. This prepares you for the bigger struggles later.
4. Bathe your interactions in prayer.
Remember what Philippians 4 teaches us, when there’s something that tempts you to worry, anxiety, or fear, you need to commune with God in prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving.
If you haven’t heard the Peaceful Parent series yet, you really should check it out. It’s based in Philippians 4, and it points to how we can be at peace in our parenting even when our kids aren’t responding the way we’d like.
But, anyway, like I suggested with the previous character traits, really take the time to share with God your desire for growth, apologize for your previous failures, and rest on His grace and strength.
5. Be critical of your “performance.”
When the time come to put your plan into action, be honest with yourself about how well you executed the plan.
Your spouse can be a significant help with this step as can your parenting community.
Okay, so those are five great small steps that I challenge you to take as you strive to be a newer, better, and more Christ-honoring parent this year.
But here are a few more.
6. Sign up for our "25 Days to Becoming a Premeditated Parent” course.
It’s a completely free email course dedicated to helping you learn to be more purposeful in your parenting.
Thousands of people have taken it, and we’ve received a lot of great feedback. It’s very robust and provides varied and practical steps for developing a biblical parenting plan.
And it’s free. Did I mention that?
Just click on the link below to be taken to the sign-up sheet.
We also offer a mentorship program for the course. It’s only $50, but that’s because you have a TLP Counselor walking through the program with you. They’ll evaluate your LifeWork and provide feedback on your progress. They’ll also keep you accountable so that you finish it well and on time.
7. You can also join our closed TLP Facebook group and make it a habit to ask questions and get involved in discussions.
It’s pretty quiet over there, and perhaps that’s because things are going well or people have other counselors speaking into their questions. Either way, when we intentionally grow our biblically-based parenting communities, we’re surrounding ourselves with Truth and keeping it in the forefront of our minds.
So, whether you’re a part of the group yet or not, ask questions, pose ideas, and get the juices flowing so that your mind can be sharper, quicker, and more prepared to meet the countless surprises our children introduce into our otherwise normal lives.
In order to join that group, just head over to TruthLoveParent.com and join the TLPFamily. You’ll receive a number of things when you do that, but you’ll also get a code to join the closed TLP Family Facebook group.
And 8. Make your commitment visible.
So, you want to make a plan? Start by planning how you’re going to keep God’s Truth concerning purposeful parenting before your eyes.
My wife is a painter, and I’m going to ask her if she’d consider creating some Truth.Love.Parent. specific artwork.
Of course, you could totally do the same thing. But it will need to be planned. Even if it’s just a handscribbled post-it, you have to intentionally purpose to do it.
One of the things we want to expand on our website is our selection of printable and shareable images. You can find out current collection under the Parenting Tools tab at TruthLoveParent.com.
Either way, make your commitment visible.
As we close today, I want to congratulate Cara and the group of ladies with her right now. She intentionally planned to meet with a group of her friends to work through this series together.
That decision right there was three of the four steps! She's learned the Truth, she believed the Truth, she started to build her parenting community all so they could make small changes together.
That’s awesome! I hope you ladies have been blessed and challenged so far.
And I’d encourage the rest of you to follow in Cara’s footsteps. Collect some friends and work through this material in your Sunday School, Small Group, or just as part of a casual time at one of your houses.
If nothing else, you could easily share this episode on social media by hitting the correct buttons.
On our next episode we’re going to discuss How to Become a Disciple-Making Parent. That’s a huge topic that needs a whole series dedicated to it, but we all need to start with the first steps, and that’s what this series is about . . . those first couple steps to change our trajectory.
We’ll work on the tenth, hundredth, and thousandth step later.
You may think you’re not wired to be thought-out and well-planned. You may see yourself as spontaneous and fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, but that’s not how God has called us to parent, and — even you are “wired” a certain way — God desires to rewire all of us.
You can do this.
So, to that end, I’ll see you next time.
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