What does it mean to be in Christ and what effect should it have on our parenting? Join AMBrewster as he helps every parent know what it is to be in Christ and discusses what that can mean for our families.
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Have you ever noticed that life is hard?
And who would have thought that parenting would be the hardest part of it?
We survive decades at a dead-end job. We never truly move past the music of our childhood. We can even grin and bear a difficult marriage until death do us part.
But how many parents and children can barely make it 18 years before everything falls apart?
And the funny thing is that you have to take classes and get certifications for nearly everything worth doing, including marriage . . . but how many of you took a pre-parenting class?
As a side note, as we at Truth.Love.Parent. strive to become your premier source for all things biblical parenting, we’re in the beginning stages of creating a Pre-Parenting Course and Parenting Masterclasses.
We’d love to introduce you and your parenting community to it, and we’d love to share this with your church family.
It’s not quite ready yet, but we’re working toward helping pre-parents build a solid foundation for their homes even before their kids arrive.
Anyway, all of this to say that parenting is difficult to say the least.
To be honest, it conflicts with nearly everything about being human. We’re all so selfish — our children are either an inconvenience or a trophy. Neither of those parenting versions turn out well.
This series about Parenting in Christ is designed to help us understand a vital part of our relationship with God and see how it affects our parenting.
This series is going to answer three questions over six episodes:
Now, as many of you know, that’s my plan, but who knows where this series will take us. As we dive in, we may find that there’s too much info and we may extend it a bit, but those are the main ideas we want to tackle.
But before we continue, I want to thank Lisa for making today’s show possible. She’s one of our Patrons who has invested in our mission to glorify God by equipping dads and moms all over the world to be parents God called and created them to be.
You can learn more about us and the financial and non-financial ways you can partner with us by clicking the “5 Ways to Support TLP" link in the description of this episode.
And you can also click on a link below to be taken to our blog where you can download free episode notes from today’s show.
Alright, what does it mean to Parent in Christ?
Followers of God have historically called themselves many different things.
They’ve been called disciples, followers, children, workers, soldiers, brothers, sisters, prisoners, and servants of Christ. They’ve been called born again, saved, redeemed, holy, and saints. But the word that most of us use is Christian — which I find very humorous.
As many of you already know, the word Christian only shows up three times in the Bible.
Acts 11:26 tells us that, “In Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.” But what it doesn’t tell us is what ancient historians reveal. The term “Christian” was a derogatory title.
They were named after their dead, presumably failed leader.
In Acts 26:28, “Agrippa said to Paul, ‘In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?’”
There’s a sense of this derogatory connotation as Agrippa questions Paul.
The only other place in Scripture where the word Christian is used is in I Peter 4:16, “Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.”
Even this passage attaches being a Christian to persecution.
Now, I don’t think that the word Christian is a bad term. It sums up well the idea of a follower of Christ — a little Christ.
But, we’re only called Christians three times in the Bible, and nearly every time they were being called that by unbelievers who wanted to tear them down.
But Jesus, the apostles, and the other biblical writers employ so many other terms to describe our relationship with the Lord.
My point is not to encourage you to stop calling yourself a Christian. However, I will challenge you that that word doesn’t always communicate what we want it to communicate.
The world doesn’t understand what Christian means, and they too often attach inappropriate meaning to the word.
I generally will not lead off with the word Christian if I don’t know what the person with whom I’m talking things about the word.
I prefer follower of Christ or being born again.
Either way, there is another term the Bible uses all over the place. It shows up almost 100 times in the New Testament!
This idea of being ‘in Christ” is super important, and we need to understand it. And because it’s a key biblical concept, our understanding of it and relationship to it will definitely have an effect on our parenting.
So, let’s discuss four foundational Truths about being a Parent in Christ.
1. A Parent in Christ has Faith in Christ.
Philippians 1:1 reads, “Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons.”
And how do we become saints in Christ?
Galatians 3:26 reveals "For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.”
Ephesians 1:11-12 puts it this way: “In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.”
And Galatians 2:16 gives us even more detail, “We know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.”
My friends, you can never hope to Parent in Christ if you don’t have a relationship with God.
We recently added a new page to TruthLoveParent.com called “The First Step to Being a Good Parent.”
That page summarizes the Gospel and our responsibility to it. It’s absolutely necessary for us to be in Christ if we are to have any purpose and success in life.
God created us, He has a purpose for us, and we will never have genuine success and satisfaction outside of Him and His will.
If you are not certain that you have a relationship with the God of the Bible, I encourage you to click on the link I’ve given you in the description. It will take you to “The First Step to Being a Good Parent” page.
You have to be able to answer two questions:
1. Are you born again? Are you a child of God? Are you saved? However you want to phrase it . . . you need to be able to answer that question.
But you also have to be able to answer this question:
2. Can you prove from the Bible that you are in Christ?
For more about answering this question for yourself and helping your children answer this question, please listen to episode 45, “The Second Most Important Question You Need to Ask Your Kids.” And the links to all cited episodes will be in the description as well.
This show is the starting gun, and the description contains the extra study that makes up the race. Take time to put in the extra work of listening to the additional episodes, reading the notes, and checking out the links.
Okay, I’ve explained that to be in Christ is to be a born again, Bible-believing Christian.
And I’ve invited you to become one.
Let’s quickly note that a Christian is going to remain in Christ. The faith in God that was necessary for salvation (joining into Christ) is just as necessary for sanctification (growing into Christ).
Though you may be born again, if you are having a hard time trusting God’s plan in your parenting, then you’re not going to enjoy the benefits of Parenting in Christ.
So, number one, A Parent in Christ has Faith in Christ.
2. A Parent in Christ has Peace in Christ.
The first observation I want to make is that our salvation grants us peace with God. That is the nature of our justification. Christ appeased God’s wrath by His sacrifice.
The second observation is that we should have inner peace because of our relationship with God.
A Parent in Christ is a Peaceful Parent.
We did a wonderful series that started in episode 69 called “Peaceful Parenting.” That series coupled with our two-part episode, “No Greater Joy” teaches us how to have peace even when our family lives are tumultuous.
If you haven’t worked through those studies, please consider it.
Anxious, angry, fearful, depressed parents are not Parenting in Christ.
Are you at peace in your role as mom or dad?
Is there confusion or regret?
If your parenting journey has not been one of contentment and joy, I really encourage you to discover what the Bible has to say about your heart.
And my third observation is that Parents in Christ should be at peace with others who are in Christ. This includes adult Christians as well as our born again children.
Consider I Peter 5:14, “Greet one another with the kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.”
I believe this peace can refer to all three forms of peace I just mentioned.
And my fourth observation about peace is that the peace we should have with each other comes from our submission to each other.
Philemon 1:20 reads, “Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ.”
We don't have time to lay out the entire letter, but Paul is basically asking Philemon to do as Paul asked. His obedience, his living in peace with Paul and a man named Onesimus would be refreshing to Paul.
If your kids are born again, are you at peace with them?
Being in Christ has purchased you peace with God, and God commands us to allow our peace with Him to bind us in unity and peace with others.
Is your home at war?
Are your professing kids on your side?
Are you both on God’s side?
The nature of Parenting in Christ is that we live out our faith and trust in God by working together with our regenerated family members to accomplish His honor and glory.
Now, there are two more two more implications of what it means to be in Christ, but I didn’t want to rush any of this. It’s too important. So, we’ll discuss the other two on the next episode. And then the episode after that we’re going to start talking about what Parenting in Christ looks like.
But before I go, I just want to stress that there is nothing more important than your relationship with God. If you are not in Christ, then you are not a Christian. It doesn’t matter if your parents went to church or if you were baptized as a baby. It doesn’t matter if you’ve done good works your entire life, what matters is if you have confessed that Jesus is Lord, believed that the Father raised Him from the dead, and have repented of your sin and followed Him.
Then you are in Christ. Then you are born again. And then you have the supreme privilege of experiencing the blessings that come from Ambassador Parenting.
Please share this episode with your friends.
And follow TLP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest in order to get some Christ-centered parenting advice.
And you can always reach out to us at Counselor@TruthLoveParent.com for help for your unique family struggles.
Being in Christ is a massive and life-altering reality that should be impacting your entire life . . . including your parenting.
So, to that end, I’ll see you next time.
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