How do people “in Christ” treat their kids? How should being a Christian affect our parenting? Join AMBrewster as he helps Christian parents understand how being in Christ can revolutionize their homes.
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Listen to the following episodes on Apple Podcasts by clicking the titles.
“The First Step to Being a Good Parent”
“The Merest Christianity Series”
“The Four Family Loves”
“Teach Your Children to Be Grateful”
“Teach Your Children to Apologize”
“The Communication House”
“Episodes about Christ Honoring Family Talk"
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Season 9 is winding down. Regardless of how much snow you currently have, spring is on its way. Before long we’ll be preparing our families for Easter and then the end of school.
But, before then, we are two-thirds of the way through our Parenting in Christ series.
So far we’ve realized what it means to parent in Christ. It means that faith, peace, strength, and obedience must be the foundation of our parenting.
And last time we asked “What does Parenting in Christ look like?” And we first saw that it affects the way we view ourselves. Parents in Christ should see themselves as capable of parenting in a brand new way as they imitate Christ, and that their divine incarceration provides them true parenting freedom.
But before we see how Parenting in Christ affects how we treat out kids, I want to thank Cara for making today’s episode possible. A long time ago she clicked on the “5 Ways to Support TLP" link in the description of this episode. She learned about our mission and goals and passions and she partnered with us by praying for us, encouraging us, sharing us with her friends, and sacrificially giving every month.
Cara has been such a blessing to us, but she’s also been a blessing to you because without her’s and the other Patron’s assistance, we would not be able to create this free content.
So thank you Cara for doing your part help us all Parent in Christ.
Now, let’s see how being in Christ changes how we treat our kids.
No doubt you will recognize many of the ways that being in Christ should affect the way we treat our kids, but it’s incredibly important to have it explained to us within the context of being in Christ.
It’s extremely helpful to see the glorious multi-faceted diamond of our New Life in Christ from every angle possible.
Let’s discuss eight impacts being a believer should have on our parenting.
1. God has called us to be Ambassadors, that means we need to parent as He would.
And — as most of you know — we have a ton of episodes specifically about being an Ambassador, but — in reality — all of our episodes are about that.
Still, I’ll include a link to our recent “How to Become an Ambassador Parent” episode that includes even more podcast links on the subject.
For now, though, we’re going to look at three passages.
The first is II Timothy 3:12, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”
Jesus Christ is God. Therefore, being in Christ produces godliness.
And Ephesians 2:10 gives us another understanding of what it means to be godly, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
In eternity past God prepared a way for us to actually do the good works we cannot do in our own power.
I Peter 3:16 describes it this way: “When you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.”
Is your parenting good?
Does your parenting mirror Christ?
If Jesus were your children’s parent, how would He parent? How close does your parenting resemble His?
2. As we grow in Christ, we increase in righteousness and move away from unrighteousness — meaning, we becoming more mature.
Colossians 1:28, “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ."
James 1 teaches us that the difficulties and stresses and temptations of this life are designed to increase our steadfastness which produces maturity. Maturity is consistency in obedience. Maturity is consistency in righteousness.
In episode 237 we asked “What is Your Child's Sin?” And we talked about Tim Challies assertion that sin is immaturity. Immaturity, then, is inconsistency in righteousness, or the inverse of that is immaturity is consistency in sin.
So, how about you?
Do you treat your children maturely or does your parenting represent an adult version of your children’s sin?
They throw a child-sized temper-tantrum, so — in response — you throw a parent sized temper-tantrum.
Your child is selfish, and you selfishly try to parent them to stop being selfish.
Your child is angry at you, so you get angry at them.
Is your parenting mature? Do you interact with your children in a mature way?
Well, what does mature parenting look like?
Again, that answer would take way too long to answer in any detail. But — suffice it to say — it would be everything that God calls righteous. It would conform to His character.
Specifically, let’s move to . . .
3. True maturity causes us to be parents who have faith in God and love for all.
II Timothy 1:13 reads, “Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”
I Timothy 1:14, “And the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”
I have two TLP series for you to consider as an extension of this study.
The first is “The Merest Christianity Series” and the second is “The Four Family Loves.”
The Merest Christianity deals with the nature and seminal importance of faith.
The Four Family Loves series is pretty obvious, but it steps through the different types of love that God describes in His Word and the consequences of not embracing the highest and truest form of love.
If we don’t understand God’s definition of faith and love, it will be very hard to maturely submit to God’s expectations.
But if we’re in Christ, our relationships should be characterized by trust in God’s Truth and loving interactions with our spouses and children.
If you want your parenting to glorify God and live in the reality of being in Him, then you need to know and trust what He says.
And then you need to allow that love to overflow to your family in all the ways we discuss in “The Four Family Loves” series.
So, as we mature in Christ and treat our children accordingly, we’ll also find that God is making us more grateful.
4. Maturely parenting in Christ makes us thankful parents.
I Thessalonians 5:18, "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
No doubt you’re thankful when your kids bring home a good report card or perform well in their favorite hobbies, but how do you respond to the difficulties in your home?
If you believe yourself to be a content and grateful person, but you complain and feel depressed and struggle seeing God’s grace when your children are melting down, they’re wasting the money you’re pouring into their education, and when they complain about your cooking again, then you’re not truly thankful in a way that pleases the Lord.
In episode 212 we discuss how to “Teach Your Children to Be Grateful.” That study would be equally beneficial for you as well if you believe you’re struggling in this area of Parenting in Christ.
So, let’s review:
Now, if you’re already feeling overwhelmed — and we still have four more to go! — let’s take a moment to remember our previous episodes.
If we are truly in Christ, then He has already provided the faith, peace, and power to submit to His will. He’s given us everything we need for life and godliness. You have the same ability to succeed and thrive in these areas as your children do in the areas in which they struggle.
Picture this . . . you frequently try to convince them that they can understand Algebra, make their beds, and get along with their sisters because you know it’s a reality. Of course, they have a hard time believing it, and — for that reason — they frequently fail to live up to the expectation.
We’re the same way. It’s not that you can’t be a mature, faithful, loving, and grateful Ambassador for God, it’s that you don’t believe you can.
You’re living in a delusion and living a lie.
We’re doing this study to put those fears and Failure Philosophies to rest. If you are in Christ, you have the power — through the Holy Spirit — to make these Truths a reality in your parenting.
If you don’t or can’t, it’s not because God has failed, it’s because you are not in Christ or you’re temporarily functioning as if you weren’t.
And I say “temporarily” because even Jesus Himself says that if a professing believer continues in their sin after being repeatedly approached about it, at some point the church is to consider them to be unsaved and relate to them accordingly.
Christians repent. Maybe not right away, maybe not perfectly, but Christians repent.
If you’re genuinely in Christ, but your parenting has not been Ambassadorial, mature, trusting, loving, or thankful, then I lovingly call on you to repent.
And I do so because I have to do the exact same thing. I regularly have to apologize to my family and repent of my sinful responses. And the Lord provides the forgiveness and strength necessary to change.
And if you don’t know what it means to apologize or repent, we just did a short series on that. Episode 238 begins the three-part “Teach Your Children to Apologize” series.
So, be encouraged. All things that glorify God are possible in Christ.
So, let’s move to . . .
5. Mature parenting causes us to be parents who forgive.
Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
In the same way we can repent and be forgiven, we must be parents who forgive. Again, this episode was not designed to dig into the specifics of each of these characteristics. We have other episodes that do so. So, please listen to the third part of the “Teach Your Children to Apologize” series for help being a forgiving parent.
Does forgiveness come easily or naturally to you?
Do you live in a spirit of forgiveness even when your children are unrepentant?
Those who have been forgiven much forgive much.
This is a significant way that being in Christ affects the way we treat out kids.
But it also affects our communication.
6. Maturity affects the way we speak to our children.
II Corinthians 12:19, “Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? It is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ, and all for your upbuilding, beloved.”
There is so much we could say about our family talk.
One of our first episodes strictly about communication is also one of our most downloaded episodes. It’s called “The Communication House,” and it’s linked below.
We also spent a ton of time talking about Family Talk in Season 6.
But the focus of this verse is that Paul’s speaking in Christ was designed for the Corinthians’ upbuilding.
Do you speak to your children in a way that builds them up?
Now, that doesn’t mean that everything you say is only ever encouraging. Rebuke and reproof and admonishment is just as much a parental calling as graciousness and encouragement.
But even our admonishment and reinterpretation needs to be done for the purpose of building up.
Proverbs 14:1 says that the wisest people build their house up while fools tear it down. And sometimes they tear it down by being too permissive and not standing for Truth.
And then consider II Corinthians 2:17, “For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God's word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.”
The two concepts we need to pull from this verse are the ideas that our communication must be sincere as we speak in the sight of God.
Sincerity speaks to purity. Do you speak to your children in full consciousness that God is watching and He has holy expectations for your talk?
Down below I’ve included a link called “Episodes about Christ Honoring Family Talk" that will take you to a page at TruthLoveParent.com where we have the vast majority of our communication shows posted.
That study alone could keep you busy for a while.
Now, I know this episode is going a little longer, but we only have two left.
7. This type of parenting allows us to be at peace with our kids.
This should be super obvious considering the foundation on which Christian parenting is laid.
If I have peace with Christ because I trust Him and have rested on His strength to help me obey, then I’ll mature in my Ambassadorship, grow in my faith and love, be thankful, forgiving, parents who speak with our children as God would.
How could that type of parenting not produce peace?
Yes, I understand that people who hate God will hate us as we live like Him, and then our peace will be more internal than external, but we also have to be honest enough to acknowledge that most of the turmoil and strife in our lives is tied our selfishness and sin.
Our children may be at odds with us, but when we’re at odds with our kids . . . it’s our fault.
This is why Peter proclaims in I Peter 5:14, “Peace to all of you who are in Christ.”
And . . .
8. As we mature into the image of Christ, we should be more consistent and faithful in our sanctification.
This is a wonderful place on which to leave because it promises that the more we become like Christ the easier it will be to become more like Christ.
Colossians 1:2 reads, “To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.”
And Ephesians 1:1 open the letter with, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus.”
Being in Christ produces faithfulness. Faithfulness produces steadfastness, maturity, and further conformity to God.
Next time we hope to study the benefits of Parenting in Christ, but let’s be honest. Simply obeying God by exemplifying Him in our parenting would be reward enough.
Submission is its own blessing.
And most of us can imagine the changes that may occur in our own homes as we found our parenting in Christ.
But there is so much more for which we can be thankful, and our next two episodes are all about what Parenting in Christ produces.
So please share this series with your friends, and remember that God’s not asking you to do this all on your own. He gives you the faith, peace, and strength to obey.
The question is whether or not we will submit to His will for our parenting.
So, to that end, I’ll see you next time.
Learn more about AMBrewster here.
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