Join AMBrewster for the final episode of the “Parenting in Christ” series where he discusses the five ways being in Christ should affect your house.
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“How Do You Become an Ambassador Parent”
“The Communication House”
“Where is God Not Allowed in Your Home?”
“Your Parenting is Not in Vain”
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I know that what I’m about to say won’t make a lot of sense, but it’s nice to be back with you.
These episodes are obviously recorded in advance, but sometimes they’re more advanced than others. Two weeks ago I recorded a bunch of episodes because my son and I went on our Third Annual Father-Son Road Trip to the Chicagoland area.
So, for me, it’s been a while since I sat down to record an episode, and I want you to know that I always really look forward to it.
I miss this time with you, and I pray that it’s as much an encouragement and blessing for you as it is for me.
And before we jump into our final episode in this series, I’d like to thank Josh, Heatherly, and Taylor for making today’s episode possible.
If you would like to learn more about how you can help Truth.Love.Parent. continue to produce these free parenting resources, please click on the “5 Ways to Support TLP" link in the description of this episode.
Alright, let’s talk about what Parenting in Christ produces in our families.
Last time we saw that — as always — God’s Truth must first resonate in our own spirits before we can hope to have it work through us into our kids.
And that trend is going to continue through this episode. But, whereas last time we saw the how being in Christ affects us, today we’re going to look at passages that show how others are affected as we are affected by being in Christ.
I think you’ll see what I mean in a minute, so let’s begin.
1. Parenting in Christ Produces Divine Purpose in Our Homes.
We’re going to read three passages to build out this point, but I want to expand on what I just said about how others are affected as we are affected by being in Christ.
In order for our homes to have Divine Purpose, we first need to have Divine Purpose. That means we need to know what it is and embrace it before we can pass that on to our families.
Ephesians 3:7-13 says, “Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God's grace, which was given me by the working of his power. 8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. 13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.”
Jesus’ whole point on this planet was tied to God’s eternal purpose. And that eternal mystery was that “the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known.”
But that purpose has also been shared with us.
II Timothy 1:8-9 reads, “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.”
When we entered into Christ, God gave us the same purpose (and grace to achieve it) that He gave to His Own Son.
And we read something very similar in Ephesians 1:7-10. “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.”
Part of the purpose is to unite all things to Him.
So, if we’re parenting in Christ, it will gives us a purpose in our homes that no one outside of Christ can have.
Your home’s purpose is to make known the manifold wisdom of God in order that God may unite your family to Him.
That, my friends is your purpose. You’re not here to have kids who are really smart or good at soccer or piano prodigies. Your purpose is to make known the manifold wisdom of God.
Remember what wisdom is — wisdom is the outliving of the knowledge and understanding of God’s Truth.
We need to teach our children the fear of God, the knowledge of God, the understanding of God, and then how to live that out in life.
That is the wisdom of God, and anyone who submits to that Truth and lives accordingly will obviously be in a relationship with God, following Him, and in Christ.
So, the first reality is that being in Christ gives our homes and our parenting purpose, but it goes so much deeper than that.
2. Parenting in Christ Produces God-Centered Action in Our Homes.
In Philippians 3:14 Paul proclaims, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Paul understood his purpose, and — for him — it was a goal toward which he passionately worked.
Sometimes I get the impression that professing Christian parents can state the obvious reality that their family should be living according to God’s purposes, but it’s only that. It’s a mantra. It’s something you say. It’s a mission statement in a bulletin.
But there’s no real passion and drive and fervor and zeal to actually press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
And — to be honest — I’m getting a little tired of the excuses we all make.
“Well, Aaron, that’s nice, but that’s not real life.”
“Yeah, but you don’t know my family.”
To that I say, “Yeah, but you obviously don’t know my God!”
I’ve done this study — in part — so that we would be reminded of the overwhelming grandeur of God. We’ve been able to see the amazing riches of God’s love and provision for us, how it changes our view of Him and of ourselves, and how it equips us to achieve this grand and glorious purpose — the purpose for which our Creator made us!
We just need to be amazed and overwhelmed by the awesomeness of God and the puniness of us.
And we will discuss this for all eternity in heaven, but for now we need to move on.
Let’s get more specific about the specifics of God’s purpose for your home that you are to be zealously pursuing.
3. Parenting in Christ Produces an Atmosphere of Reconciliation in Our Homes.
II Corinthians 5:19 says, “In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”
We discussed this passage in our “How Do You Become an Ambassador Parent” episode. The verse right after this one reads “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”
As Ambassador Parents, it’s our responsibility to create an atmosphere in our homes that makes it easy to do right and hard to do wrong.
Now, that doesn’t mean our kids won’t fight hard to sin.
But it does set the tone for our expectations in our home. Whether it’s The Communication House or our disciplinary system or our code of conduct or whatever else, it should be designed and implemented in such a way that we are deliberately drawing our kids to reconciliation with God.
And if we are living with a solid understanding of and a passion for our calling in Christ, then it should become increasingly easier to make God’s purposes preeminent in our homes.
But, as we dig deeper we’re going to find that we shouldn’t simply be parenting our kids to be at peace with one another or apologize to each other when they sin.
Our grand purpose of Parenting in Christ should be rooted in the Gospel.
4. Parenting in Christ Produces a Gospel Focus in Our Homes.
II Corinthians 2:14, “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.”
God desires to lead those who are in Christ in a grand and triumphal procession, but in the meantime, he wants us to spread the fragrance of the Gospel everywhere we go . . . that obviously includes our home.
Does your home smell of the Gospel?
When your kids’ friends stop by, do they leave with the scent of the knowledge of God lingering on their minds?
In episode 111 we described “Fragrant Parenting;” that would be an amazing followup to today’s discussion.
It’s part of a larger discussion that includes “Evangelism Parenting,” but we need to realize that the Gospel is more than leading someone to understand the crucifixion and resurrection and pray the sinner’s prayer.
The Gospel is the whole and entirety of not only the Christian’s life but also the purpose of the world. The universe was created so that God would receive the glory. Humans were created to live in relationship with Him so that He would receive the praise. Eternity will exist so that God will bask in the preeminence He deserves.
When we communicate to our children either by addition or omission or substitution that God is not their beginning, middle, and necessary end, we are doing them an eternal injustice by leaving out the most beautiful and life-altering reality in the universe — that God exists, that we owe Him our allegiance, and that a relationship with Him will change us now, tomorrow, and forever.
“Yeah, but Aaron, preachers and Bible teachers and seminarians might be able to do that, but I’m just a person who didn’t grow up with Christian parents, I was saved later in life, and I don’t know a lot about the Bible. How am I supposed to create this Gospel atmosphere in my home?”
Practice, my friends.
I’m still no good at it.
These podcasts are all about what God is teaching me and how He’s raking me over the coals. This is us learning together how to do this. If you make just one change today and say just one different thing today because of this podcast, that’s worthy of celebration.
But, even though I want to encourage you that this can be your reality, I also want to admonish you not to call God a liar.
There are a number of passages I quote often on this show, Matthew 5, I Corinthians 10:31, Ephesians 4:15, and I come back to II Peter 1:3 more than any, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.”
If you want to grow in your Parenting in Christ, then you’re going to hav to do what all of us have to do. You’re going to have to grow in your knowledge of God through His Word.
This harkens back to Season 7 where we spent the entire season discussing the necessity of the preeminence of God’s Word in our homes.
Only through the knowledge, understanding, and fear of the Lord can we live wisely.
Is it that important to you?
It’s not really hard or out of our reach, it’s just different than that to which we’re accustomed. But do you have the passion?
Consider II Timothy 2:10, “Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”
The Gospel was so important to Paul that he was willing to endure absolutely everything so that the people he encountered would be in Christ as he was.
Mom and Dad listening to my voice today, are you willing to endure everything for the sake of your children that they may obtain salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory?
If so, then you need to acknowledge that Parenting in Christ must submit to God’s purpose. And we should have a God-inspired zeal to to accomplish that goal. So we search the Scripture to discover that God has given us the responsibility to be Ambassador Parents who lead our children to reconciliation, but — most specifically — reconciliation with God through a Gospel-submitted life.
And, remember, that’s doesn’t merely mean that I introduce my kids to the wordless book, they pray a prayer, and then we go back to talking about our sports and school and family vacation and friends. No, at that point we need to being sports back to God’s expectations. We need to discuss school within the framework that recognizes God. We need to plan our family vacations in a way that repeatedly point our kids back to the Creator. We need to interact with our friends in a redemptive, Gospel-centered way. And we need to have that focus throughout our run-of-the-mill family lives.
We have another episode called “Where is God Not Allowed in Your Home?” That would be another great follow-up to today.
But — lest you still feel overwhelmed by the immensity of the purpose God has for your Parenting in Christ — let’s turn our gaze to this final consideration of the day.
And . . .
5. Parenting in Christ Produces the Power to Parent in Christ.
I Peter 5:8-10, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
Life is hard. Parenting is harder.
If you are Parenting in Christ, Satan wants to make your parenting fruitless. He wants to distract you and dismay you. He wants to consume you and your family.
And God calls us to resist him. Why? Because we know that the suffering that comes in this life are not only being experienced by every other Parent in Christ, but because God has a purpose for it. It’s part of the necessary refining process where we’re heated up and the dross is scraped off.
Sharpening and refining is sometimes painful.
When you plant a tree, you often have to strap it to posts to keep it growing straight. It’s not comfortable — per se — but it’s necessary.
And in verse 10 God promises that after we’ve experienced this suffering designed to produce steadfastness and maturity God will call us to His eternal glory and will do four things for us.
A. He promises to restore you.
This word refers to completing, mending, fixing, perfecting.
God is working in our difficulties, through the attacks of our satanic adversary, to develop us.
Remember this, God is parenting you through your children.
B. But He also promises to confirm you.
This work carries the idea of screwing something into place. God is working in you as you are in Christ to fix you in place, in His purpose, in His calling.
And, as we discussed in episode 224, “Your Parenting is Not in Vain,” God wants us to be steadfast, immoveable, always abounding int he work of the Lord.
This refers to God screwing us into our calling.
Moving on . . .
C. He promises to strengthen you.
God’s not just going to perfect us and root us, He’s going to give us the power to be immoveable. But only as we are living in Him.
As we discussed in that episode, only as we are putting on the armor of God so that we may stand agains the fiery darts of the Devil.
If we’re just standing out there in our own self-sufficient nudity, we will be run through by Satan’s schemes. But when we cloth ourselves in the Gospel and know how to handle God’s Word and trust Him, we can stand immoveable.
And we can be perfected and stand rooted with strength because our foundation is secure.
When you Parent in Christ, the Lord . . .
D. He promises to establish you.
This word refers to laying a foundation.
And with that we’ve made full circle. What does it mean to be in Christ? What is our foundation?
We have faith and peace in God.
After I make a couple of comments, please allow me to close out today by reading a benediction from the book of Hebrews.
First, though, please share this episode, and join us next time as we lay a foundation for Season 10.
Okay, here is the hope with which I leave you today:
Hebrews 13:20, “20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
And, to that end, I’ll see you next time.
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