Your family has started their spiritual journey well and is on a good trajectory, but how do you maximize their momentum for continue change? Join AMBrewster as he helps Christian parents keep their family engaged in positive spiritual growth.
Check out 5 Ways to Support TLP.
Listen to the following episodes on Apple Podcasts by clicking the titles.
“Why Is It Always About Me?” (episode 2)
“How Do You Become?” series (starts in episode 225)
“How Your Family Can Make Resolutions that Glorify God” (episode 223)
“It’s Time to Revisit Those Resolutions” (episode 234)
“Prepare Your Kids. Don’t Protect Them” (episode 12)
“Your Family Needs to Go to Church” series (starts in episode 175)
Click here for our free Parenting Course!
Like us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.
Follow AMBrewster on Twitter.
Follow us on Pinterest.
Subscribe on YouTube.
Need some help? Write to us at Counselor@TruthLoveParent.com.
Click "Read More" for today’s Episode Notes and Transcript.
To download this document, please right-click and select "Save Image As."
Welcome to our second episode of Season 11.
Thank you to all of you who have left star-ratings on iTunes over the past week! It’s been such a blessing, and I invite all of you to leave a 5-star rating if you never have.
Now, why a 5-star rating? Well, whether you’re rating an app or an AirBNB or your Walmart cashier, a 5 means that they did their job the way they were supposed to. Five doesn’t mean that it blew your socks off, it simply means that they’re doing the job. Of course, it can also mean they’re going above and beyond, but those people tend to leave reviews so they can applaud the wow-factor that exceeded the mere 5-star rating.
So, I’d ask that if you leave a star-rating that you leave a 5-star rating.
“Wow, Aaron, can’t take criticism can you?”
Quite the contrary. I honestly welcome ratings of 4 and below as well! But for those, I’d request that you leave a review. If I see a 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 star rating, I’m wondering how we let you down and am trying to imagine what TeamTLP and I need to do to fix the problem. When you don’t leave a review, but only give us 4 or fewer stars, we don’t know what we need to address. Leaving a review helps us know exactly what we need to work on.
For example, we’ve received only two reviews that were fewer than 5 stars. The 1-star review was left because the listener didn’t agree with the Bible that children are inherently foolish. In those situations, I thank them for the time they invested, but I’m not concerned about having to change anything because the disagreement wasn’t so much between me and the reviewer as it was between them and God. But we also received a 4-star review where the lady simultaneously applauded us but mentioned that I have a tendency to speak too quickly.
I greatly appreciated that review because it’s given me a tangible and legitimate way to make the show better . . . even though I still struggle with that.
All of that to say, we want to grow. We want to learn. If you can’t give us 5 stars, please let us know why so we can better glorify God. And if you can give us 5-stars, please do, and let us know what we’re doing well!
And I want to take a moment now to leave a review of my own. I want to thank Johanna for making this episode possible. She’s a monthly supporter who is constantly sacrificing far and beyond her financial gifts. And there are many ways to get involved here at TLP. Just click on the “5 Ways to Support TLP" link in the description of this episode to learn all five of them.
Now, I want to get into today’s episode, but I also realized that I forgot to introduce this new season last time. So let me start with that and then discuss how we can embrace continuing change in our families.
This is Season 11, and it will issue in not only our third anniversary in September, but also set the stage for our 300th episode at the beginning of Season 12. But despite the pomp and circumstance of those two achievements, we want to continue focusing on the practical Truth God wants us applying to our parenting.
So, our next series is going to revisit a familiar theme here on Truth.Love.Parent. Our second episode was called “Why Is It Always About Me?” and it was about the biblical expectation that I am the only one over whom I have any control, and I am the only one God commands me to change. And we’ve constantly touched on that idea ever since.
But back in Season 9 we started the new year with a “How Do You Become?” series that answered some vital questions concerning the details of our change, including into what exactly are we supposed to change and how exactly are we supposed to do it?
And now as we revisit continuing change for your family, we need to grapple once again with the biblical expectation that change starts with me. So, that’s the name of our next three-part series, “Change Starts with Me.”
Then I’m looking forward to a fun episode called “Sun Tzu’s 5 Dangerous Faults of a General” where we — among many other things — are going to see how God’s common grace revealed deep parenting truth to one of histories most famous warriors.
I don’t want to take too much more time, but let me share with you some of the other topics we’re going to study this Season and them jump into the meat for today.
We’re going to discuss “Experiential Families Versus Transformational Families,” ask the questions “What Is Your Family Idol?” and “Does Your Family Mirror the Trinity?” Then we’re going to look at “The Battlefield on Which the Family Will Be Lost,” and the glorious “Experience of a Righteous Parent.” And then we’re going to have another series about “Parenting Angry Children” and another about “The Hidden Sin in Our Homes” separated by a discussion concerning “The Point of (nearly) Every Parenting Conversation.” Then we’ll dive into “The Choice All Parents Have to Make,” talk about treasures, who’s to take the lead in parenting and much more!
So, I hope that whets your appetite for all things biblical parenting. Now, let’s transition to “Continuing Change for Your Family.”
Our entire discussion today is going to come from II Timothy 3, and in addition to looking at a very familiar passage, we’re going to scout around the outskirts of that passage to expand the context in which that truth resides.
And don’t forget that our free episode notes are available at TruthLoveParent.com.
Here we go . . .
II Timothy 3:1-17, “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.”
Does that sound even a little like the age in which we live? Of course it does, and if our family is going to continue changing for Christ then we definitely need to not slide back into the Low Spiritual Tide from which Christ saved us.
So, our first lesson concerning continuing positive change in our families is . . .
1. In order to embrace continuing change, help your family work out of their Low Tide.
And you can revisit our last episode to remember how that works.
Are you helping your kids work through their low tides?
Our second point for today is going to come from the next verse: “Avoid such people.”
2. In order to embrace continuing change, help your family avoid negative spiritual influences and equip them to respond biblically to them.
The following verses then illustrate what happens when negative spiritual influences have had their way with unsuspecting people: “6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.”
Now, I do have to insert a caveat here. In episode 196 we discussed “Turn Bad Influences into Non-Influences.” Negative influences do not have to have a negative influence. If a child who easily gives into the temptation of peer pressure or worships self with physical pleasure is offered drugs, that negative influence will likely lead to lust and sin. But if a mature adult who has absolutely no desire for drugs is tempted by a dealer, there will be no lust and no sin.
When we look at the example Paul gives us we see that the negative spiritual influence worked on these women because they were already in a Low Spiritual Tide. They’re described as “weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.”
Our duty as parents is to protect our kids from influences for which they’re not prepared to overcome, and prepare them for those influences so they will be able to overcome them in the future.
My wife and I were just talking, and we put it this way, “We don’t shelter our kids from bad influences so they won’t be exposed to the lies of the world, we shelter our kids from bad influences so we can introduce our kids to the lies of the world and teach them how to respond biblically.”
Okay, moving on, Paul continues the illustration in verse 8 by getting specific and naming names.
“8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. 9 But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.”
Spiritual delusion always leads to destruction. But we don’t want destruction; we want continuing change to the glory of God.
Are you helping your kids avoid the negative influences for which they’re not prepared and preparing them for a future day when they will come in contact with those influences and not have you around?
There’s another great episode you can use as a follow-up to this point. Episode 12 is called “Prepare Your Kids. Don’t Protect Them.” I hope that helps.
So, let’s pick up in verse 10: “You [speaking of Timothy], however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me.”
3. In order to embrace continuing change, expose your family to the Word of God and the lives of His saints.
Your family needs to be introduced to the teaching of the Scriptures, the conduct of believers, the trajectory of God’s will, the example of Christians filled with faith and patience and love and steadfastness, and the lives of those who have suffered persecution and suffering for the name of Christ.
And you can do this in lots of different ways. They obviously need to be exposed to regular doses of God’s Word and constantly surrounded by godly saints in the church.
I highly recommend you listen to the series “Your Family Needs to Go to Church” if that whole concept troubles you.
But it’s also super helpful to expose your children to Christian biographies and books like Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.
Wouldn’t it be great if our kids could recite the history of God and His people better than they could the history of Disney movies?
Do your kids have this Truth and theses examples as a regular part of their daily diets?
Of course mere exposure to the Bible doesn’t change people. So . . .
4. In order to embrace continuing change, help your family walk according to what they’ve learned.
Verses 12 and following read, “12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”
We could spend a ton of time on this point, and it would take a long time because we’re talking about the life of mature believers here. The ability to continue in righteousness while the world around us goes from bad to worse and persecutes us for it, responding in rejoicing and gladness, faithfully pressing on to the goal of the high calling of Christ Jesus . . . is a direct act of God.
But the Lord uses us in that process. God wants to use your parenting as a huge part of the sanctification process through which He’s guiding your born-again children.
And what does that look like? What kind of parenting does God use to conform your saved children to the image of Christ?
Yeah, you know . . .
Intentional, premeditated, disciple-making, Ambassador Parents.
And what is the tool that helps the Ambassador Parent accomplish his four jobs?
The Bible is the tool, and the four jobs are listed in the next verse of the passage: “16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
We could say it this way, “that your child may continue changing as they grow in their maturity, being equipped for every good work.”
So, in conclusion, let me review those four steps to helping your family continue their spiritual change, and then I’m going to read a modified version of the passage we just studied.
Here we go: In order to embrace continuing change . . .
1. Help your family work out of their Low Tide.
2. Help your family avoid negative spiritual influences and equip them to respond biblically to them.
3. Expose your family to the Word of God and the lives of His saints.
4. Help your family walk according to what they’ve learned.
Okay, so here’s the AMBrewster family-focused-paraphrase of II Timothy 3.
“But understand this, living in this world is very difficult for your family. People all around them are lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.
“Your family needs to avoid such people. For among them are those who call themselves ‘friends’ who physically and digitally want to creep into your household and capture weak family members, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these people also oppose the truth and are corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly should be plain to the mature members of your family, as was that of those two men.
“Your family, however, must follow the Bible’s teaching, conduct, trajectory, its examples of faith, patience, love, steadfastness, and the example of the saints’ persecutions and sufferings from which the Lord rescued them. Indeed, if your family desires to live a godly life in Christ Jesus, they will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
“But as for your family, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make your family members wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. And use the Scripture which is breathed out by God for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that your family may be complete in God, equipped for every good work.”
Please share this episode on social media . . . send it far and wide so more Christian parents can be encouraged and more families can continue their change into the image of Christ.
And don’t forget that next time we’re starting a three part series called “Change Starts with Me” which will reveal how vital our personal change is to our family’s change.
And don’t forget to learn how you can be a blessing to TLP by clicking the link below, and feel free to reach out to us at Counselor@TruthLoveParent.com if you have family specific questions you’d like to ask.
Parenting is a huge and very difficult job, but God has given us everything we need to continue in change and help our kids do the same.
So, to that end, I’ll see you next time.
Join The TLP Family and receive email updates when we publish new articles and episodes.
Subscribe to Our Podcast