Everything you need to teach your child can be summed up in 6 practical lessons. Join AMBrewster as he unpacks those lessons and teaches Christian parents how to work them into daily life.
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Listen to the following episodes on Apple Podcasts by clicking the titles.
“Isaiah 11 Father” series (starts in episode 272)
“Proverbs 31 Mother” series (starts in episode 258)
“Teach Your Children to Learn” series (starts in episode 207)
“Parents’ 4 Jobs" series (starts in episode 184)
“Stop Being the Leader!) (episode 7)
“How Do We Teach Our Children to Love the Right Things?” (episode 137)
“The 4 Family Loves" series (starts in episode 128)
“Help Your Children Discover God’s Will for Their Lives" series (starts in episode 158)
“The Merest Christianity” series (starts in episode 95)
“Teach Your Children to Obey” series (starts in episode 138)
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Click "Read More" for today’s Episode Notes and Transcript.
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Welcome to Truth.Love.Parent’s 300th episode.
I’m honored that you would spend this time with us. There is nothing more important than opening God’s Word and actively asking yourself, “How can this change me today?”
If this is your first time with us, I want to welcome you and explain the we’re just a bunch of parents who understand how incapable we are without God.
Because of that, we’re hungry for God’s Word since we know that It’s the only thing that can equip us for life and parenting.
We don’t want to parent for ourselves. We want to be Ambassador Parents for God.
We don’t want to be accidental parents. We want to be Intentional Parents.
We don’t want to make our parenting up as we go. We want to be premeditated Parents.
We don’t want to just be our kids’ roommates. We want to be Disciple-Making Parents.
TeamTLP and I want to take the confusion out of parenting by letting God answer the questions. We want to take the pain out of parenting by letting God provide the comfort.
If you love what you hear while you’re here, I ask that you subscribe to the show and review us so others can easily do the same.
And, if you want to help us create these free, bible-based parenting resources, you can click on the “5 Ways to Support TLP" link in the description of this episode.
A few years ago Ray and Carolyn became our very first supporters. They’ve made so many of these episodes possible, if you ever see them, you need to give them a great big hug!
In honor of our 300th episode, I wanted to talk about something really cool — something really big — something really practical.
So, please join me in Deuteronomy 10.
I know that you may not consider Deuteronomy to be really cool or big or practical, but track with me for a bit.
I believe the content of today’s passage reveals the trajectory of every single lesson God expects us to teach our kids. I don’t think there’s any necessary parenting Truth that won’t fit into these categories.
Let’s consider Deuteronomy 10:12-13.
“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you?” To put it into a modern context, it would be appropriate to say, “And now, Church, what does the Lord your God require of you?” I’m not going to get into a conversation about Covenant versus Dispensational theology; that’s not the point.
The point is simply to acknowledge that God expects the same thing from His contemporary Body of believers as He did of His chosen people of the past.
So, what does God require of your kids?
The First Lesson we must teach our children is that they must submit to God as Lord.
In the Old Testament times, if you weren’t a Jew — or at least accepted into their community by keeping all of the expected rites — you were separated from God.
In the New Testament times, if you are not a born again believer in the Body of Christ, you are separated from God.
There is no reality more powerful and important than the fact that God exists exactly as the Bible says. Therefore, He deserves our worship, yet we are incapable of giving Him that worship without His help. Jesus Christ came to do what we could not do . . . He came to pay the infinite debt we each owe God. He lived a perfect life, died a substitutionary death, and raised into a glorious resurrection . . . conquering death and claiming victory for all who submit to His Lordship.
We can — and must — weave these themes into every facet of life. I’ll link our Evangelism Parenting page so you can listen to our many episodes detailing how to shed God’s Gospel light into our children’s everyday lives.
But the easiest way to do this is allow their sin to show them their need for a Savior. Their sin hurts God, others, and themselves. Their sin demands reconciliation, but their sin also keeps them from being able to be reconciled.
Only Christ’s righteousness can do what they cannot do.
Do you repeatedly remind your children of God’s worth and their inescapable need of Him? All of our children sin, so weaving the Gospel into our parenting should become relatively easy because our kids present us with so many opportunities to do so.
The Second Lesson we must teach our kids is that they must fear the Lord.
Our passage continues, “And now, [child of God], what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God?”
When our children accept their need for God and choose to submit to His will for their lives by believing His promises, they exercise the fear of the Lord for the very first time.
But this fear must be reevaluated on a regular basis. It’s a fear that can fade with lack of use and distraction.
We discuss the fear of the Lord in great detail in our “Isaiah 11 Father” and “Proverbs 31 Mother” episodes. We also talk about its rudimentary importance in our “Teach Your Children to Learn” series.
We won’t go into the specifics of the fear of the Lord here because you can learn that from the other episodes, but I will say that it’s the necessary first step to the Christian life.
As we saw, saving faith is impossible without it, but sanctifying faith is also impossible without it.
The fear of the Lord is the acknowledgement that God is awesome and worthy of our maximum reverence. At the same time, we should not merely be afraid of Him like a pagan who believes his false God will strike him dead with lightening. We should also value Him enough that we are genuinely concerned that we may sin against Him — not because of the consequences that may befall us, but because we don’t want to displease Him.
He died to save us. He condescends to us. He loved us before we ever loved Him. He calls us out of our sin. Our deep respect for Him should genuinely make us afraid that we would ever desire to displease Him.
When you teach your children how to cook, you can illustrate the foundational ideas concerning the fear of the Lord. You can explain the valid respect one must have for extreme heat and fire or the sharpness of a blade as you describe the reverential side of fear.
When your children show respect for an adult they admire, you can ask them how they would feel if they displeased that individual. When the child expresses a genuine horror of hurting them, you should tie that idea to the much weighty concept of fearing the Lord. Ask them if they have similar feelings for displeasing their Savior.
Our children need to understand what it means to fear the Lord, but they also need to appreciate the practical outworking . . . otherwise it’s nothing more than an archaic phrase with no relevance to their lives.
Do you use life experiences to teach and illustrate the vital importance of living in the fear of God?
Real quick, if you’re new to the show, I want you to know that we have free episode notes available. They’re linked below in the description.
Once we introduce our children to the Lord and they choose to follow Him, we must help them understand the fear of the Lord and how it should guide how they live.
That means . . .
The Third Lesson we must teach our kids is that they must imitate the Lord.
“And now, [child of God], what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God [and] to walk in all his ways?”
Many years ago while living 45 minutes outside of Chicago, we experienced record snowfall. My four year old son was so excited, but we had four and a half foot snowdrifts all over our yard. As I stepped through the frozen tundra, my son tried hard to walk the path I had trod so as to not wear himself out.
Of course, even that was tiring.
When a child of God fears the Lord, he knows that the only way to please Him is to live like Him.
Jesus tells us of a narrow gate that leads to a narrow road. Jesus called Himself the Way. And David tells us that the Bible is the light for our feet as we walk down the road.
We enter onto the way via salvation, the way itself is to live like Christ, and the Bible is the only tool that can help us see the way.
Do you use the Scriptures to help your child know and understand God’s High Expectations? Do you use it to help your child understand how their sinful choices reveal when they step off the way? Do you use it to help them return to the way and remain in the way?
Those are the “Parents’ 4 Jobs.”
This doesn’t simply encompass the spiritual disciplines, moral character, and general virtue we so often imagine when discussing the Scriptures. It applies to the mundane practicalities of life as well.
Sure, the Bible may not teach basic math, but it does teach our kids the attitude with which they should approach their math.
The Bible may not teach our kids how to drive, but it does outline the worldview that would guide where our children take the car and how fast they get there.
The Bible may not discuss social media, but it does provide every answer our kids need to use that tool to God’s greatest glory and for their greatest good.
Are you teaching your children to imitate God — to step where He steps? Do they know how the Bible can and should light their every decision and inform their every desire?
Do they see you walking the path right behind Jesus. Are you the best example of the First Follower in their lives?
Once a child follows God by choosing to be His disciple, they will need to exercise their fear of the Lord. This fear will motivate their desire to please Him by emulating His holiness.
In episode 137 we ask “How Do We Teach Our Children to Love the Right Things?” And we discovered that people learn to love things in many ways, but one of the most profound ways to learn to love something is by doing it.
People are often fearful — or at least hesitant — of trying new things. But — quite often — once they give it a try, they really enjoy it.
Let me give you a personal example. Here at Victory Academy we have a Lodge, and — in that Lodge — for the past five years there’s been a card game. I knew it was there, but I was never interested in playing it because — on the outside — it did’t look worth it to me. A few months ago a friend and his son came over to my house. They too had seen the game at the Lodge and finally decided to play it. They enjoyed it so much they said I had to play it.
They taught me how, and I was hooked. I showed it to my family, and they loved it too! We ended up buying our own to add to our game collection!
By the way, if you’ve never checkout out the Brewster Family Game Cabinet, you should click the link below. It may inspire some awesome family time in your house.
One of the best ways to learn to love something is simply by doing it. Are you teaching your children to emulate Jesus? Asking “What would Jesus do?” is a great start, but are you modeling it for them, are you talking through a decision-making process that results in Christ-like living?
We have a series called “Help Your Children Discover God’s Will for Their Lives.” It deals with their daily choices and even future occupation, and there’s a full episode about how to make choices that you can know glorify God.
So, as our children marvel at the grace of God’s salvation, learn to fear Him and thereby try to imitate Him as best as they can in His power, they will grow in their love for Him.
The Fourth Lesson we must teach our kids is that they must love the Lord.
Back to Deuteronomy: “And now, [child of God], what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, [and] to love him?”
We talk much of love on this show. With a name like Truth.Love.Parent, we’d better. In fact, we have an entire series dedicated to a biblical understanding of “The 4 Family Loves.”
I’d encourage you to really entrench yourself in that Truth so you can live it and teach it to your family.
The essence of love can be distilled down to this: love wants and works toward God’s best interest for the one loved.
If I love God, my life will be exhibited by a desire to work toward God’s ultimate glory.
When your children make choices — good and bad — try to ask them question that will reveal their motivation for making the decision. Even if they made what appeared to be a good choice, it’s vital to understand their thinking and reasons.
A good deed done for selfish reasons is a bad choice. It doesn’t glorify God and is the result of self-love, not God-love.
I cannot express how important it is to know why your kids do what they do. I think our biggest parenting failures can be summed up in this: We don’t know why our kids do what they do, and when we discover it, we excuse it.
This is why we created “The Merest Christianity” series. It answers the question, “why do your kids do what they do?” It’s so important for us to understand. Good parenting focuses on parenting motive, not action.
Do the lessons you teach in your home revolve around loving God? They’ll have to if we’re being Ambassador Parents.
We introduce our kids to Christ, they choose to fear Him, they desire to imitate Him, they learn to love Him, and then . . .
The Fifth Lesson we must teach our kids is that they must serve the Lord.
“And now, [child of God], what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, [and] to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul?”
What does it mean to serve God?
The Hebrew word translated here as “serve” refers to the daily toil of a servant. It refers to doing the work you’ve been commanded to do.
And, let’s be real . . . American’s don’t like that.
We want to be independent. We want the American Dream. We want our freedoms. We want to throw off the expectations of our authority. We actually want to pretend as if we don’t have any authority . . . even when we clearly do.
But God wants you and your kids to daily live in the reality of the fact that He is your greatest authority. In fact, let’s be honest, your authority as a parent means absolutely nothing if God is not the ultimate authority.
But recognizing God as an authority and then not being super interested in discovering and obeying His will is like working at Target and expecting Walmart to pay your checks.
We want God’s blessing; we want His power and guidance and peace and prosperity, but we want Him to give us all of that as we go about working our own plans.
If we are truly followers of Christ, then we’re going to fear Him. If we fear Him, we’re going to understand the necessity of imitating Him. As we imitate Him, we’re going to learn to love Him. If we love Him, we’re going to stop working our own plans, and we’ll start actively working His.
We need to teach our kids through every mundane moment of life that we should be working them how God commands for the God who commands it.
While I was writing episode, I had to step away to help my daughter with math. She’s 9, but she’s in 9th grade, so she’s doing Algebra 1 this year.
Admittedly, she’s in territory where fourteen years olds fear to tread. She had just taken her math test and received a B-, and after grading it, I gave it back for her to correct.
Well, she wanted to be done with math, and the thought of fixing the six problems she missed was apparently so horrendous that she developed a bad attitude.
I had to tell her that it’s possible — in certain situations — to fail to the glory of God, but succeeding in our own power for our own glory will never please the Lord. I had to focus her attention back the to her motivation (who she was going to love more) and then to the task. If she loves self more, she’ll want to stop doing math. If she loves God more, she’ll want to do her best on her math.
My mind was especially interested in the fact that this was the first element on the list that God explained in more detail than all the others.
He tells us to fear the Lord, walk in His ways, and love Him, but then He says to serve the Lord your God . . . and goes on to say “with all your heart and with all your soul.”
The word translated “heart” refers to the mind. The word translated “soul” refers to the spirit.
Are we teaching our children to make the service of our God our one all-consuming passion?
This doesn’t mean we all have to become monks cloistered away on some distant hilltop. This means the entire scope of our lives is helmed by a different motivation and method than the rest of the world.
During our “Teach Your Children to Obey” series we saw that true obedience is doing the right thing in the right way for the right reasons in the right power.
Well, God is working backward through that definition of obedience.
The right power requires that I be in a saving relationship with God trying to accomplish His glory. The right motivation is going to be that I deeply respect Him and am loath to hurt Him. The right way is by imitation and service, and the specific righteousness this accomplishes in our lives is the final lesson of the day.
The Sixth Lesson we must teach our kids is that they must obey the Lord.
“And now, [child of God], what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord?”
The word translated “keep” is a military term that refers to guarding something by surrounding it with a hedge of thorns. It’s the word that’s used when referring to the Lord keeping His children.
It’s a powerful word. It has intentionality and significance to it.
The word translated “commandments” is just that. It’s a command or law given by an authority.
“Statutes” frequently refers to the specific laws concerning rhythms, festivals, and feasts. We could almost refer to them as “principles.”
God is teaching us that as we teach our children to follow Christ as His disciples, they will naturally fear Him and imitate Him and love Him and serve Him and that will live itself out in our practical, day-to-day observance of His commandments and statutes.
And, then God ends off the list with a glorious promise.
“And now, [child of God], what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord which I am commanding you today for your good?”
If we love our kids and truly want them to experience the good things in life, we must first make sure that we are doing our best to follow these 6 Life Lessons and teaching them to do the same.
And it doesn’t matter if it’s a conversation about boyfriends and girlfriends or school or sports or learning to the use the potty, each of those conversations can be tied to one or more of these 6 Life Lessons.
Intentionally working these themes into our daily parenting will produce a God-awareness in our kids and repeatedly draw their minds back to the realities of life that really matter.
I just want to — once again — praise the Lord for giving us everything that we need for life and godliness within the pages of His Word.
I want to thank Him for allowing us to hit our 300th episode!
And I want to thank all of you who used our Amazon links to do some shopping recently.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just go to TruthLoveParent.com, click on any Amazon link, and do your shopping as usual. Amazon will then give TLP a commission off your sale.
It’s a really easy to support the work that God is doing through TLP.
You can also support us by sharing this episode on social media, subscribing to the show, and returning for our next episode as we move into the meat of Season 12.
We’re into October, so the world is going to be focusing on Halloween for the foreseeable future. So I want to talk about being honest with our children about death.
We’re going to look into the Scriptures to develop a parenting strategy for teaching our children what God has to say about death.
God wants you to do your children good through your parenting, and we can help you achieve that.
So, I’ll see you next time.
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