You’re going to make this choice, but what are you going to choose. Join AMBrewster as he discusses the final three implications of the greatest parenting choice we’ll ever make.
Check out 5 Ways to Support TLP.
Listen to the following episodes on Apple Podcasts by clicking the titles.
“Four Family Loves” series (starts in episode 128)
“What is Your Child's Sin?” (episode 137)
“Your Child's Bungee | the nature of sin and parenting” (episode 199)
“Parenting a Zombie, Part 1” (episode 200)
“Family Worship” series (starts in episode 191)
“What is Your Family Idol” (episode 282)
“Training Your Children to Rebel” (episode 43)
“How to Know if Your Child is Addicted” (episode 114)
“Stop Being the Leader!” (episode 7)
“Don’t Lose Your Influence!” (episode 4)
“Turn Bad Influences into Non-Influences” (episode 196)
“The Most Potentially Destructive Influence in the Life of Your Child" (episode 42)
Click here for our free Parenting Course!
Click here for Today’s Episode Notes and Transcript.
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 the PDF, click the link below.
I hope you’re having a productive start of the year. My family is just finishing up their first week back in their lessons.
My wife and I homeschool our kids. They’re both in 9th grade this year and are doing a great job. While we were at Victory Academy we started using the Bob Jones Distance Learning material and have been very pleased with them.
They follow a very “traditional” path when it comes to education, but my wife and I supplement and change it as necessary to be more robust and applicable.
They’re also studying Spanish this year, which I think it cool. The only problem is that my wife and the kids are the only ones who understand it . . . I can see this backfiring on me in the future.
Oh, well. I can always talk to myself in German. I’m sure that will make me feel better.
I hope that as you get back into daily life you’ll remember that you can use our affiliate links at TruthLoveParent.com to do your Amazon shopping.
Amazon offers fantastic deals on nearly everything you would ever want to buy, and if you have Prime, the shipping is fast and free.
So, if you go to TruthLoveParent.com and click on any of the Amazon banners, you can shop as normal, but TLP will receive bonuses and commissions from your eligible purchase.
Any and all Amazon links at our site will do this. It may be a game, it may be a book, it may be a product or service.
Isn’t that a great way of supporting TLP? You shop as usual, and Amazon sends us money for it.
Now in the past I suggested that you click through to Amazon using our links and then save it as a bookmark or favorites page. I’ve been finding out that the coding is changing and that doesn’t work anymore.
So, the best thing for you to do is have a bookmark or favorite of TruthLoveParent.com. Any time you want to shop on Amazon, just click the TLP bookmark, then click the very first Amazon link you see, and you’re all set to shop.
And, while you’re in the shopping mode, you can check out the TLP store at TruthLoveParent.com and pick up your own “Iconic” t-shirt.
Our “Iconic” Collection features comfortable t-shirts with minimal artwork. It’s made-up of three logos that represent Truth, Love, and Parenting. They’re a great conversation starter, advertising, and reminder of the parent God called and created you to be.
Alright, let’s finish up our study of the choice all parents have to make.
Last time we learned that . . .
1. How we parent this year is an immense choice.
2. How we parent this year must be an individual choice.
3. How we parent this year must be an intentional choice.
And 4. How we parent this year must be an immediate choice.
Make sure you listen to the last episode all the way through before continuing on today.
If you’re returning with us, let’s start by reading our passage from Joshua 24:14-15, “Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
5. How we parent this year will be an indenturing choice.
I’m not the guy who normally chooses to alliterate my points. This is a perfect reason why. Eventually you’re forced to choose a word that’s not exactly right or seems a little odd.
Here’s my odd word. However, it is the best word to use.
Joshua says, “choose for yourselves today whom you will serve.”
I mentioned last time how our society doesn’t like the concept of slavery and service. And that is good in so many ways. However, Jesus Christ Himself said “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26 It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28)
Modern slavery is a sin, but indentured servitude to the God of the Cosmos is our calling. It’s what we were created to do. And when we serve God rightly, it will result in us serving those around us.
Do you want to parent well this year?
First, you must remember that you are a slave of Christ. You are His Ambassador. What you want doesn’t matter if it doesn’t conform with His will. We are to parent our children as He would parent our children.
But second, we must understand that our service to Christ is going to result in our service to our families.
After washing His disciples feet Jesus said, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.” (John 13:12-17)
And it’s Philippians 2:5-8 that calls us to live as Christ did: “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
Our parenting choice this year is an indenturing choice.
Most of the time you hear the word “indentured,” it’s in regard to servants and slaves. Merriam-Webster defines indenture as “a contract binding one person to work for another for a given period of time.”
It’s a legal, binding choice to offer ourselves as living sacrifices to God in our parenting, and in so doing, emulate our Lord as His ambassador by serving our family.
I hope to do a series of episodes in the future all about what it looks like to serve our family members, but I’m confident you have enough to go on for a decent start to the year.
Now, imagine with me that you understand this immense choice to individually, intentionally, and immediately make this choice that indentures you to God and family. What kind of impact do you think that will have on your spouse and kids?
It will be huge.
6. How we parent this year will be an influential choice.
Notice that after calling us to individually choose whom we will serve, Joshua proclaims, “but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
This may sound like it’s an individual choice for everyone but the people in Joshua’s home! But I don’t believe that’s the case.
Joshua knew two things about his household:
A. He was one of the most influential voices in their lives.
And . . .
B. His family would follow his leadership.
When your children are very young it’s easy to believe you have their hearts. But it’s hard to tell the difference between genuinely loving submission and contented pragmatism.
Everyone thinks their kids worship the ground they walk on — and to a certain extent, that’s true in an undeveloped sense. But as our children grow and their sinfulness takes on selfish independence that doesn’t mind hurting those around them, it’s easier for us to see their true hearts.
This is one reason the stereotype is that parents and their teenage children grow apart. It’s practically assumed in our culture that once your kid hits thirteen, your relationship with them is in for a bumpy ride.
But this stereotype grows from a giant misconception. It rises from the idea that a mildly obedient child who still retains his storge affection for his parents has a wonderful relationship with his parents.
That’s not the reality.
Generally speaking, the teenager who is antagonistic toward his family has always been separated from them. Whereas before their self-worship lead them to fawn on mom and dad or pragmatically choose to follow the only family traditions they’ve ever known, now their self-worship — coupled with an ever-growing understanding of their ability to think and act independently from their parents — leads them to do whatever they want.
The fruit may look different superficially, but it isn’t any different in nature because the root is the same — self-worship.
Now, I just threw out a lot of ideas I can’t unpack right now, but I want to share some past episodes that may help you understand what I’m saying.
First, I mentioned the word storge. That is a Greek word we studied in our Four Family Loves series. That’s a study your family needs to sit down and go through together. And that wold be a great idea considering that Valentines is the next holiday on the calendar.
Second, I talked a lot about self-worship. I’m going to link a number of episodes in the description of this show that deal with the biggest sin struggles in your children’s lives. There’s “What is Your Child's Sin?,” “Your Child's Bungee | the nature of sin and parenting,” “Parenting a Zombie,” “Family Worship,” “What is Your Family Idol,” “Training Your Children to Rebel,” and “How to Know if Your Child is Addicted.”
Each of those episodes — and many more — get to the heart of our children’s (and our own) sin problems.
The point of this very important rabbit trail is that a child who grows away from her parents later in life hasn’t really grown away from her parents. She was always predisposed to her own way and her own desires. It’s just now her selfishness doesn’t agree with mom and dad.
And, if we’re being logical and honest, we can admit that a pharisaical adherence to our commands is no better than a rebellious rejection of our commands.
As Ambassador Parents, we should be parenting our kids toward a relationship with God.
Now, since all of our children come into this world separated from God, it’s better for us to assume we don’t have our children’s hearts regardless of how quickly they obey when we speak. This different parenting mindset will drive us to to do two things:
First, instead of assuming we know where our kids minds are, we’ll be on a journey of discovery. Second, instead of assuming our kids adore us, we’ll be on a mission to win their trust.
All of this assumes that we’re trying to be an influential voice in our children’s lives and that — if we have a genuine relationship of love and trust — our kids will follow us.
I believe Joshua knew that about his family. He knew that given the individual choice to serve the Lord, his family would follow his lead because they loved him and trusted him. He had their hearts and was influencing them for God.
Your parenting choices this year will be influential. If you parent for selfish reasons, you’ll be teaching your kids to reject your authority as you reject God’s.
This is why I wrote the episode called “The Most Potentially Destructive Influence in the Life of Your Child.” Please allow me to spoil the surprise . . . we parents are the most potentially destructive influences in the lives of our children.
If our parenting is rooted in us getting from our kids what we want, we’re teaching them to live life the same way.
I’ve also included links to three more episodes about influence and leadership: “Stop Being the Leader!,” “Don’t Lose Your Influence!” and “Turn Bad Influences into Non-Influences.”
So, just like you can’t hide from the fact that this parenting choice is immense, just like you can’t hide from the fact that it’s individual, just like you can’t hide from the fact that this parenting choice will be made immediately and will be clearly intentional when you make it, and just like the fact that your parenting choices are going to indenture you to self or God, you cannot escape the reality that your parenting is going to fundamentally influence your children.
Are you understanding why it’s so important for us to be thinking through our parenting? We mustn’t try to wing this! Improvised parenting is failure parenting. It’s sinful parenting.
We must intentionally and premeditatedly work to be disciple-making Ambassador Parents for Christ!
And that’s our final point.
You do have a choice. Joshua told the Israelites, “Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
That may have sounded like a multi-faceted buffet of choices. But it wasn’t.
Joshua knew exactly what we know. Worship of anything other than God is worship of self. When we choose to reject God’s Lordship in our lives, we’ve made our own priorities more important than God’s. Whatever we choose to invest in after that is merely a consequence of our own self-worship.
“Just two choices on the shelf: pleasing God or pleasing self.”
7. How we parent this year should be an indisputable choice.
“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
The name Joshua invoked was the personal, covenant-keeping, name of God. The word translated LORD in the English is the word Yahweh in the Hebrew. It’s the unique name of God. It encompasses His otherness, but it also drips of His personal care and relationship.
Joshua knew the obvious answer. He wasn’t going to pursue empty worship of false, foreign gods. And though he knew it would be a daily struggle, he didn’t want to waste any more time worshipping Joshua!
He knew the only, indisputable answer was Yahweh.
It should be a clear choice to every one of us.
The real problem boils down to three things:
As of this moment, none of us are ignorant to the struggle. Please share this episode so that we can help as many parents as possible understand that they are going to make a choice in their parenting this year and that — for the sake of their Creator, their own lives, and the safety of their families — they must make the correct choice.
And we’re all going to struggle with the moment-by-moment temptation to want to please self. It’s in our DNA. It’s unavoidable. It’s our sin nature, and we’re stuck with it until we die. But we don’t have to be mastered by it.
But we will be mastered by it if we float through life living according to our feelings. If we’re braindeadedly floating through life we’re going to default to our basic sinful desires.
Romans 3:11-12, "There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God; All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one.”
Proverbs 12:15, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.”
Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”
We default to destructive behavior.
This is why the lynchpin is our intentionality.
We must purposefully motivate our parenting in the Truth of God for the glory of God in the power of God.
Then and only then will we make the right choice all parents have to make.
If you would like some specialized help in your personal life or your parenting, if you would like someone to help speak into one of your family relationships, please don’t hesitate to contact us at counselor@TruthLoveParent.com. We would love to talk about how we may be a specific blessing to your family.
Please rate and review the show. Let us know how this episode blessed you.
And share this episode on your favorite social media outlets so other parents can make the intentional choice to serve God in their parenting this year.
Remember, if we want our children to grow up into Christ, we must parent in truth and love.
To that end, join us next time as we look at Parenting Trends of 2020. We’ll discuss what we need to avoid and what we should probably embrace.
I’ll see you then.
Join The TLP Family and receive email updates when we publish new articles and episodes.
Subscribe to Our Podcast