What does God promise to those who parent well? Today AMBrewster discusses the glorious blessings reserved for Christian parents who take their job seriously.
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“Parenting in Christ” series (starts in episode 241)
“Fearless Parenting” (episode 40)
“Peaceful Parenting” series (starts in episode 69)
“What Is Successful Parenting?” (episode 87)
“No Greater Joy” series (starts in episode 120)
“We Want to Free Your Family” (episode 172)
“Avoiding Parental Burnout” (episode 216)
“Your Parenting is Not in Vain” (episode 224)
“The Experience of a Righteous Parent” series (starts in episode 285)
“The Choice All Parents Have to Make” series (starts in episode 327)
“The Most Beautiful Part of Parenting” (episode 341)
“The Spiritual War in Your Home, Part 15 | the victorious family and the Conquering King” (episode 369)
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TLP 373: The Counter-Intuitive Nature of Parenting in Christ
TLP 374: The Uncomfortable Neighbors of Parenting in Christ
TLP 375: The Reward of Parenting in Christ
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Two episodes ago we talked about the counter-intuitive nature of parenting in Christ, and last time we discussed the uncomfortable neighbors that come as a result of parenting in Christ.
Today, we’re going to discuss the inevitable reward of parenting in Christ. And — if you’re new to the show or you haven’t heard it — I’d encourage you to check out our “Parenting in Christ” series because we go into a lot more detail as to what it actually means when we talk about a dad or a mom who’s “in Christ.”
If you’re new to the show, thanks for joining us. We’re a community of dads and moms trying to learn, understand, and believe how God would have us parent our kids. The goal is — ultimately — His glory and the method is whatever He lays out in the Bible.
I hope you’re looking forward to joining us in our own parenting journey.
My name is Aaron Michael Brewster. As of this recording, I’ve been married for 14 years, and I have two children. My son is 13 and my daughter is almost 11.
In August of 2014 my family and I followed the Lord to Victory Academy for Boys where I was the surrogate father and lead counselor for the at-risk teens who lived in my home every year.
In November of 2019 my family and I took another leap of faith to move from Victory and dedicate all of our time to Truth.Love.Parent. because we desperately want to equip dads and moms to rear their kids in such a way that — Lord willing — they won’t need to send their children to places like Victory.
Don’t get me wrong, Victory — and places like it — are amazing opportunities for families with children who are going off the rails. But wouldn’t it be great if your kids never made it that far?
That’s our goal. We want to help families either start on the right track or get on the right track so they don’t have to consider places like Victory.
So, here you’ll find content for every kind of family of every kind of size. It’s all relevant and practical because it’s all God’s evergreen Truth.
And I’m excited to open His Word with you today.
But before we do that, let me remind you to do your Amazon shopping via our affiliate links. Go to TruthLoveParent.com, click any Amazon image or banner, and you’ll be redirected to the Amazon homepage where you can then do your shopping as usual. But, the one cool difference is that — this time — TLP will receive a commission off any and all eligible purchases.
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And while you’re at TruthLoveParent.com, you can check out our store with a bunch of cool TLP swag, and you can find the episode notes and transcript for today’s show.
Okay, so we’ve seen that God’s plan for our parenting is not going to be natural to us. Our flesh isn’t going to understand or like it, and the World is going to tell us it’s dangerous and bad. But God knows best, so we would be wise to follow Him and obey Him no matter how strange His commands may seem or how uncomfortable our family situation may be.
And — when we do — God promises to bless us for our obedience.
We’ve discussed this kind of topic before. I’ll link some additional episodes in the description of today’s show if you want to be encouraged and broaden your understanding and appreciation of this topic.
But today I want to focus on one main passage as we consider the reward of parenting in Christ.
Jesus was the master of the parable. He was capable of choosing just the right metaphors to explain and expand the Truth His audience needed to learn.
One particular image Jesus employed on various occasions was the employer and employee. I believe this resonates with us because nearly all adults know what it’s like to be both the underling and the supervisor, but also because it’s a really solid example of our relationship with God.
He’s the boss. He’s the grand and glorious King Who gets to set the expectation for our life and godliness. He’s the one who snatched our souls from death, and we Christians are bound to serve Him with our all. It’s our duty, but it’s also our joy.
One of my favorite master/servant parables comes from Matthew 25:14-30.
Many of you will already be familiar with this parable, so I want to do the same thing I always do when we approach a familiar passage. Scrape your mind clean of anything you may have learned or know about these verses. Allow yourself to see it anew — specifically in light of our parenting. Allow the Holy Spirit to unveil deeper understanding and application for you today.
Let’s talk about and apply the parable as we read through it. Some of you are very familiar with this format, and I believe our new listeners will find this expository approach very refreshing considering the content of many parenting podcasts these days.
Alright, in Matthew 24 Jesus’s disciples have asked Him how they will know the end of the age has come. Jesus talks about the events leading up to and into the tribulation, but then in verse 36 tells the disciples that no man or angel nor even the Son knows the day and hour — only the Father knows that.
Then in Matthew 24:42 He transitions into a couple parables designed to teach one thing — given the imminent return of Christ, His followers need to be ready. He talks about a slave who abuses his power when the master is gone, who is eventually found out and punished. He talks about ten women, five of whom were wise and were prepared to wait, but five of whom were foolish and found they weren’t ready for the approach of the bridegroom.
And then Jesus tells the parable we’re about to read and finished His discussion of the coming kingdom by explaining the judgement — both for those who were not ready for Christ to return and for those who had been prepared.
So, we need to go into this parable realizing that — if we’re in Christ — our parenting is God’s calling on our lives. Jesus may no longer be physically here on earth, but He is coming back. Will He find us obeying Him in our parenting? Will He find us faithfully following His counter-intuitive commands with the often uncomfortable neighbors He’s placed in our homes? Or will he return to find us parenting in our own strength for our own purposes?
Matthew 25:14-30, “For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey.”
Jesus has left the earth, but He’s given us proverbial talents. For those of you who may not know, the word translated “talent” refers to a standard of measure. Some people conjecture the ancient talent may have represented the income someone would make over the course of twenty years. Others estimate that they would be worth a modern equivalent of tens of thousands of dollars. Either way, that’s a lot of money.
Of course, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that our modern use of the word “talent” fits very well into this parable too.
However, I want us to limit our thinking just a bit more for today’s consideration. What does the Bible specifically say the Lord has given to all Christian to use for His glory?
God has given us the Holy Spirit, the Bible, and absolutely everything we need for life and godliness — that includes everything we need to parent in a way that pleases Him.
For now, though it wouldn’t be inappropriate to consider our other earthly talents, let’s think primarily about the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit as we consider our parenting today.
Verse “16, Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. 17 In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. 18 But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.”
Though we’re discussing three men, we see only two responses. Two of the men took what they were given and put it to work. One of the men buried it.
Can you stand confidently at this moment and say that you are wisely investing everything God has given you?
God has given us His Word. The Bible contains absolutely everything we need to know to parent well. There’s not a parenting conundrum that’s not addressed within the pages of Scripture because even when it doesn’t speak specifically to what to say or do in a unique parenting situation, it gives us everything we need to know for how to address it.
Obviously, we don’t have time to give examples, but — if you’re new to TLP — please know that our previous 374 episodes are all about that. We discuss in grand detail how to take the Word of God and make it practically applicable in our lives.
But good parenting isn’t merely the memorization of Truth. In and of ourselves we are impotent to glorify God by wisely living out His expectations.
But God has also given us the Holy Spirit. Are you relying entirely on the Holy Spirit to parent well? Are you resting on His grace and empowerment? Do you pray for wisdom and strength before tackling an issue with your kids? Do you strive to make the Fruit of the Spirit the very groundwork of your parenting?
I see too many parents drop their Scriptures and the gift of the Holy Spirit into a parenting hole. They speak of worldly pursuits with their kids and utilize fleshly consequences to achieve temporal ends. The Spiritual realities of this world are rarely invested into their parenting.
They may invoke God’s name and expectations in a time of crisis. They may turn to the church to fill in all that God-stuff, but they don’t invest their greatest resources — the Bible and their relationship with God through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit — into the family warp and woof of their parenting. God and His Word have just as much value if your daughter has gotten pregnant outside of marriage as it does if your son won’t stay in his crib. We need to invest just as much Scripture into why our kids have to hold our hands crossing the street as we do preparing them to answer the evolutionist’s lies in their public school.
Right now, Jesus — the Master — is not physically here. But He’s coming back, and He’s entrusted us with great treasures and resources to use — specifically within the context of this discussion — to use in our parenting.
Are you today actively soaking your parenting in Scripture and the grace of God, or are you burying those gifts by trying to parent in your own power for your own purposes to achieve your own ends?
Well, one day the Master is going to come back. And since we don’t know the hour of His return, it’s equally possible that He will call us home. Either way, we will see Him and there will be an accounting.
Jesus goes on to say, “19 Now after a long time the master of those slaves *came and *settled accounts with them. 20 The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’
Please don’t reject your investment simply because you look around and realize you don’t have all the same resources that others have.
Let me speak plainly here for a minute.
As a pastor and counselor, I have encountered many people who will compare themselves with me and use that comparison as an excuse for the fact that they just can’t parent like the Bible says. They’ll point out the fact that I went to a Bible college and got my masters in counseling and have all this experience working with at-risk teens and counseling families and preaching and teaching and blah, blah, blah.
And they’ll look at my “five talents” and compare it with their “two talents” and wonder what the point is.
Now, listen, I don’t truly believe that I’m the one with the most talents. Everyone can look around and — with little effort — find someone who appears to have more spiritual maturity and equipping than they have. That’s not the point.
The point is that the master gave each individual exactly what they needed . . . and He expected them to do more with it.
He expected the one with five talents to grow and mature and double the investment. He expected the one with two talents to improve and better himself. Think about it, even if the one with two talents doubled his money, he still wouldn’t have had as many talents as the one who started with five . . . and yet, how does God respond to the one who doubled his two talents? He tells him the exact same thing as He told the one with ten: “Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.”
It’s a lie of Satan that you can’t parent to the glory of God if you don’t have as many talents as the parent down the street or the author of the parenting book or the pastor or the counselor. That is an absolute lie!
God expects you to use His Word and parent in the power of the Holy Spirit just like everyone else. Sure, you may not know as much Bible as Jon MacArthur or Charles Spurgeon, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to use it in your parenting? That doesn’t mean that God doesn’t want you to grow and mature in your understanding and use of the Scriptures.
If you’ve ever been tempted to think that you can’t parent your kids the way I describe on this show because you don’t have the same perceived experiences and equipping that others have, please deny that blatant lie of the enemy and take courage that you are the best parent for your kids if and when you parent them to God’s honor and glory through His Word and His power.
Yes, God expects you to grow, to invest, to mature into a better parent as you use more of the Scriptures to build your Parenting Bible and grow in your dependence on the Holy Spirit. Don’t believe the other lie of Satan that all you are is all you have. You can teach old dogs new tricks, and — better yet — the sovereign God of the universe Who’s in the business of saving souls and sanctifying sinners is more than capable to change the most hardened rebel into a saint.
Don’t sell God short because you don’t want to do the hard word of investing in your parenting. God will provide the increase if you take what He’s given you and actually use it.
But if you don’t, if you hide the spiritual gifting God’s given you, if you bury your spiritual empowerment, this is what will happen to you: Not only will your children not have you investing your talents into their knowing Christ and spiritual maturity, you won’t receive the reward of parenting in Christ. “24 And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. 27 Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. 28 Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’ 29 For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. 30 Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
I’m not certain what you were expecting from today’s episode. Perhaps you were thinking that the reward of parenting in Christ is having children who “turn out right.” Perhaps you thought that if you parent in Christ, your kids will be more obedient, they won’t kill anyone or get anyone pregnant. Maybe you just would have been happy to have a kid who passes all her classes.
But the reward of parenting in Christ is identical to the purpose and empowerment of parenting in Christ.
We are to invest our talents because God commands us to. He has saved us to Himself and demands that we give Him the honor and glory and blessing and praise and adoration and obedience that He deserves as the all-powerful King of Creation. And He gives of Himself to help us accomplish that purpose because it’s utterly impossible in our own power.
Therefore, our highest reward for parenting in Christ must — and can only be — His favor.
You see, too many of us are trying to parent well for all the wrong reasons. We want good kids, obedient kids, kids who will eat their food and take their naps and be kind to their siblings.
And though I will admit that we have far better chances of helping our kids achieve those goals only when we parent to God’s glory . . . having our kids achieve those goals absolutely must not be our main goal.
As Ambassadors of Christ, we must have as our chief goal and ultimate purpose the glory of God. We want Him to be pleased with us.
I know it’s sad to imagine, but — God forbid — if we invest all of our talents into our parenting for nothing more than God’s glory and honor, and our kids still rebel against Him, we will have been victorious in our parenting.
But if you don’t believe that. If you see your children’s maturity and success as the most important thing, if you wouldn’t have had kids and done the hard work of parenting if you knew they were going to reject God, then you have just learned something very important about yourself.
You just learned that you’re an idolator who’s been burying his talents in the dirt. You haven’t been parenting in Christ and to Christ for nothing more than Christ, you’ve substituted your own cause and course. You dropped the Scriptures and empowerment of the Holy Spirit into a hole to pursue your own earthly goals.
And do you remember what motivated that slave’s response? He hid his talents out of fear. But God has not given us a spirit of fear. We can be fearless parents!
But if we’re substituting God’s best for our own silly plans, we’re doing it because we’re afraid God’s will isn’t good enough. And that realization should give us pause.
Why is the lazy slave thrown out into utter darkness? Because he wasn’t really a servant of the master. A servant would have done his master’s bidding, but this man did the exact opposite.
A man or woman who parents in Christ will use His Word and utilize the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. A parent who refuses to use the Scriptures and doesn’t ever act in the strength of the Spirit does so only because they aren’t really in Christ.
The true reward of parenting in Christ comes only from doing all of the right things in the right ways for the right reasons in the right power, and the reward is pleasing the Lord and enjoying Him for all eternity.
Now, please understand me. Yes, if we’re parenting in Christ, if we’re using the Scripture in our every parenting endeavor, if we’re resting on the Holy Spirit to accomplish His purposes in our children, then we will be teaching them and reproving them and correcting them and training them in Christ so that they to may know Him and love Him and follow Him.
That is obviously one of our goals, but it shouldn’t be our main goal, and it definitely shouldn’t be our only goal.
I’m not certain if you expected to learn that the reward of following God’s counter-intuitive commands as you parent the often uncomfortable neighbors living in your home has everything to do with your relationship with God and nothing to do with your children . . . but that’s the Truth.
God, the perfect Father, has had billions of His “children” reject Him. How many billions of people will rebel against the love of the Father and spend eternity in hell? Does that mean God failed? No! May it never be!
God gave us and our kids a free will to choose or reject Him, and He will hold us personally responsible for our own choices. So, it doesn’t matter what facet of life we’re discussing, our sole goal should be the glory of God regardless of how others are going to respond.
Though I pray that my children know and follow Christ, I have no control over that. I do — however — have complete control over whether or not I’m going to invest the spiritual gifts I have into my parenting so that I may hear my Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.”
But if this concept is still hard for you to appreciate, please write us at Counselor@TruthLoveParent.com or give us a call at (828) 423-0894. We’d love to take some time to discuss it with you further and show you even more passages from Scripture that explain the glorious calling of Christian parents.
Remember, if we want our children to grow up into Christ, we must parent in truth and love, and we must do it because we desire the Lord’s pleasure more than we desire our own.
To that end, join us next time as we unveil an amazing new parenting resource that I pray will revolutionize your family. I’ll see you then!
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