There is a lot to embrace as parents. Many tasks and obligations that pull us here and there. Through all of the undertakings of parenthood, it is vital for us to remain focused in our efforts with our children.
Here are four ideas to embrace as parents that will help us do that.
Embrace the Responsibility
In Scripture, we find multiple passages which instruct children to honor, listen to, watch, and obey their parents. This calling on children has been true from the beginning. Old and New Testament passages alike declare it (for example-Exodus 20:12; Deut 5:16; Proverbs 1:8-9; 3:1-2; 6:20; Ephesians 6:1-3; Colossians 3:20).
How can parents help their children? It starts with us. We must daily embrace the responsibility to be the primary disciple-makers of our children. We are to be teaching our kids God’s Word and modeling for them how to live it out. And this is not merely in response to the reality that our children are called to heed our instruction. Instead, it is in response to God’s good plan for the family.
God designed for parents to be the primary disciple-makers of their children. He has made this clear by giving commands to parents that tell us of our responsibility (for example-Deuteronomy 6:1-9; Psalm 78:1-8; Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:3-4; Colossians 3:21). We must daily embrace this responsibility to make disciples of our children. Don’t wait for someone else to do it.
Are you embracing the responsibility? How? What keeps you from living out this reality?
Embrace a Trinitarian Perspective Towards Parenting
We must not however simply feel the weight of the word responsibility. We cannot simply treat this as a duty that good parents perform. Rather we must see our role as parents through a Trinitarian perspective … embracing the role of the Trinity in our parenting.
When we view parenting this way, we will remember that in everything we are to glorify God. Our responsibilities as parents are not boxes to be checked but are opportunities to make much of our heavenly Father. Opportunities to honor Him!
Then, as we seek to parent in ways which glorify God, we will remember that He has shown us an unwarranted favor by making us His children through Jesus Christ. We will not seek his approval through our parenting prowess but will delight and treasure and cling to Christ alone! Don’t just embrace the responsibility. Instead, we must daily embrace Jesus!
As we live in light of this precious reality of our position as sons and daughters of God we will not live based on our strength to be “Pinterest-perfect-parents.” Instead, we will live in dependence on the Holy Spirit of God which dwells in us. Daily we must embrace walking in the Spirit.
Is this your view of parenting? How does this view change the way you are currently parenting?
Embrace the Long View
Along with a Trinitarian perspective towards parenting, we must also embrace the long view of parenting our children. Just as we are still a work in progress, so are our children. Day after day, month after month, year after year, we have opportunities to pour into their lives. We can’t do it all in one sitting. We cannot also expect them to “grasp life” through a quick microwave session of learning. Rather we must have a long view and persevere in our parenting through the ups and downs of life. Then we can approach each day as a new opportunity to make disciples of our children.
Embracing the long view will also help us to not become defeated in our parenting. The long view helps us remember the ongoing nature of parenting and the development of our children. The long view helps us to work diligently now but not expecting to get results that take years to develop.
Do you have a long view of parenting? What needs to change?
Embrace the Body of Christ
Being a parent is a huge responsibility that demands a lot of us. We can often feel ill-equipped and worn down from all the pressures of raising children. Don’t walk the parenthood-path alone! Embrace living in community with the body of Christ. Don’t forsake gathering with other followers of Christ! Many of them are in your shoes right now. Others have already gone before you and are wells from which to draw wisdom. Some are behind you and need your encouragement to press on!
God designed us from the beginning to live in community with one another. Let us embrace the body of Christ as we seek to spread the fame of God in our homes and make disciples of our children.
Are you actively part of the body of Christ? How?
Being a parent is a wonderful responsibility. God has blessed us with the gift of precious lives to care for, nurture, and shape. As we diligently train them, teach them, and point them to Christ, let us not forget to enjoy all the little moments with them. Let us embrace every moment with our children and cherish them … each and every God-given moment.