On Sunday, the team responsible for our weekly children’s ministries gathered for a BBQ and celebration of God’s goodness over the past year. As part of our time together, we discussed some quotes from Samuel Williamson’s book, “Is Sunday School Destroying Our Kids? How Moralism Suffocates Grace.” For those of you with children at Grace, don’t worry: our Sunday School isn’t destroying them! But Williamson argues that when we get Sunday School wrong – and it’s easy to do – it has the potential to destroy our children’s faith. Let me explain why.
I'm on vacation this week, but while I'm off I wanted to pass along an article that I originally wrote back in the fall of 2015 on lessons God has taught me about parenting.
On Sunday we had a time of dedication. The parents dedicated themselves before God and the church family to train and love their baby and seek her salvation. And we dedicated ourselves before God to love and support their family in their commitments. For me it was an opportunity to think on some of the lessons God has taught me about parenting.
The challenge of parenting takes most parents by surprise. We get used to the diapers and the late nights. We adjust to the new financial implications and the reordering of our schedules. But there’s nothing more difficult than the first time we come face-to-face with a child’s defiance. The battles come from any number of issues: when to wake up, when to go to sleep, what to eat, what to wear, where to sit, how to act. In Ephesians 6, Paul writes, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right,” and then he quotes the fifth commandment with the promise, “that it may go well with you.” This confirms what we instinctively sense, but goes against the idea that self-expression is what a child most needs. Regardless of what some may think, rejecting a parent’s authority isn’t a natural part of a child’s path toward healthy independence. But how can a parent help?
On Sunday, we hosted the second in our two-part parenting seminar with Paul Tripp. He helped us deal with what he felt was the biggest weakness in Christian parenting – dealing with the surface rather than the substance. He said that he often hears from parents about children who have gone off to university and leave the faith. Often, he felt, they hadn’t left the faith at all. What had happened was that children with a veneer of Christianity had stepped out from under their parents’ tight control and demonstrated that their faith really didn’t go beyond mere parental compliance. This, he sees, is the common product of parenting that aims to regulate behaviour without reaching the heart. Let me explain.
Two weeks ago, we hosted the first of a two-part parenting seminar with Paul David Tripp. It differed from many talks and books on parenting in that it wasn’t particularly prescriptive. While it was incredibly practical, it didn’t aim to give a list of tips: “In this situation, do this.” Instead, it gave a holistic mindset for parenting by which parenting strategies can be better evaluated and incorporated. It helped parents lost in the trees, catch a glimpse of the forest. Three highlights stand out.
On Sunday October 15 and 29 from 2 to 5 pm (not October 14 as announced earlier), Grace Baptist Church is hosting a 2-part parenting live stream seminar with Paul David Tripp.. I hope you'll make time for this important opportunity. In order to introduce the speaker, today's post features him again as a guest contributor, introducing the principles of his book. In our parenting seminar, he'll be covering the first four topics.
On Sunday October 14 and 29 from 2 to 5 pm, Grace Baptist Church is hosting a 2-part parenting live stream seminar with Paul David Tripp.. I hope you'll make time for this important opportunity.. In order to introduce the speaker, today's post features him as a guest contributor..
In 1997, I wrote my first book, Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens. I felt God calling me to write more books, but I was equally as persuaded that Age of Opportunity would be my only one on the topic of parenting. But for the past two decades, as I saw how people were using that book (and my brother Tedd’s book Shepherding a Child's Heart), I grew increasingly uncomfortable. Something was missing in the way these parents were interpreting and applying the strategies detailed in the pages of our books. It took me a while to figure out what was off. Then it hit me: the missing piece was the gospel. It sounds obvious, almost cliché, but it’s more significant in our lives than we realize.
Last time I talked about the importance of learning Proverbs with your children. I love the way they minister to the whole family and shift the dynamic of parenting from just a parent trying to pass along his or her way of doing things to, instead, a parent modeling and coaching a child in a life committed to God and His wisdom. The problem remains though: how do you teach them? Because there are thirty-one chapters, many advocate reading a chapter for every day of the month. There’s probably value in that practice, but with younger children, I’m convinced that less is more. Our family typically focused on one new proverb at a time and reviewed no more than five others. Let me share a few of the things that helped us.
Over the years, we have done many different things for family devotions. But learning verses from the Book of Proverbs has been a highlight. I think Proverbs has had the biggest impact of any book of the Bible in helping my parenting and shaping our family’s character. While I’ve begun preaching through the book of Proverbs in the new series, Ancient Wisdom, I’d also like to share a series of articles on why and how to learn Proverbs with your kids.
One of my summer projects is a review of first year Greek in preparation for a second year Greek course I need to take in the fall. The problem with the ‘review’ is that the first time I studied Greek was close to twenty years ago and so it pretty much feels like I’m starting from scratch. The textbook I’m using was written by John Gresham Machen, the founder of Westminster Seminary, and originally published in 1923. Reading about Machen’s life recently, I was moved by the profound impact that his mother had on him, and the crucial parenting principles she embodies.