Parenting

Angry Dad or Loving Father

Angry Dad or Loving Father

Your view of God will determine what type of parent you are.

For those who view God as an angry tyrant & judge visiting wrathful vengeance on all who cross him, you will mirror that image. Your parenting will be demanding & unmerciful. You will be self-righteous because you believe yourself to measure up to God’s laws...

On the days that you’re a “good parent” (i.e. you make a delicious breakfast with fruit, organic cage-free eggs, whole grain sprouted wheat toast, send them joyfully to school, do their laundry with a song in your heart, help them with homework without once raising your voice, & send them to bed after a full 30 minutes of family worship), you’ll find confidence & wonder why your kids are not doing what they should. Your impatience for their sin will smother them. You’ll think about how you do what you are supposed to do, so why can’t they? You’ll expect God to save your kids. You’ll operate under a covenant of works…

...On the days that you don’t measure up & you’re a “bad parent” (i.e. you yell at them to eat cereal, you make them walk home because you don’t want to drive the 5 minutes to get them, & when you try to do homework, you end up yelling at them & sending them to bed early), you’ll be depressed & think God made a mistake in even giving you kids. You’ll feel guilty for your sin & you’ll make your kids feel guilty for theirs. Depression & pessimism will characterize your relationship with your kids.

...If you believe God to be merciful, patient & steadfast you’ll enjoy a peace.

You’ll be aware that you & your children are sinners, but that Jesus is a friend of sinners. You’ll be able to freely confess your sin to your children, you won’t feel like you’re letting them win because you had to admit to wrong. You’ll see, with hope, how God is strong enough to even use your sin to make his grace look glorious. You’ll know that his unconditional love is for you on the days that you’re a bad parent & the days that you’re a good parent. You’ll not be surprised at your children’s sin because you’ll believe the truth that Paul proclaimed, ‘Christ came for sinners, which I am the worst.


But Mommy, Why?

But Mommy, Why?

“We’ve all been there. We’ve all given our children instructions, they’ve asked why, and we’ve responded with neither grace nor eloquence, ‘Because I said so!’

We’re tired, exasperated, and in search of a quick fix.

But if time paused and we were given a moment to really think about the answer to their question of why, what would we come up with? Why do we want them to do what we’ve asked them to do? What are the motives behind our commands? What’s driving us?

In the Bible, Paul answers the question why over and over. In every letter he wrote to the early churches, he didn’t merely give them instructions for godly living and say, “Because I said so!” He gave them—and us—a foundation, a motivation, a robust reason for doing what God asks us to do.

When we read Colossians, we can almost hear Paul’s words getting faster and faster, culminating in a crescendo of praise. And then he says, ‘Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.’

The praise comes first, then the pivot, and then the instruction for godly living. This order is crucial.

First, we understand the nature and character of our God. We remember his goodness and kindness to us. We recall how he gave himself over to us. We acknowledge that we were in darkness before him and he brought us into the kingdom of light. We say out loud that he’s a gift we do not deserve.

Then, after those rehearsals and proclamations, we set out to obey our good God. It’s from a heart full of remembrance and praise, which is how we received Christ Jesus the Lord, that we walk in him.

First we remember the gospel, and then we walk in it.

Christian parenting is discipleship. As Christian moms, we want our homes, our language, our actions, our thoughts to be distinctly Christian. So our answer to why must have the substance of our Savior.

May they  bear the aroma of Christ.

It was his grace that saved us. May it also be his grace that propels us. God’s grace is the answer to why.”

When Trials and Tears Become Opportunities

When Trials and Tears Become Opportunities

The fear in the room was palpable.

I had just spoken to a group of moms and girls on the primary topic of social media under a gospel-centered framework, and I was left to field questions from the moms. But you know how one person’s anxiety can get a whole group riled up? That’s what happened.

But I get it. Raising kids in today’s culture is hard. Especially raising kids who love the Lord. .

However, it is far from hopeless.

I can recall one trial in particular I would not want to relive, but I would also not undo the good that came from it. When my daughter was in high school she battled an eating disorder, a struggle that stemmed largely from how she saw herself compared to others. Social media was the primary avenue for the comparison (thus the reason for my talk to those fear-filled mothers), but not the heart of the problem.

Had life as her mom remained problem-free, I would have never believed that—deep down—the notion I really held to was that God is good as long as he works according to my plan, my way, my timetable.

I was forced to face my idols of control, comfort, and ease.

It’s never easy to see our sin, but seeing our sin is good because until we do, we don’t know how much we need a Savior. So with the struggle, pain, and worry also came the opportunity to grow in my own need of grace and dependence on God for all things.

So those things we fear and try at all costs to avoid, I get. No parent wants to wade through difficult issues with their kids. But sometimes the unavoidable things are God’s grace to us and our child.

Sometimes they are the very things he uses to draw us more to himself, and lead us to greater compassion and grace for others.