A Few Thoughts From A New Parent

I’ve been reading a lot of parenting-type books over the past three weeks. Partially because of the Legacy series we’re teaching at The Crossing for Crossing Kids’ and Student Ministries parents and partially because I have an almost 4-month old at home. So I’ve had parenting on the brain.

With that in mind here are a few quotes I’ve read this week from several different sources which I’ve found encouraging and challenging as I begin learning how to parent.

After a parent told this author that his kids didn’t need a whole lot more involvement from him because God would save them based upon election. “It doesn’t matter what I do,” the parent said.

“Yes, God is sovereign. But there is a parallel truth: God uses means. God gives children parents to draw them to himself. He can use other means, but he prefers parents.” – William Farley, Gospel-Powered Parenting

On helping kids fight the sins of the world:

“A man who owns an Acura is not interested in a Geo Metro. In the same way, Christian parents try to make Christ and his kingdom glorious. Their children conquer the lusts of this world with a higher passion: the moral beauty of Christ.” – Farley

This quote is very similar to John Piper’s teaching and writing on finding superior pleasure in God as the defining blow to the desire to sin. It’s also similar to C.S. Lewis’ argument that we fool around with all kinds of sins not realizing that what God has to offer is far more glorious. “We are far too easily pleased.” Parents who practice this type of tactic towards sin in their own lives will see it filter down to their kids.

On forming a child’s heart to love the Lord above all else:

“As a parent, I am quick to pick up the yardstick that culture hands me and measure success for my children by a superficial standard. Over time I start thinking the most important thing is for them to attend the right college and find the right career…marry the right partners, live in the right neighborhoods…these things are all important; it’s just that they are not what’s most important.” – Reggie Joiner, Think Orange

On why explaining the reasons for the rules you give isn’t as powerful as simply having built up a relationship with your child that they can trust:

“Most parents buy into the myth that what is most important is to pass down the reasons for the rules. If they simply explain why they have the rule, it will result in a different response and behavior from their children, right?…The problem with reasons is that you can debate them; you can’t debate a trusted relationship. Unfortunately, some of us parents are better skilled at fighting to win the argument than we are at fighting to win the heart.” – Joiner

On the need for humility in the parent’s life, a humility that is open and visible to their kids:

“One of the most powerful things that children can see is God at work in the lives of their parents, but they can’t see who their parents are becoming if they never see who they were in the first place.” – Joiner

And finally a quote from Paul Tripp, who was at The Crossing just a few months ago. This came in a sermon he preached.

“When my teen doesn’t tend to seek wisdom my job is to make wisdom beautiful. My job is to sell to my child that which he is not seeking.”

May we all, parents or not, make the wisdom of God beautiful with our lives. “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

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