Parenthood in the Local Church2
When my husband and I first came to understand Reformed Theology, we were in what I call our “Little Years.” My oldest son was a year old, I was pregnant with our second, and a couple years later I would have our third. I’m grateful for God’s timing in this, because as my husband and I were growing in our theology and knowledge of God, our children were too little to understand all of the trial and error in how we applied this to our parenting. We understood that the gospel changes everything. We understood that the gospel should be applied to our discipline, to our meal times, to our bed times, to our play times, indeed to all of our time (Deut. 6:7). But what exactly was that supposed to look like? To that, we had no idea.
With the help of many resources such as books, church, small groups, conversations with those who were older and had gone before us as well as those who were discovering along with us, our Christian worldview started to shift and we began to understand (albeit never perfectly and always reforming even still today) how to share this with our children. The conversations at first were awkward. Very awkward. But through practice and persistence and much prayer, the conversations flow more naturally now, and as a bonus, our gospel conversations with adults have become more natural as well.
There is no “One Way” to share the gospel with our children. There is no “One Way” to teach our children diligently. Families, children, are unique and distinct in the way God has created them. We are many members of one body (1 Corinthians 12). But what is commanded for us all is that we ARE to teach our children all God has commanded and to talk of these things not once or twice a week or just on Sundays, but diligently (Deut 6:7). The Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines “diligently” as this: “With steady application and care; with industry or assiduity; not carelessly; not negligently.” This is a constant, careful, purposeful application and teaching of God’s truths to our children.
Before you throw this out as a series only for moms and dads, let me suggest that Deuteronomy 6 is not just for parents. Hebrews 10:23-25 says: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” This verse is to ALL of God’s people. The same way a parent can speak truth and encouragement to a college student or the elderly, the college student or elderly can speak truth and encouragement to a parent. We are to stir up fellow brothers and sisters who are parents to love and good works, even if we are not parents ourselves. We are to stir our children up to love and good works, even if they are not our own. We are a covenant community of believers, and this command is for us all: consider how to stir your fellow brethren in love and good works. This series may not be applicable to your own particular circumstances, but God can certainly use it in your life to encourage your fellow brother or sister (parent or child)!
Without those resources I mentioned above, my husband and I would not have had the faintest idea of where to start with any of this, and so God has placed it upon my heart to catalog some of the things we and other parents have learned along the way, to share with others what others have taught us, in an effort to continue to pass the Gospel onto future generations. I pray God will bless you, and His future generations, with this series!
- What IS the Gospel? And how do I teach it to my children?
- Family Worship
- Circle Time
- The Gospel in Discipline and Training
- Encouragement - Patience and Persistence
- Resources/Book List
More in The Well Blog
September 2, 2019Christian Hedonism in Church History
August 28, 2019Parenthood in the Local Church: Part 5, Discipline
August 19, 2019Parenthood in the Local Church: Part 4, Catechism