Believing the Gospel is the Most Important Thing I Can Do Today as a Parent

21 Feb

What difference should believing that I am accepted by God and adopted into His family solely because of the work of Jesus Christ make on the way I parent today?

1. It should keep me from obsessing about being a good parent and having perfect children.

I obviously need to think long and hard about how to be a good father to my children and I obviously do long that they will learn to walk with God and honor Him with their lives. Any one that doesn’t think about that stuff needs to go back and think about the amazing stewardship opportunity God has given them in gifting them children. But there’s a difference between thinking about that and wanting it and obsessing about it and finding your identity in it.

When we are not finding our righteousness and approval in Christ and enjoying the fact that we are accepted because of what He has done, we try to find our righteousness and approval somewhere else, like having the perfect children or being the perfect parent, which is fine to want I suppose, but when you put a goal, even a good goal like that in the place of Christ, it falls apart.

Have you ever been around a parent like that? I get stressed out and I am not even their child. Kids can’t handle being your god or your righteousness or your identity, they are just kids. Let them be what they are, really special, precious HUMAN BEINGS, who are desperately needy for the grace of God, just like you!

2. It should keep me from self-righteous parenting.

If I really am convinced today that I am accepted only because of what Jesus has done, that I am a hell deserving sinner whose only hope is grace, then I am going to have to show that kind of grace to my children. I am not going to stand up on my holy little platform way above my children and act as if obedience were always easy for me, I am not going to talk or think like I always get everything right the first time I do it, I am going to learn to be patient with them and forgiving of them the way that God has forgiven me. You can parent from way up above your children or you can learn to come alongside of them. Coming alongside doesn’t mean that you start acting like you are a child as well, but it definitely means that your children know that you know what it is like to struggle with sin and with failure and that your children know that you know your only hope is Christ.

3. It should give me confidence that even if things aren’t going the way I like it with my children at this moment, that God is at work for my good, and knowing that should keep me from overreacting and freaking out and making difficult parenting situations worse.

If God loves me enough to crucify His own Son that I might be part of His family, then I can be absolutely sure, He really loves me right now, today, in this moment. That means, He is working for my good and He’s even using this crying, stubborn child or this rebellious teenager to help accomplish that good and to bring Himself glory. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a responsibility to act in this moment, that I just put my hands behind my head and sit back and turn on the t.v. and let happen what happens, but it does mean that as I act and respond to the sin I see in my family, I must not start acting and responding like the situation is completely out of control and that nothing good can ever come out of it. That would be a lie. God is in control and He is able to use even real sins to accomplish His great plan and I know that His great plan has to do with Him being glorified and me experiencing His love and that in this moment with this child, He is doing just that.

4. It should produce a joy that keeps popping out and spilling all over my children and everyone else in my family.

Yeah, I might have just gotten a flat tire. But I am going to live forever. My body is going to come flying up out of the ground and be transformed into a resurrected body that is so glorious even the angels are going to be amazed. Oh yeah, I might have a difficult boss. But there’s a day coming in the future when I am going to stand before the Creator of the Universe and He is going to look at my life and say, holy, blameless, and above reproach.

What a difference it would make in our families if the things we say we believe at church, we believed in our homes. Yeah life is hard and painful and all that, but God loves us and is for us and is present in our lives and is working and will work and has plans for us that include showering His grace upon us forever and really believing that has got to produce a deep, abiding joy which will impact and influence everyone around us. I mean, have you ever been around someone who has that solid joy – not someone who is just superficially happy about a new iphone or something, but someone with that inexpressible joy that comes from knowing and being convinced of gospel truths, those kind of people are the kind of people that change your life forever.

2 Responses to “Believing the Gospel is the Most Important Thing I Can Do Today as a Parent”

  1. Tommie February 21, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    Thank you Joash like always you give the Gospel feet in my day to day life.

  2. nate February 22, 2012 at 1:45 am #

    re: #4 – yeah, Josh, but what about *TWO* flat tires?? 😉 love it brother, even for us single, “unchildrened” folks this is so very helpful and profound. love you guys ten much.

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