Tags: Biblical Parenting, Biblical parents, Christian parenting, Christian parents, Deuteronomy 6, God's supremacy, Kingdom of God, Luke 2, Psalm 78
God’s kingdom will never merge with this world’s kingdom. God’s kingdom is already far greater than any kingdom of this world, and God’s kingdom will one day overcome this world in a very visible way. As Christian parents we want our children to start, from as young an age as possible, thinking more about God’s kingdom than this world’s kingdom.
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
“In thine house” means during casual times of conversation, including play and relaxation, but also during formal times of family worship. “By the way” means outdoors, but also in social settings and commercial transactions. “When thou liest down” means a review of the day’s activities, events, and lessons, including the expressing of gratitude and confession of sins. “When thou risest up” means prioritizing God (demonstrating our conviction of His supremacy), in addition to consciously consecrating our bodies and that day’s planned activities to Him.
Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.
Psalm 78:1-4 (emphasis on Verse 4)
We should glean spiritual truths from redemptive history and use them as teaching tools for our children.
Furthermore, we need to be training our children to grow mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially.
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
Notice the order: God and then man. Here are some areas and activities where we can talk to our chldren, and teach them about the importance of that order:
I. Look for examples in nature and daily life
II. Talk about what happened in church
C. Lord’s Supper
III. Rehearse history lessons with them
A. The history recorded in the Bible (redemptive history)
B. Church history
C. Personal history
1. Your ancestors’ personal histories
2. Your own personal history
3. Their personal history
Tags: Bible catechism, Catechism, children's Bible studies, children's Bible study, children's catechism, Christian parenting, parenting, rote memorization, tests
Most children don’t like to answer lists of questions because it will seem to them as if they are being given a “test.” However, the purpose of this catechism is not to simply drill your children on their rote memorization chores (although rote memorization is a good teaching/learning technique). The real purpose of it is to engage your children in discussions about what the Bible teaches, how it addresses all of life’s biggest questions, and to utterly convince them of the absolute supremacy of God.
Children’s Bible Catechism
Question 1: Who made you?
Answer: God made me.
Question 2: Who made everything else?
Answer: God made everything.
Question 3: Why did God make everything?
Answer: For His Own glory.
Question 4: How was everything when God created it?
Answer: It was very good.
Question 5: What went wrong with everything God created?
Answer: Sin brought the curse of death into the world.
Question 6: What is wrong with you?
Answer: I was born a sinner, and I have sinned against God.
Question 7: What is sin?
Answer: Sin is violating God’s law.
I John 3:4
Question 8: What is the punishment for sin?
Answer: The punishment for sin is death.
Question 9: Since you are a sinner, how does God feel about you?
Answer: Even though I am a sinner, God loves me.
Question 10: Who is the Author of the Bible?
Answer: God the Holy Spirit is the Author of the Bible.
II Timothy 3:16
Question 11: How did the Holy Spirit write the Bible?
Answer: He wrote the Bible by using people.
II Peter 1:21
Question 12: Can the Bible ever be wrong?
Answer: No, the Bible is the Word of God, and God cannot lie.
Question 13: Why can’t you see God?
Answer: God is too holy for me to see Him and live.
Question 14: What has God done for you so you can have eternal life?
Answer: He sent his Son.
Question 15: What did Jesus do while He was here on earth?
Answer: He lived a perfect, sinless life.
Question 16: How was Jesus treated here on earth?
Answer: He was hated, rejected, and falsely accused.
Question 17: How did Jesus die?
Answer: He was crucified.
Question 18: What happened to Jesus after He died?
Answer: He was buried and then rose again on the third day.
Question 19: Where is Jesus now?
Answer: He is in Heaven with God the Father.
Question 20: Why did Jesus do these things?
Answer: So God can forgive me for my sins.
II Corinthians 5:21
Question 21: When did God forgive you for your sins and give you eternal life?
Answer: When I believed on Jesus and called on Him to save me.
Question 22: How will you live for Jesus?
Answer: By loving Him and doing what He says.
Tags: 1 Corinthians 10, 2 Corinthians 12, All in All, Biblical Parenting, Christian parenting, God's supremacy, parenting, Psalm 119, Psalm 27, Psalm 73
As Christian parents we should want the children that God has entrusted into our care to be utterly convinced of the absolute supremacy of God. And, although it may be hard for us to accept, the lesson that God is absolutely supreme may have to be learned in times of trial, struggle, darkness, and even affliction. Remember, we are raising these kids for Him, and, having entrusted them to us, He wants US to trust Him with them.
It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.
We must bring the Scriptures to bear in our parenting, and we must confront our children with the Scriptures in times of suffering and despair. Learning God’s “statutes” (principles and precepts) will assist us in teaching them to find comfort in Him. They are just as important as a rod of correction in discipline, and more so in times of affliction that already involve pain, because we do not wish to inflict additional pain where pain has already been inflicted from above or allowed by God through circumstances.
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
II Corinthians 12:7-10
Let us not, as parents, exhaust all our prayers on deliverance. Let us reserve some for the recognition – and acceptance – of humbling thorns in the flesh. And let us teach our children to pray through them, and recognize God’s strength supplanting their own perceived strength.
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
I Corinthians 10:31
We should think of this well-known verse as a reminder to try to utterly convince our children of the absolute supremacy of God, but, in its context, it is not so much a verse of victory as it is a statement of defiance by the Apostle in the midst of persecution. People were speaking evil of him and his teaching, and, rather than worrying about safeguarding or defending his reputation, he was concerned with God’s glory. For our children, the “whatsoever ye do” would include getting picked on and made fun of, as much as it would include a scraped knee, a lost purse, or the disappointment of not being invited to a best friend’s birthday party. There is no conviction of God’s absolute supremacy when we see Him only as supremely in charge of granting our favorite blessings.
Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.
This is a general and true statement. No created being will make a good “God.” But it is also a desperate realization. Our children must learn to think Biblically. They must not see God as all they need (although He is), or even as all they want (although that would be great). They must see Him as all that they have. In a world of vanity, deceit, hypocrisy, anarchy, uncertainty, and unpredictability, God is the God of Heaven (eternity, the sweet by and by), but He is also of God of all the Earth (the nasty now and now). He’s the God of our church, our home, our car, our refrigerator, our little league team, our vacation, and our toy box. I’m no longer talking about just looking for illustrations or spiritual lessons; I’m talking about seeing God as supreme – both better than anything AND above anything AND truly our All-in-All.
One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.
God is so holy that no man can see Him and live. However, if we are doing our job as parents, our children should have a burning desire to see God – to “behold His beauty” – to “enquire” of Him and ask Him otherwise unanswerable questions. In teaching and preaching the Gospel to your children, tell them that God DOES want them to see Him – and look what great lengths He has gone to, to make it happen!
Tags: Biblical Parenting, Christian parenting, Ephesians 1, Gospel parenting, John 18, Matthew 11, parenting, parenting categories, Prophet Priest and King
Previously we have seen some of the problems with popular, pecuniary, and petulant parenting. The most Biblical, and therefore best, model for parenting is to parent in such a way that we are, as parents, showing our children a good example of the love of God and the fear of God. We do this by emulating our perfect paragon, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Many of His attributes are strictly divine and are incommunicable to us. However, as to His communicable attributes, parents, as authority figures over the children He has entrusted to our care, have a serious responsibility to portray them accurately and faithfully in our parenting. We are, in a sense, God’s ambassadors to our children.
Christ has a three-fold mediatorial office: Prophet, Priest, and King. As parental “prophets,” we must teach our children this truth:
All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
Christ revealed God to men. Parents are to reveal Christ, and God in Christ, to their children.
As parental “priests,” parents must intercede for their children.
We can not atone for the sins of our children, and we are certainly not their eternal saviors! However, just as Christ interceded before God the Father for us, we should intercede before our Heavenly Father on behalf of our children, seeking to bring them into a right relationship with Him in Christ, and praying for them diligently.
As parental “kings,” parents must rule their children.
Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
John 18:33-37 (emphasis added)
Jesus did not deny being a king. He was the King of the True Kingdom. As Christian parents, we are united to Christ, the greatest King. Good kings do not only rule by force. They rule by love. They protect their subjects. They even serve their own subjects. We must exercise our God-given authority over our children toward the end that they will be united to Christ through our ministry and united to God through His.
Tags: Biblical Parenting, Christian parenting, parenting, Proverbs 6, Titus 1
Previously we looked at some of the problems with parents who surrender their God-given authority in order to try to be more popular with their kids. Then we looked at the danger of bribery as a parenting strategy. Now we see that petulant parents make parenting decisions based their feelings, emotions, or moods.
One of the biggest problems with this type of parenting strategy is that it teaches kids that there are good times and bad times to ask for attention from parents. In other words, it teaches the art of manipulation and the sin of scheming.
Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.
These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
Our children come into this world as fallen sinners, so, while their “purity” is a relative purity, we still, as Christian parents, need to do our best to protect it. The last thing we want to do is coach them in the ways of wicked imagination and mischief.
It can be a daunting and even exhausting task to bring our emotions into check when dealing with our children, and to refrain from responding to their (somewhat excusable) petulance with our own moodiness, but we must spend the time and the effort to do it.
For good or ill, our children, especially when they are very young, will form some of their ideas about God’s character from the way we exercise His ordained authority over them ourselves. When we are cruel or impatient or short with them because we are angry or preoccupied – or when we are too lenient or flattering when we happen to be in a cheery mood – we are accidentally forming in our children’s minds an inaccurate and dangerous picture of God. God is certainly not moody when dealing with us.
Furthermore, allowing our parenting interactions with our kids to be governed by petulance ingrains a defeatist attitude in them concerning prayer. They will be apt to think, “Why should I pray when God might not want to hear me?” Or, “I’ll wait to pray until my obedience makes Him favorably disposed towards me,” as though God could be bribed.
The bottom line is that petulant parents are idolatrous. They are ruled by feelings rather than by Scripture and its Author.
Tags: 1 Timothy 6, Biblical Parenting, bribery, Christian parenting, greed, materialism, Matthew 6, parenting, Philippians 4, spoiled children
In a previous lesson I critiqued the style of parenting in which parents make decisions concerning their children based on the popularity of the decisions. Getting input from our children, and listening closely to what they have to say, is certainly wise, but we recognize that our authority as parents comes from an authority higher than our children, and even higher than us.
Another parenting category may be called “monetary parents.” These parents tend to try to buy their children’s obedience, respect, or even love. The common parlance for this method is called “spoiling” your children. This is sometimes triggered by feelings left over from our own childhood that perhaps our parents were not as generous with us as we would have liked them to be. It helps to remember, as a counter to this temptation, that materialism breeds its own set of problems. Remember, your children are not an outlet for any lingering childhood resentments of your own, and you are not commanded in the Word of God (although you might be by society or pop culture) to give your children “all the things you never had.” Using bribery as a replacement for training, nurture, discipleship, and discipline is a recipe for rearing greedy, covetous kids.
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
I Timothy 6:10
It is not wrong to give treats to our kids, and special presents from time to time, but it is wrong to rob them of the spiritual and practical disciplines of self-control and wise stewardship. Some of the poorest families I know are really the richest.
Next time, we will take a look at a third parenting category.
Tags: 1 Corinthians 6, addiction, Biblical Parenting, Christian parenting, Christian parents, Ephesians 6, Exodus 20, idolatry, parenting, Proverbs 23
Don’t be an abusive parent. The goal of parenting is to train up disciples of Christ by trying to utterly convince the children that God has placed into our trust of His absolute supremacy, as we nurture them and teach them His Word. This lofty goal involves corporal discipline, but discipline is not punishment, and it is certainly not abuse. A parent who sinfully – whether physically or mentally – injures a child out of spite or loss of control is attacking God Himself, and this is a dangerous prospect to say the least.
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Don’t be an angry parent. As Christian parents, we ourselves are the children of our Heavenly Father. He is angry with the wicked every day, but He is not angry at His Own children.
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Our job is to prevent our children from feeling and practicing the sort of sinful wrath that God hates to see in His creatures.
Don’t be an absent parent.
My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.
We have to be present if our children are going to observe our ways. Too many parents spend so much time working that they rarely see their children, leaving them in the care of nurseries, daycare facilities, nannies, babysitters, and school systems. This is not God’s plan for child-rearing. Dads, especially, however, are even prone to being absent-while-present. Tuning in to a ball game on television and ignoring the kids elsewhere in the house (or right there in the room!), going hunting, fishing, golfing, remodeling old cars out in the garage, are all ways in which fathers unwind from the stress of their occupations while forgetting the important principle of being actively present in their children’s lives during crucial formative years.
Don’t be an addicted parent (unless it is an addiction to ministry that includes ministering along with your children!) Addictions to sinful activities – and addictions that are sinful not because of the object of the addiction, but because of the time, energy, money, and affection given to it – are closely akin to idolatry.
All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
I Corinthians 6:12
Our children will not be utterly convinced of the absolute supremacy of the true God if we worship multiple gods.
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
In a pagan land like America today, the failure of Christian parents to transfer a belief in the One True God will lead to the destruction of society and to the loss of God’s blessings on His people.
Tags: Christian parenting, commentary on Matthew, embarrassment, Jesus Christ, Nazareth, Romans 8:29, Sunday School lessons on Matthew, the Gospel
In the book of Matthew, as we study the beginning of Christ’s life on Earth, we learn that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, was taken to Egypt for His protection, and actually grew up in Nazareth. He was sometimes called “Jesus of Nazareth.”
Nazareth was a disreputable place, and must have seemed hardly a fit background for the King of Kings. However, it may be that Jesus’s childhood home was one of the things that prepared Him for a life of humility.
God’s desire for Christians is that they actually be conformed to the image of His Son. Are we keeping this in mind in our prayers for our children today? If we are praying in God’s will that they be conformed to the image of Christ, then we may be seeing those prayers answered when our children experience rejection, pain, or humiliation from their peers. Parents may grieve over this, but, really, it should bring us joy.
After all, will a child who has never experienced the “embarrassment” of dressing modestly in carnal world, or who has never expressed disapproval over the foul language of his classmates, ever have the nerve to stand up in public and proclaim Christ, or the courage to knock on a stranger’s door and share the Gospel?
Tags: anniversaries, blogging, Christian parenting, fatherhood, parental responsiblities, parenting principles, parents, parents and children
Four years ago today, with some trepidation and with my wife doing all the technical stuff, I posted my first entry on The Deep End. I thank the Lord for granting me the consistency to keep posting, and for the ways He has blessed it and used it.
Four years old is about the time when children start to accumulate lasting memories, so if I think of The Deep End as a four-year-old kid, then I pray that this will be a year of memorable impact. As a parent of actual children, I am a steward or a manager over them, and they really “belong” to God. I feel the same way about this blog. It belongs to God and He allows me to manage it.
As a parent, I have certainly had my share of ups and downs, and, frankly, it is one of my weakest spiritual areas. This initially made me reluctant to teach or post about parenting. I once heard a preacher say that, while we might prefer to teach about our strengths, it is not valid to withhold Biblical instruction in areas where we have experienced failure. After all, he said, I’m going to have to preach about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, although I’ve certainly never been crucified myself!
So, in honor of this anniversary, here are the links to previous posts under the category called “Biblical Parenting:”
1. Spending Your Retirement on Your Children
2. Naming Neighbors
3. Like Father, Like Child
4. What to Be for Your Kids
5. What to Do for Your Kids
6. What to Buy for Your Kids
7. Chuck E. Church *
8. This Big Light of Mine
9. The Know-It-Alls that Don’t Know Much
10. Don’t Let Distraction Lead to Division
11. The Raptor and the Captor
12. Hijacked Hearts
13. The Unbiblical Concept of “Teenagers”
14. A Snapshot of the Lord’s Adolescence
15. Pavlov’s Kids
16. Boys Will Be Boys, but Boys Should Want to Be Men
17. The Dangers of Fatherhood
18. The Early Bird Gets to Wait
19. Show and Tell
20. Fathers and Daughters
21. The Stones of Curiosity
22. The New Girl Arrives
23. How Many Sermons about Purity Do Boys Need to Hear?
24. Christ’s Childhood Preparation
25. When Is It Good to be Proud? (Spoiler Alert: Never)
26. Don’t be an Abusive, Angry, Absent, or Addicted Parent
27. The Problem with Popular Parenting (Genesis 21:1-11; Ephesians 6:1)
28. The Problem with Pecuniary Parenting
29. The Problem with Petulant Parenting
30. The Propriety of Paragonal Parenting
31. A Child’s View of God’s Supremacy
32. Children’s Bible Catechism
33. Kingdom Teaching for Children
* most-read post in category