Parenting for Joy in the New Year

Back in October I began this weekly series for me (and you) with this thought:

This is the first of what I hope will be a weekly article designed to promote biblical parenting on purpose, with the intention of fostering delight in God in our lives and in our children. I hope to write or link to good teaching, challenging thoughts, or other items to strengthen and encourage us as parents.

As we get back into this series, after writing advent devotionals in December, I want to give you and me a challenging thought, a great quote, and a good link. I read a lot of stuff from Bethlehem Baptist and Desiring God, the ministry of John Piper.  In fact I attended the church a few times while in college. David Michael, their Pastor for Parenting and Family Discipleship, says this in his Vision for Ministry to Children and their Parents,

Adults will only be effective teachers if these words are “on their heart.” [Deuteronomy 6:6]  If these words are on their heart, adults will be able to teach their children in every situation of life, whether they are sitting, walking, or lying down.  This point is utterly crucial.  What parents end up teaching children is what they (parents) treasure and love.  If If they love God with all their hearts, they will seek to instill that love in their children in every situation which arises.  Therefore, the most important thing the church can do for children is to trumpet a vision of God and nurture adults in the wisdom of the Scriptures.

That is my great desire and passion for you who attend Cow Creek (and for those who do not).  I want to, and I desire that you, see and know and understand how big our God truly is, so that it will naturally flow from my heart and yours to our children.  Wherever you attend church, but specifically if you attend Cow Creek, I want to encourage you to be involved in every way that you can in what the church is doing to help you grow that desire in your heart.

Do you attend another learning opportunity at your church other than Sunday morning worship? If not, why not? I know sleep schedules, feeding, and all those things related to young kids, but for us as a Pastor’s family it was never an option to be at church for all of Sunday morning.  We made it work. Laurel and the kids were not always there when they were young (they are not always there now), but it was a priority for them to learn and for us to learn more of God on Sunday mornings.  Finding baby sitters, carting them to other people’s homes for small groups was a hassle at times, but it was worth it for us and for them.  Every child has to learn to be with other people than you.  And every parent, including me, has to learn to entrust them to others, even when the kids don’t like it.  Small groups were beneficial to us.

This vision for God comes from learning in all the different avenues that the church provides.  It comes to your children when you teach from the overflow of your heart.  Whatever teaching the church provides, take advantage of it in order to fan passion to grow in godliness, for your family, for his glory. That is my challenge for you for the beginning of the new year. Greater desire for God will bring great joy in your life.

P.S. I noticed the quote on a website/blog that I have been reading recently called SojournKids. It comes out of the ministry of Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, KY.  From all I have read so far it seems to be a solid site for encouraging parents in discipling their children.

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