Parenting and… doctrine?

Some people might be surprised, some even taken aback by putting these two words together because parenting seems to be practical, whereas many think doctrine is not.

I was reading a book by Martyn-Lloyd Jones this morning, The Life of Peace, which is on Philippians 3-4. He was commenting on Philippians 4:1-3, in which Paul encourages two women in the church to get along, but he does so in a thoroughly doctrinal way.

For the truth about the Apostle is that whether he is stating doctrine, or whether he is applying it, he is always doctrinal. He is incapable of handling a problem except in terms of doctrine, so it really makes very little difference whether he is asking us to look at the great declarations objectively, or whether he is putting then in a practical, and immediate and subjective, manner.

What this means for us as parents is this:

  1. We need to know God and His Word. The Word is the basis and guide for parenting.
  2. The answers for the issues we deal with as parents are found in God’s Word. Paul encouraged the two women to get along because they were both “in the Lord,” and God is not divided. Find your common cause in Him, don’t be divided, Paul instructed. So Scripture will guide us in relationships, in conflict, in decisions, in all we encounter. Doctrine is foundational to parenting.
  3. This is because God’s Word is practical.

Let me encourage you to be in the Word and allow the Word to work through you.


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