Monday, June 13, 2011

The Gospel and Children

Lately, I've been thinking and studying about the topic of gospel centered parenting.  While it is similarly dumb to be an engineer without going to engineering school, or try to create beautiful pottery without learning how to use the kiln, it is dumb to enter parenthood without knowing anything about kids.

It was Kevin DeYoung who quoted someone else saying (this is a rough paraphrase) "Before I had children I had 5 theories, now I have 5 children and zero theories." Of course while styles and theories might change when the rubber hits the road, it is ever good to have a foundation.

I've compiled a short list of articles that have made an impact on how I understand biblical parenting.

The Danger of Moralistic Parenting by Elyse Fitzpatrick
"Instead of the gospel of grace, we’ve given them daily baths in a 'sea of narcissistic moralism.'

Hey, you are a church-going family, right? I mean, that’s what you tell your friends and family anyways. Make sure you attend on Sundays. As long as you didn’t stay up too late Saturday night. Or your family isn’t having a big barbeque.

Give them grace when they succeed and grace when they fail.
I am Unalarmed by Tim Challies
"I am convinced that the reason so many young people abandon the church is that they have seen far more hypocrisy than gospel; they have had their emotions stirred but never their souls."

If you are a parent, do you have any books or articles that helped you think more clearly about parenting? If you do not have kids but plan to, have you thought about the subject at all? I'd love some thoughts.


Amy said...

Interesting articles, Alissa! I love that you're giving this thought now. Parenting is difficult--and I am certainly no expert! I noticed that you mentioned that with itme, as theories are tested in the real-life parenting things might change but a good foundation is necessary. I agree!!!

My favorite article was "5 Ways to Make Your Kids Hate Church". It hit home. We have the foundation for several of these, but living it out is difficult! For instance--attend church regularly, unless you have something else to do. Well, sports here are generally played on Sundays. This has meant talking with coaches and changing schedules for our family, and it has meant just not playing. We've talked with our kids and they understand (not in a legalistic way, in a we love the Lord and want to be with other Christians way). I could go on...all that to say--without a strong foundation, we surely would be sucked into sports on Sundays, thereby teaching our children that sports are more important than church. Hope that makes sense!

Pray for us to stand firm, and to clearly teach our children the gospel! I have several books if you're ever interested! Thanks!

Alissa:Adventurer said...

Amy, Thanks for commenting and sharing real life experience. I am always encouraged by your parenting example and hope to be as intentional and thoughtful as you and Andy seem to be.

It is great that you have practically put some of these theories into place. It must be hard to rearrange the sports and not have the coaches being frustrated. Have you ever had people that didnt understand? I mean, Im sure.

What books do you have that you recommend? If they are good, I might just buy them!