Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Think and Act 9.25.13 – Three Priorities We Have As Parents

Not a book, not an article, not a rant – what you find here are simply three primary priorities we have as parents.

1. Gospel.

This is by far the hardest. When you want things to run well, you focus on behavior. But the number one key to parenting has to come from the common condition in every household in the world: sinfulness. We are in need of a Savior and we must remind our kids of that.  The good news (gospel) is that Jesus died to forgive us and rose from the dead to fill us with hope for this life and the next.

Practical phrases like “Jesus died to forgive that sin” are very helpful and remind children that they need Jesus as much as Mom and Dad do. I often pray that our children will always know Jesus’ love and be able to accept His forgiveness when (not if) they fail. We sing, pray, and study Bible together so we can do our best to lead our children in God’s ways.

Part of Gospel parenting is also realizing you don’t control their salvation.  That’s probably another blog entry, but we really believe that we should teach, model, and then pray like crazy.

2. We want our kids to understand that we mean what we say.

We believe that we are a picture of godly living to our kids.  A firm and loving picture of parental authority can translate into a healthy view of a firm and loving God.  Personally, I don’t count to three.  One, two, two and a half,  etc. is teaching a fraction of obedience, or delayed obedience.  When we ask for something to be done, we believe it should be done. This is never perfect (and it takes a lot of work to be consistent), but we believe the concept is important. God doesn’t want our obedience to be on our terms, He wants it on His.  Parents can lovingly and graciously reflect this as they lead their children to healthy views of authority.

When principle #2 breaks down, refer to principle #1.

3. Responsibility is the goal.

I really don’t want our kids living in our home when they’re 33.  Or, 23 for that matter!  One of our goals is to raise self sufficient, independent children capable of doing basic chores, making basic decisions, spending money well, finding decent friends, etc.

When it comes to this, class is always in session. Some things we do to encourage it:

  • appropriately allowing a child to learn hard consequences rather than bail them out
  • requiring basic household chores/participation
  • teaching basic life skills such as cooking, laundry, dishes, appliance use, etc.
  • emphasizing that entertainment is a secondary, not a primary pursuit

When principle #3 breaks down, refer to principle #1!!

Think. What drives your parenting? What would you add to this brief list? Do pride and control seep into your parenting as much as they into ours – or should I say mine 🙂 ?

Act. Are there things you can implement to help instill eternal (first priority) and practical (secondary priority) values into your children?


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