Susan and I have been blessed with four children here on this earth (one in heaven from miscarriage). As the years pass on in the life of our family, and the life of parenting, it can be all too easy to forget the critical importance of intentionally, passionately, and energetically discipling my children in the nuture and admonition of the LORD, that they would grow into wise Gospel-loving, grace-laden, Spirit-filled, Christ-exalting, God-glorifying, Bible-saturated sojourners on this earth.
While joyful on most occasions, this is hard work! It is easy to be lazy.
God’s Word brings good reminders of the importance of parenting well, with his wisdom, by the power of the Spirit and to do so filled with grace and the truth of the Gospel. Here are some things I’ve seen in Proverbs this week:
Prov. 13.24 Whoever spares the rod hates his son,
but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
Prov. 19.18 Discipline your son, for there is hope;
do not set your heart on putting him to death.
Prov. 22.6 Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Prov. 22.15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
Prov. 23.13 Do not withhold discipline from a child;
if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.
14 If you strike him with the rod,
you will save his soul from Sheol.
15 My son, if your heart is wise,
my heart too will be glad.
16 My inmost being will exult
when your lips speak what is right.
I do not pass these along to discourage you, or laden you with guilt because in reading these texts you feel you have not done well.
I do so to encourage you. To remind myself, and all of us, of the importance of the task we’ve been given as parents. And to remind you of this as well – God, the perfect parent, is with you. He forgives all your parenting sins up to this moment, having nailed them, with all your other sins, to the cross (Col. 2:14). He will give you the grace you need for today to disciple your children well.
I’m praying in this moment for all parents, that God will give you a grand vision of the stewardship you have been given.