Principle: Nothing is more important in your life than being one of God’s tools to form a human soul.
Parenting is a calling. Paul Tripp says of parenting, “[It is] one of the most significant callings that could ever be laid in the lap of a human.”
Whether it is encouraging your child to eat peas, behave in elementary school, dealing with the middle school woes, helping your teen finish strong in high school, keeping them focused during college, or offering advice after college, parenting is never done. Yes, even after college, a parent is a parent. Ted Tripp writes, “You thought that your parenting days were over, but they are clearly not.” Parenting is not a forty-hour week job, and then you retire. It is a lifelong process that changes throughout the relationship.
Do we as parents take seriously the calling and responsibility given to us? Do we take responsibility to raise them in the Lord? Do we understand that our children are given to us, and we are to teach them about God and spiritual things? Deuteronomy 6:7 encourages parents to “teach them diligently to their children.” Who will teach them, and how will we learn if we are too busy and too focused on other “important” things?
In the second paragraph of Deuteronomy 6, parents are encouraged to ground all the rules, teachings, and beliefs in God and His characteristics. These should be taught “not only in the existence of God but in the things that He has, in grace, done for us” (Tripp). The practical application here connects everything about your parenting to God’s story of salvation and redemption. Paul Tripp says, “When your child questions the rules, don’t puff up your chest and tell them they better obey or else; talk to them about a loving Redeemer…When your child wonders about what is right and what is wrong, don’t just threaten them with the law of God; woo them with the sweet music of the grace of God…Blow your child away with God’s patience, mercy, and love…Go beyond enforcing your authority and point to His authority, and go beyond pointing to His authority to pointing your child to His grace.”
God Values Parents
Undoubtedly, God values parenting. “The value of parenting goes to the heart of what God has designed every human being to know and to be. To lose this thing is literally to lose a piece of your humanity” (Tripp). One of the most important aspects of parenting is holiness. Living a holy life should be the primary of all the things parents do. In fact, “this is the thing that makes parenting of highest importance. To lose sight of this is to miss the point of parenting” (Tripp).
“Your work as a parent is a thing of extreme value” (Tripp). Parents must teachtheir children about God. Further, parents must model this for their children at home. Although the church is a place that encourages parents, “your church was not designed to replace you, but to assist and equip you for this essential work” (Tripp). Governments, schools, and programs cannot replace the value and importance of parenting in a child’s life. It cannot be understated that God places the primary spiritual responsibility of discipleship on parents.
If our children are to know God and make Him known, parents must accept the responsibility and grace of the blessing of God. “His gift of grace is not just so that you would be a recipient of grace but also a daily instrument of that very same grace in the lives of those he has placed in your care. In His grace, you find everything that you need to be what God wants you to be in the lives of your children and to do what He has called you to do with them” (Tripp). Be encouraged to take every opportunity to point your child to God’s grace.
How are you viewing your call to be a parent?
Do you take the responsibility to share with them about your salvation and walk with God?
How are you encouraging your child to know God?
Paul Tripp, Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family, Crossway publishing.
*All material, quotes, and references are taken from the book Parenting by Paul Tripp