BLESSING #18: The Blessing of a Plan for Intentional Parenting
“If it weren’t for families, we’d have to fight with strangers!” (anonymous)
There are so many blessings in knowing Christ, right? Not just salvation. As I pray for and reflect on my friendship with Mike, I’m becoming more aware of what I have in knowing Christ. And I wish the same for every believer!
It bugs me that many Christians don’t understand the multi-faceted instruction book that they have in the Bible, God’s Word! Scripture not only tells how to get saved, but how to live. And one major area of life is . . . parenting.
THE BLESSING Many Christian parents, I would suggest, haven’t really dug into the Bible to see what it says about being a godly husband, a loving wife, obedient and joyful children, etc. So I would remind Jesus followers that —
18. WE HAVE A PLAN FOR INTENTIONAL PARENTING!
Some of my unsaved friends appear to be great fathers and mothers. But, can we talk? That’s only because they are borrowing parenting skills from Christianity — and probably don’t even know it. Others of my friends aren’t loving their spouses as they should, are allowing their children to have whatever they want whenever they want it, and seem to be investing zero minutes in training their children in godliness.
THE BIBLE Such must not be the family situation of the follower of Jesus. The Bible gives us clear guidance on: (1) being a godly husband (Eph. 5:23-33; Titus 1:6); (2) being a loving and supportive wife (Eph. 5:22); and (3) having obedient, believing children (Titus 1:6; I Tim. 3:4). God’s Word provides us clear instructions on caring for the elderly (Lev. 19:32; I Tim. 5:1; I Pe. 5:5; Is. 46:4) and widows (I Tim. 5). Sadly Scripture presents us with case studies of families that fell apart. We have also the encouraging story of Job who sacrificed and prayed daily for his children (Job 1:1-5).
One of my unsaved friends is making some poor choices in his family. He loves his daughter much more than his wife. He doesn’t feel he is respected by either. He simply doesn’t have the foundation to be the spiritual leader in his family. And, sadly, I don’t think their marriage is going to make it.
However, good news! This friend is thinking about having a Bible study with me on the gospel of John! Pray that he will come to Christ and become the husband and father God wants him to be.
ACTION STEPS 1. Pick one set of Scriptures listed above (“The Bible gives us clear guidance on . . .”) and write out an action plan of obeying what God’s Word says. Share your plan with another believer this week who can pray for you and ask you how you are doing.
2. Invite a couple from your church (whose family you admire) for lunch and interview them sometime this week on what practices have been most helpful to them in their family.
3. Read a book like Dennis & Barbara Rainey’s Growing a Spiritually Strong Family with your spouse and pray together about what you learn.
PRAYER 4. Take steps to open your home to your unsaved friends so they can observe some of what you intentionally practice in your family. Invite them to a game night or a movie night. (570 words)