Core Value #5: Word of God: The Bible is our authority for all of life and will be central in our family ministry. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Posted: March 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

According to George Barna, there are approximately seventy-five thousand books that have been published on parenting in the last ten years. Authors from Dr. Spock, Dr. Leman, Dr. James Dobson, Dr. John Townsend, and a host of other secular and Christian authors with PhD’s, and other initials behind their names have written books on parenting; even entertainers such as the Facts of Life actress, Lisa Whelchel have written books on parenting.  I recently saw on Fox News an interview with a Killer Whale trainer who has written a parenting book using the techniques for training whales! I wonder when the Dog Whisperer will write one on parenting using dog training techniques. I guess shock collars are out of the question.

Obviously, there is a tremendous need or there would not be so many books written about parenting.  However, all of the seventy-five thousand secular and even Christian books do not measure up to the parenting book that God has written, the Bible.  No matter how biblically solid a Christian parenting book is, it does not and cannot replace the Word of God. The Word of God is he authority on all of  life, including raising children. It must be the first book we turn to.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. ~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17

What is Scripture’s purpose? To make a believer competent and equipped for every good work.

Competent for what? Equipped for what type of good work?

In this case, it can certainly apply to making every parent competent and equipped to raise up your children in the teaching and admonition of the Lord.  The task of parenting that God has given us is beyond our own wisdom and abilities to do, so He has given us His Word to make us competent or adequate to His task. In addition, His word will equip us with the tools, the wisdom, and strength to train up children.  Is this not true?

Scripture will teach, rebuke, correct, and train us if we only study it, thirst for it, crave it, and we obey it.  The precious gold nuggets are not found on top of the ground; rather, a miner must dig deep into the ground in order to get the gold nuggets. It is the same with the Word of God; we must be in, deeply in, the Word of God daily, as much as we crave food on a daily basis. We should crave the Word of God in our parenting, how to teach children, how to discipline, and how to get to the hearts of our children. The Word of God is sufficient.

12For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. ~ Hebrews 4:12

Read that verse again. Did you see it? Do you believe it? God’s Word, the Bible, gets to the root problem and issues of our lives, our parenting, and the issues of our children.  If you want to know what makes your child tick, then start with the Word of God. It will describe the fact that your child’s nature is sinful before birth, and that folly is bound up in the heart of a child. It will describe appropriate ways for instructive and corrective discipline. It will reveal your child’s unique idols that his heart is manufacturing, as it will mine and yours. It teaches us what instruction we must give our children in order to be godly. If this verse is true generally of life, then it has to be true as it relates to parenting. The Bible is a book that has parenting principles and application in it. It will not, however, reveal these precious golden truths to the lazy, only to those who, like the wise miner, dig deep into the rich soil of God’s Word.

Lou Priolo in his book, Teach Them Diligently, asks these hard questions of us as parents and leaders at Trinity:

  • How well do you know the Scriptures yourself?
  • How often do you refer to the Bible in the course of normal conversation with your children?
  • How adept are you at teaching and relating Scriptures to them in everyday life?
  • How effectively do you use the Scriptures to reprove (convict) them of their sin? (Do you reprove in such a way that causes them to revere God’s Word or to disdain it?)
  • How consistently do you use the Bible when you correct them?
  • How do you use the Bible to train your children in righteousness to help them to do better in the future? I would add: what training goals do you have for each of your children? How are we preparing them with the necessary knowledge and tools to walk with the Lord?

This list is to challenge us, not make us give up because we don’t know enough. We all need to know the Scriptures better, and increasingly apply them to our family lives. It’s not about where you are, but the direction and progress you are making in having His Words in your heart. 

The inerrant, infallible Word of God is our authority for all of life. It is sufficient to bring about our sanctification including parenting. We commit as a church to equip and disciple parents and children with the precious Word of God, how to use it to grow as a parent, and how in turn to disciple your own children. It is the primary text book, and user manual for parenting. It must be the book that we put ahead and by which we judge all other parenting books.

One last encouragement:  Start today to examine Scriptures relating to parenting and children. Do your own study, and see what God’s Word says about our tasks as parents and as a family. Start with Deuteronomy 6:4-9, which is called the Shema. What does this passage say about what we are to teach? Who should it affect first? How and when are we to teach His Word to our children?

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