Parenting Isn’t for Cowards!

Parenting isn’t for cowards. Tim Keller aptly noted this in King’s Cross:

When you have children they’re in a state of dependency.  They have so many needs; they can’t stand on their own.  And they will not just grow out of their dependency automatically.  The only way that your children will grow beyond their dependency into self-sufficient adults is for you to essentially abandon your own independence for twenty years or so.  When they are young, for example, you’ve got to read to them and read to them – otherwise they won’t develop intellectually.  Lots of their books will be boring to you.  And you have to listen to your children, and keep listening as they say all kinds of things that make for less than scintillating conversation.”

And then there’s dressing, bathing, feeding, and teaching them to do these things for themselves.  Furthermore, children need about five affirmations for every criticism they hear from you.  Unless you sacrifice much of your freedom and a good bit of your time your children will not grow up healthy and equipped to function.  Unfortunately, there are plenty of parents who just won’t do it.  They won’t disrupt their lives that much; they won’t pour themselves into their children.  They won’t make the sacrifice.  And their kids grow up physically, but they’re still children emotionally, – needy, vulnerable, and dependent.  Think about it this way:  You can make the sacrifice, or they’re going to make the sacrifice.  It’s them or you.  Either you suffer temporarily and in a redemptive way, or they’re going to suffer tragically, in a wasteful and destructive way.  It’s at least partly up to you.  All real, life-changing love is substitutionary sacrifice.”

Sunday’s sermon was called Diligent Discipline. ( Here are a few highlights to help you navigate the often murky waters of parenting.

While the debate continues regarding physical discipline (because of abuses), let me give you a few pointers:

  • Never use your own hand (a wooden spoon: Mr. NoNo)
  • Never through the face
  • Never in anger
  • Seldom use physical discipline

Regarding verbal discipline (both physical and verbal discipline are referenced in Proverbs), consider these guidelines:

  • Do not say, “You’re a liar.” Say, “you lied.”
  • Do not do it in anger
  • Get the facts right.

Finally, remember that you are parenting on this side of heaven. Life is wrought with difficulties. Parenting is hard work. Sacrifice is never easy, otherwise it wouldn’t be called sacrifice. Gospel-centered parenting remembers these three realities:

  • You are parenting in a fallen world.
  • You are a sinner parenting a sinner.
  • God is willing, powerful and able. (adapted from Paul Tripp)



Resources for Parents

This past Sunday Jerry preached an amazing sermon that dealt with theology and application of parenting. For someone who is not a parent, his sermon was extremely beneficial! If you have not listened to it yet, click here to listen.

We also sold copies of a few great books to help equip parents for raising children in their home! Here are the books:

  • Praying Circles Around Your Children by Mark Batterson
  • Don’t Miss It: Parent Every Week Like It Counts by Reggie Joiner
  • Parenting by Paul David Tripp
  • Family Worship by Donald S. Whitney

We sold out of almost every one of these books! That’s awesome! If you weren’t here last Sunday and you missed it, don’t worry because we ordered more!

There are two more resources that I want reach out to you guys with. One is a podcast and the other is a book. The podcast is called: The Parent Cue. This podcast sits down with leaders in the Children’s Ministry world and talk about parenting.

Every podcast I have listened to has been extremely practical and helpful! As a matter of fact, it is transforming my ministry! If you want to subscribe to the podcast, click here. This podcast led me to find this book:

  • The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman

Most of you may know who Gary Chapman is. Most of us know how we are loving people and our children. This book begs the question, “Do my children feel loved?”

What is the difference? Your love language may be physical touch. Because of that, you know how to love that way. You love your children this way. What if your child’s love language is not physical touch? Believe it or not, your child may not feel loved even if you hug them 26 times a day.

The 5 Love Languages of Children helps us determine what our children’s love languages are and also how to apply it. We will also be selling this book on Sunday at the Next Steps Desk if anyone is interested. I cannot put this book down!

This is transformative to the way I am doing ministry with your children. Bethany and I drove to Knoxville this past weekend and almost the entire trip there talked about your children and figuring out their love languages. Knowing them will change how I approach your children on Sunday mornings, Kids Camp, CentriKid, etc.

This book will help lay a foundation for the day that I do become a father…