7.2 Million people have watched this video…and you should too

Dads our impact is more than we think. Don’t believe me? Check out this link (http://fathers.com/wp39/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/fatherlessInfographic.pdf).  Yesterday I preached to dads, especially on how to bless your kids. The influence you have cannot be overstated. And yesterday afternoon, Kenny and Emily Elkins shared this video. It is a gripping reminder that kids whose dads are behind bars long for their father’s blessing. 7.2 million people have watched it. When you watch it, you’ll know why they did.

So if you missed yesterday’s sermon, here it is. Download it this week and take time to listen. And put it into practice. (http://graceforall.org/grace-sermons/). It is never too late to begin to bless your kids.

 

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. (http://graceforall.org/grace-sermons/). 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)

 

 

If I Could Only Read One Book on Parenting

Parenting books abound.  From Dr. Phil to Dr. Dobson, you can find almost any topic addressing any kind of child in any circumstance.  This is both a blessing and a curse.  The blessing is having a wealth of information at our fingertips.  The curse is sorting through the mountain of information.

That reality makes me realize the weight of what I’m about to say.

If I could sort through the wealth of parenting advice and only read one book on parenting it would be The Blessing by Smalley and Trent.  They write,

Some people are driven toward workaholism as they search for the blessing they never received at home.  Always striving for acceptance, they never feel satisfied that they are measuring up.  Others get mired in withdrawal and apathy as they give up hope of ever truly being blessed.  Unfortunately, this withdrawal can become so severe that it can lead to chronic depression and even suicide.  For almost all children who miss out on their parents’ blessing, at some level this lack of acceptance sets off a lifelong search.

Smalley and Trent then describe five elements of the blessing, how parents are uniquely able to bless their children and ultimately how someone who has never received the blessing can give what he or she never received.

Sunday night at 5 pm I will present a one-time seminar on The Blessing.  Please join me.  You can sign up (just so we know space and child care needs) by emailing robin@graceforall.org.  We will meet in the main building.