I was talking to a friend at Bible study last night about the difficulty of finding Christian parenting books that provide good practical application of scripture to family life.
There are lots of great books that minister to us when we HEAR what they have to say…but it can be hard to find one that give suggestions on what to DO differently.
So when we need a “parenting book”, where is the best place to go? To the Word of God. It is all there:
- The Truth about how to live with one another in a family…You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had…He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being…He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross (Phil 2:5-8 NLT).
- The Truth about how to address “behavior issues”…Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life (Prov 4:23 NLT).
- The Truth about how all of the family members have the same problem. And solution…There is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:22-24)
- The Truth that God’s Purpose must guide our every decision…Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation…We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us (2 Cor 5:17-20, NIV).
- The Truth about our accountability as parents…You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise (Deut 6:6-7).
So the Bible is a big, big book, right? Well, I do think there are simple tools that we can use to apply the Word to our hearts – and this is the purpose of The Family Workshop. For example:
- Composing a Family Mission Statement and list of values, with supporting scriptures, can be a wonderful tool in the shared pursuit of holiness within your family. Think about the individuals in your family, and their needs, as well as God’s purpose for all of you.
- Then apply the Word by way of Memory Verses.
- As you learn the verses, you talk about what they mean – this is godly instruction.
- The Word is a powerful change agent. The Holy Spirit uses the Word to help conform us to the image of Christ. Godly instruction leads to correction shortcuts – family members understand God’s standard and, eventually, can see on their own when they have fallen short of it.
- Putting the Word in your hearts creates a shared biblical worldview.
- Using the Word as your foundation, demonstrates living under its authority, and therefore the authority of Christ.
- Drawing near to God, as a family, means He will draw near to you. And that is when all kinds of good things happen!
Learning to live according to the Word of God is a process, a race with no finish line, because it is about living in relationship with the LORD.
One side note: I think it is very important to use God’s Word in the correction of children…but (1) with a heart that desires to instruct (2) mostly, using passages that have been taught when the children are not “in trouble” – this is why instruction in the Word should be constant. Next Friday, we will talk about some specific ways to instruct in the Word!
For now, tell me, is the Word at the center of your family’s purpose? If not, do you think composing a Family Mission Statement could help you focus your efforts?