Week 7 - Strategy: The Parenting Project

Homework: Winter is coming! There is always that slim chance through the winter months that worship services will be cancelled one Sunday due to inclement weather. If and when that occurs what will your family do? Will you still worship together or all retreat to your bedrooms and put in your ear buds? (What if the power is out? Heaven forbid!) Redeem the snow/sleet/freezing rain day! Plan a simple family worship service that you can hold in reserve for such an occasion. We'll talk about some of the many resources you have at your disposal in order to do just that.

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Main Idea - (The following is adapted from Paul D. Tripp, Age of Opportunity, P&R 2001) When the boundaries are overstepped, how will you respond in a manner consistent with and pointing your children to God's love, faithfulness, and grace? Let's start by keeping priorities in mind and thinking in terms of a project as opposed to an immediate outcome.  

Psalm 36:1-4 "Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart: there is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated. The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit; he has ceased to act wisely and do good. He plots trouble while on his bed; he sets himself in a way that is not good; he does not reject evil."

That seems like a weird passage to start with, but it teaches us what our hope should be for our children, namely "practical, functional godliness," or the opposite of "no fear of God before their eyes" and self-flattery. 

Three priorities for the "project" of discipling our children:

1. To help our children be wise and do good. 

2. To help our children gain an accurate understanding of their situation. 

3. To help our children gain personal insight; the ability to detect sin and to hate sin. 

Chew on this...

What is implied by thinking of discipling our children in terms of a project?

What deficiencies does Psalm 36 point out that exist in the heart of the wicked (note the bold type above)? How do these two deficiencies show up in the lives of our children, particularly teenagers? How do they show up in our own lives?

What is the situation that your children find themselves in? (In other words, what are the significant relationships, influences, temptations, challenges, opportunities, and so on that he or she faces currently?) If you do not know or are not sure, what is your plan for finding out?

What does (or would) practical, functional godliness look like in the midst of your child's situation?