Parenting can be tough. But, thankfully, there is a instruction manual we can download that will teach us all we ever needed to know.
Our lives on this planet, are not designed to be lived out in isolation. God made us to live in Community.
And in the bible, we find the perfect instructions to live the best lives we can, and see perfect examples of how to parent.
Everything around us encourages us and informs us that we should live independently. But in scripture we find a much better way – to live in community; encouraging one another; edifying each other; being accountable to the people in our church communities.
Scripture shows us how to live as parents, and it is never about making our children ready to face the world on their own.
The best advice we can ever give our children, is to develop their own relationships with Jesus.
So another Andy B 2 Minute Video and in this one I'm thinking about how we're not supposed to journey through life alone. We're not supposed to pursue a life of being alone 'cos one of the things about being a follower of Christ, is we're supposed to be able to reflect Jesus into the lives of the people around us. And if we're pursuing being on our own all the time, we can't do that.
It's good to take occasions when we go off on our own, before Jesus Christ, but then we're supposed to come back again so we can be with other people.
We're not talking here about being on your own, stuck on your own, or you've been isolated from people because of other situations. That's not what we're talking about. This video is all about what is the pursuit, the direction we're trying to go into? And we shouldn't be pursuing a direction of travel that will put us on our own.
Now this part, next, is all about parenting!.
And I'm a parent, who's a Christian. And I've got three boys who also follow Jesus Christ, erm, 11, 16 and 17. They've been walking with Jesus Christ, since they were 4r years old . And Jo and I are both Christians, and this is a very Christian home!
So this is kind of part experiential for what we've been through, but also because I've been in ministry and I've had to have some really difficult conversations with parents who are broken, and upset, and struggling with what to do with their children.
And it usually goes like this.
Andy, how do I get my child to stay in church?
How do I make them want to come to church?
Or how do I, what incentives can I give them that they'll want to be in church and and not, and not stop coming to church?
And the problem with those questions, is they're not really the right questions. Because the only real, right, question is the one I want to ask them.
Does your child yet know Jesus Christ?
And that's really the key!
It's very hard to get somebody to do something they don't want to do. It's really hard! I can tell you that! Even if there's a good thing we need to make them do. It can be really, really hard. But actually, as Christian parents, our goal is not to fight with our children. There's scripture that teaches us not to do that. But we are supposed to be like Jesus towards them. To reflect Jesus into their lives. Introduce them to a relationship with Jesus. You can never be too early. My children all made their own personal decision to follow Jesus when they were 3, 4 and 4 respectively, and that's the journey that they've had.
But we're not called as Christian parents to cheat, to treat, our children in such a way that they become dependent upon us, or independent to be able to cope on their own. That's not the point of parenting as a believer in Jesus Christ.
We are, however, called to raise our children to become dependent on Jesus by developing their own relationship with Jesus Christ, so they build that. So that when they do leave the home that they grew up in, they will already want to be with other believers. And already want to have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Let's not raise independent people!
That's not going to help anything!
Let's raise our children not to depend upon us, but to depend upon their own relationship with Jesus Christ.
Just a thought.
Written by Andy B