Hi, this is Pastor Ken, welcome to the Monday Marriage Message…Parenting 101 – Session Three.
Two weeks ago I started this series on parenting. In the first session I spoke to the statistics that indicate that as a whole we need to be better prepared to become awesome parents so we can raise awesome children. In that episode I said that there are at least six parental tasks illustrated for us in scripture. This past week I spent some time showing that I believe it is by God’s design that we parent differently as moms and dads. I shared with you how some of the other differences endowed to men and women at creation work congruently with the six tasks we will be exploring enabling a mother to be uniquely qualified to best perform three of those jobs while a father is gifted especially to accomplish the other three.
I went on to offer the analogy of a football team. Even though the offense and defense react very differently to the ball, both encourage one another in their respective tasks knowing it is the key to winning the game. In the same way, as parents, if we will learn to recognize that we are gifted by God to do differing things in terms of raising our children we can become better at encouraging each other in the process.
This session will be devoted to searching the scriptures for examples of God filling each of the six parenting roles for us. As I stated last week, He is able to fully execute each of these tasks with perfection. We will undoubtedly fall short of His ability. However, understanding the “Oneness” of our marriages should offer clarity that our differences are actually intended to bring strength not strife. He has intentionally made us “One” with another, who has different strengths and skillsets than we do. Understanding as parents we are the offense and defense within the overall team allows us to be grateful for our spouses differing talents and to celebrate them. Parenting differently than one another as moms and dads is not indicative of a problem. A lack of understanding why the differences exist…that often creates problems parenting cohesively.
Allow me to review the six jobs of parenting. Just to make you are aware, I will be using many scriptures to illustrate How God fills all of these roles of parenting, as He raises us up to be all we are intended to be. You may want to take some notes of the scriptures or download the text file of this episode so you can read each of them for yourselves in their full context.
God tends to our needs Matthew 6:11 “Give us this day our daily bread” This scripture from the Lord’s prayer indicates God wants us to ask Him to meet our needs and in fact wants to be the one who does. It is His pleasure to meet your every need. In Matthew 6:25-33 Jesus reiterated God’s desire to tend to our needs. “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. He went on to say just a few moments later in Matthew 7:9-11“You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him. Jesus was making a bold statement about God’s parental ability. He was saying that God knows what you need, and wants to tend to your needs. He was also saying that looking to God to tend to our needs should be our first thought because He loves us. Jesus then made a correlating statement. If we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness we will know God better, we will know His ways better and we will not be afraid that our needs will go untended. Good parents tend to their children’s needs…it’s what they do. God is a good, good parent…the best there is. God tends to our every need so He can enable us to reach our full potential in Him!
God mends our brokenness – 1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your cares upon him for He cares about you”. God wants us to know that He desires to mend our brokenness. He wants us to tell Him when we are hurting. He understands that the first step in mending brokenness is having whatever is broken brought to Him for Healing, so He tells us to cast our cares (or our brokenness) on Him because He cares about us. What bothers us, bothers Him. Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” Psalm 147:3 “He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.” God mends our brokenness. God knows the difficulties we encounter in our lives and He does not ignore us or the wounds that have been inflicted upon us, on the contrary, He tells us to tell Him what is bothering us, He reassures us that we are not alone and He moves toward us to heal our wounds. Jesus spent His ministry mending the physical, emotional, and spiritual wounds of countless people at the direction of the Father, as He continues to do today through the ministry of His Holy Spirit. God mends our brokenness to liberate us from what would hold us back from His best intention for our lives!
God defends us – Psalm 34:7 “For the angel of the Lord is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him.” Psalm 54:1 “Come with great power, O God, and rescue me! Defend me with your might.” Matthew 6:13 “…deliver us from evil, for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.” God defends us. We don’t only live in a physical world. The spiritual realm is all around us. I have often wondered if we have any clue just how many times, and to what extent God delivers us from the evil intentions of the enemy who’s only noted jobs are to “steal, kill and destroy”. I have also wondered from time to time if we will become aware of the scope of His protective measures over our lives when we are safely at home with Him in heaven. God defends us to preserve the ability to see us become everything He wants us to be!
God directs us – Proverbs 3:6 “In all your ways acknowledge Him; And He shall direct your paths.” Psalm 94:12 “Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O Lord, And teach out of Your law,” Psalm 48:14 “For this is God, Our God forever and ever; He will be our guide Even to death.” God’s word is very clear about the fact that He intends to direct, guide and teach us so that we can live our lives to the fullest. His direction is not to stifle us or to keep us from the things that are good for us, but rather to lovingly direct us so that we can enjoy his many blessings as we live lives of righteousness or in or in other words lives that happen as designed by a good, good, Father. God directs us in the best ways that will bring us the greatest blessing imaginable because He loves us so much!
God corrects us – Job 5:17 “Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty.” Proverbs 3:12 “For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.” 2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” God loves us too much not to correct us. A parent who does not correct his child illustrates that the direction the child’s life takes does not matter to them. God says that because He delights in us, He corrects us. How does He do this? He corrects us through His written word, through the conviction of the Holy Spirit and sometimes through the loving instruction of other trusted godly men and women in our lives. God corrects us because He loves us and it hurts Him to see us stray from His wonderful plan for our lives!
God projects (launches) us – Psalm 127:3-5 “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;… Luke 10:1-3 After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two-by-two before His face into every city and place where He himself was about to go. Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go your way; behold I send you out as lambs among the wolves”. Mark 16:15 “And He said unto them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”. God launches us out into the world to reflect Him and reveal His awesome nature to others. He knows that will make life difficult at times, even so, He launches us like an archer launches his arrows. We should also keep in mind that as Luke relayed, those who are sent out by God are sent out “before his face” in other words He watches over us as He sends us out. God projects or launches us and takes pleasure in our life’s success in Him.
These are six jobs of parenting; tending, mending, defending, directing, correcting, and projecting. God does all of them perfectly. My goal in illustrating that these tasks of parenting are scriptural, and that God does each of them for us, is to also show them to be right and necessary. As I mentioned last week, often time’s parents become displeased with one another when they observe the other taking action in the name of parenting that they do not understand. My aim here is to point out that each of you will likely find three of these roles things you are specifically suited to do, and three will be more difficult. No worries…God has equipped your spouse in ways He did not give you natural ability in, and vice-versa. If God sees fit to do each of these things as He raises us, who are we to say they are unnecessary or even adverse for our children.
Questions to answer:
Which of these six tasks seem natural to you?
Which do you find difficult to do and why do you think that is?
Do you find that one of you is likely better at three of these and less capable of the others?
Actions to take:
Discuss times you have seen God take up each of these six roles of parenting in your lives. Discuss the results of those interactions.
Discuss the value you each see for each of these parenting roles to be filled in your children’s lives.
So now, allowing the example of God in your life to be the guide of how to positively impact your children’s’ lives…Go Be Awesome!