Thursday, October 22, 2009

For Kids the Gospel is More Caught Than Taught

In Gospel-Powered Parenting William Farley writes, "If you ask parents what is the most important thing they can do to raise children who will follow Christ, some will mention adequate discipline, others enrollment in a Christian school, still others the importance of home-schooling or Bible reading. They rarely mention example. Yet example is the first principle of parenting. This should not surprise us. Parenting is about leadership, and example is the first principle of biblical leadership. When parents practice what they teach, God gives them moral authority in their childrens' eyes. All the teaching in the Bible starts with example."

Farley goes on to show that our marriages are the primary realm where our kids need to see the gospel modeled. He writes, "The message that our marriage preaches either repels or attracts our children. God wants your child to watch your marriage and think, 'I want a marriage like that, and I want the God that produced it.' Or, 'When I think of the beauty of the gospel, I think of my parents' marriage. I want to be a part of a church that is loved by God the way my dad loves my mother. I want to be part of a church that finds its joy in submitting to Christ as my mother joyfully submits to my father.'" (pp. 107 & 111)

1 comment:

thefourwinds said...

Great post - I'm excited to read this book.

I'll add that, in my opinion, the one specific aspect our children need to see modeled by us the most is a heart of repentance, which I believe is one of the most effective pride-killers. If we can consistently model humble (without self-deprecation on the one hand or self-justification on the other), regular, specific repentance, our children will see and experience a tremendously foundational aspect towards a genuine relationship with Christ, first and foremost, and towards Biblical relationships with others.

Whether we are repenting to our children for specific sins against them or repenting around them towards others, they can learn how not to be a Pharisaical hypocrite as well as how not to consider the grace of Christ as something cheap. As you mentioned on Sunday, true repentance asks for forgiveness, rather than demands it.