As Christian parents, how are we to lead our children?
I often read Douglas Wilson’s blog, Blog and Mablog. In one post, he wrote something that should define our parenting…
Our parental responsibility does not consist in getting young people to grit their teeth and conform to the standard. The task before us is to bring up our children in such a way as to love the standard.
In His love for us, God has given mankind His standard. He has given it, not to take beauty and goodness from us, but to show us what they are. He designed us to desire what is beautiful. If this is true, our joyful task as parents is three-fold: to point out … to reveal … and to model.
So, that makes parenting a work of leading our children in discovery.
This sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? But, every parent knows that it is not so simple. Everyone other than God (the Bible calls this group the World) has their own version of what is beautiful and good. And, this world has lots of its own celebrities promoting and modeling their competing definitions of beauty and goodness.
Paul wrote to his spiritual children in the church in Philippi to encourage them to fix their minds on what is right.
Here is a last piece of advice. If you believe in goodness and if you value the approval of God, fix your minds on the things which are holy and right and pure and beautiful and good. Philippians 4:8–J.B. Phillips Translation
Paul first wanted them to understand that it is God who writes the definitions. He encouraged them to consider what he had told them and shown them from his life. Then, he offers the promise that God would be with them.
Model your conduct on what you have learned from me, on what I have told you and shown you, and you will find the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9–J.B. Phillips Translation
It is exciting to think that I have a most important role, as a parent or as a grandparent, in leading our children to discover, fall in love with, and embrace what God has revealed.
Next post–the nature of our desires and affections