In the parenting study I am co-leading on Monday nights a profound question surfaced that I think we as parents all need to ask ourselves. The chapter in Shepherding A Child’s Heart, by Tedd Tripp talked about appealing to your child’s conscience. In chapter 12 the author is dealing with 2 central issues: First, was to “keep the discipline and correction focused on the conscience of your children”. Second, was the importance of “keeping the centrality of the cross and the redemptive work of Christ as the goal of all your nurturing”.
The author goes on to say that, “instruction, motivation, discipline and correction will misfire if the gospel is not central and the conscience is not the target. The wrong focus is your offenses, hurts, unhappiness, desires, dreams, hopes and fears.”
How does that hit you? I know for me it was a humdinger!! Think about that….do you daily parent with the cross in mind, OR is your daily interaction with your child(ren) born out of your own offenses, hurts, unhappiness, desires, dreams, hopes and fears?
Trust me I am not pointing fingers here, rather this sentence convicts me as well. It is a daily choice to parent out of our hope and redemption in Christ. It is so easy for our flesh to take over and drive our motivations and decisions.
So here is the question for all of us to ponder……
Are we able to live daily in full surrender to Christ, parenting our children in the light of the cross, believing that when we do our child’s misbehavior and need for correction ultimately must be worked out with Him? It is obedience to Jesus that must be central not an attempt to please us and make us happy!
Note: I will be back with you next week to conclude my thoughts on mentors in our boy’s lives and how they have been impacted.