Tuesday, January 31, 2023

The GOAL of Parenting.

Geoffrey R. Kirkland

Christ Fellowship Bible Church (St Louis, MO)


The goal of parenting is to glorify God by faithfully obeying the Lord and teaching the children divine Truth. This further fleshes out with more reasons God has given parents to children. 
First, parents must diligently instruct the children in the word of God. This should be regular, daily, fervent, passionate, gentle, warm, and age-appropriate. Second, parents must seek to exemplify holiness so the children can see Godliness enfleshed. As parents sin, they should clearly and humbly confess it, ask for forgiveness and grant forgiveness lavishly and immediately. Additionally, parents must strive to prepare their children to be good citizens in society by being submissive to authority, hard-working, respectful, and dutiful and law-abiding. Fourthly, parents must fervently evangelize the children from the earliest of ages so that the children will constantly hear of a glorious God who is holy, just, righteous and true. Parents must instill the reality of sin — and indwelling sin — and call children to see their sin rightly and turn from it decisively and run to Christ for deliverance and grace! Next, parents must provide for and protect the children from dangers in this world. Parents must guard the children from the dangers of this world-system that violently opposes God and His Word. Children must learn the duty of gratitude and the dangers of grumbling. Furthermore, God has given parents to children to discipline them diligently when sin is committed. Parents must vigilantly fight against sin, carefully probe the heart, patiently expose the sin and show its heinousness before God, and tenderly and urgently summon the child to run to Christ alone for salvation from the penalty of sin. 
The goal of parenting, then, is to faithfully discharge the duties that God has given in His Word. With this said, the goal of parenting is not ultimately the salvation of the children. Every parent desires the children to be saved by grace but no parent has the ability to save his children’s souls. Faithful parenting is not dependent on the spiritual state of the children. May it be that faithful parents delight in and rejoice in the mercies of God in saving their children as they grow older, but even if the children do not profess faith and walk in holiness, that does not mean that the parents have failed in their obligations. The goal of parenting is always the glory of God and the obedience to His Word. This is also true in the realm of parenting. 


This is part 1 of a multi-part series on parenting.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Family Worship: Planning What Books To Study

Geoffrey R. Kirkland  (Pastor, Christ Fellowship Bible Church)

As I lead my family, I regularly ponder what texts and themes to teach my children. Of course I recognize that my children won’t remember all of my points (Ha! I only wish that were the case; but I can’t even remember all my own teaching points!). But over the course of time, I do want my children to have a grasp of systematic theology, an overview of the Books of the Bible, practical Christian living, the means of grace, and the importance of knowing God and His attributes. 

We recently concluded a lengthy study through the Book of Proverbs. The way that we chose to work through this book in our evening family worship times consisted of me and my children (as I called on them) reading about 10 verses each (sometimes more and sometimes less) in a chapter.  Then, I would pull out 2 or 3 pertinent verses and drawn out points that specifically relate to where we are as a family or ways in which I want to teach my children.  I found this to be very helpful and beneficial for us. 

Having concluded that, we just began Jonah. I want to carefully work through Jonah with my kids so that I can teach on God’s mercy, the glory of grace, the duty to obey, the call of God to do things that sometimes seems odd and unnatural, the meaning of revival, understanding sinful anger, and the wickedness of prejudice and pride. I hope that God will bless these efforts in coming days as we study this together. 

Then, Lord willing, we’ll transition to a gospel so I can teach through the life of Christ to my kids (again). 

Be thoughtful in your teaching of your children. Be careful in planning and implementing family worship. Christ will help you as you seek to shepherd your families in the Word of God and in the ways of Truth. Don’t give up when the hard and difficult days come. Don’t grow discouraged and give up. Don’t allow a night (or a few nights) of missing due to family busy-ness prevent you from jumping back into the rhythm. Stay at it. Keep your hand to the plow. Never neglect the care of souls — especially those God has entrusted to your care in your own household. May God bless your efforts as you seek to lead and fulfill Joshua’s words in your own family: “as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD!"

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