If you would like to learn more about raising children for the glory of God you can listen to or watch the following sermons from Dr. Richard Caldwell:
This week on the Straight Truth Podcast Dr. Richard Caldwell and host Dr. Josh Philpot talk about the difficulties of raising children and how we as parents must be faithful in that endeavor. Dr. Philpot shares that in the book of Deuteronomy parents are given the exhortation to raise their children up in the admonition of the Lord. They discuss how parents can read these instructions from Deuteronomy 6:7 and at times feel overwhelmed. Dr. Caldwell reminds us parenting is hard work and parents do often get discouraged as they pursue raising their children in a way that honors God. So he first offers us some words of encouragement.
He reminds us that the God who has saved us is the God who is sanctifying us. God who has given us these children, is the same God who has given us the desire to please Him in the raising of our children. He also tells us that while parents are the primary teachers of their children, Christian parents are not alone in this work. We have God, His Word, the Church and the encouragement of other saints as we go about this God-given honor and responsibility.
Parents who want to raise their children well should recognize that the Word of God is the all-sufficient resource. It not only contains the substance with which we are to teach our children but it is also the guide for how to raise them. Raising children is a lifestyle, it’s an ongoing endeavor that requires patience, diligence and endurance.
Parents who want to raise Godly children need to be faithful parents.
Parents who want to raise Godly children need to be faithful parents. They need to immerse themselves in the Scriptures learning from them, living them out, modeling through their actions, words, and deeds a life that is reflective upon the truth they say they believe. Dr. Caldwell gives several examples of what this should look like in the life of parents professing Christianity.
He next reminds us that we must examine ourselves. As the primary teachers of our children, we will not only be teaching them by the things we say but also by how we live. Dr. Caldwell us that children are keen observers and much of what they learn is through watching. If we are consistent, they will understand and be able to hear what we have to say. However, if we are inconsistent in an ongoing way, living the life of a hypocrite, we will exasperate our children and they will become bitter.
Dr. Caldwell says Christian parents should not use the cliché, “Do as I say not as I do”, that’s not biblical; that’s actually hypocritical. How parents live their lives before their children ought to be manifesting and modeling the gospel. Teaching them about Christ and forgiveness, what it means and looks like to be progressively sanctified. A home is a place where forgiveness is constantly needed, but it is also a place where confession of sin must be practiced constantly.
To Fail and stumble does not Make Parents Hypocrites
Parents will fail and stumble in many ways, but to fail and stumble does not make us a hypocrite. Where biblical forgiveness and confession are constantly and consistently practiced in our homes we demonstrate and model that our love for God and our children is genuine. But where these gospel truths are not practiced, all that we are doing is playacting, we’re wearing a mask, we’re playing out a role that’s not really who we are, it’s pretentious, and it’s hypocritical.
Dr. Caldwell goes on to talk to us about the connections of our parenting with our marriages, our family life, our interactions within our families, and with each other. He explains how in each of these relationships we need to be reflecting biblical love, honor, and respect. We also need to be showing our children right priorities when it comes to spending time with family and each other. The parents also need to prioritize gathering with the church in corporate worship to be instructed and trained, and in coming together to praise and honor God with fellow saints. The church is the place and means that God has ordained for His people to be instructed and equipped in order to live out Godly lives. For the parents who want to raise their children well, they will recognize this and not neglect it.
Parents are the Primary Influencers
So yes, as parents we are the primary influencers and have been given great responsibility for our children. We are the guide and authority that God has put in place for their training and instruction. We are to take the lead in teaching, influencing and molding them. However, Dr. Caldwell wants us to remember our limits. Only God can covert and transform our children.
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