Thursday, September 15, 2011

Great Post on Parenting

Justin Taylor's blog referred to an excellent post on the blindspots of homeschoolers by Rob Bradley.

As I read the article, I realized Bradley's wisdom was applicable to any and all Christian parents. I was especially struck by this statement:

I once believed and taught that a parent could follow the right biblical steps and be assured of raising children who remained faithful to God from childhood into their adult years. In fact, as a parent of young children I judged as a failure any parent whose young adult children were prodigal. However, as my own children aged and I discovered that they were self-determining individuals with their own walks with Christ, I came to the alarming realization that I had a lot of control over their outside, but not their inside. They were like all people who were faced with the choice of whether or not they were going to listen to Christ and follow him. As Christians we all encounter opportunities many times in our lives – to choose to follow Christ or not. It was a rude awakening for me when I saw that even the best parenting could not exempt a person from making the wrong choice when faced with temptation. I do believe that by our influence we can greatly increase the likelihood our children will love and follow Christ, but I see nothing in Scripture that guarantees well-trained children will never succumb to temptation.

Consider the parable of the Prodigal Son – the righteous father raised two sons who turned out sinful – one went deep into sin and then repented – the other stayed home obediently, yet was polluted with self-righteousness and bitterness. Could the Father take blame or the credit for their sinful choices? Not at all, for the story is about God the Father Himself – it is a lesson about His mercy to His children when they fail. May we learn from God’s example!

As usual, by posting a reference and link to this post I'm not giving everything Bradley says my full endorsement. I do think, however, the majority of what he says is helpful, biblical, and worthy of any Christian parent's careful consideration.


Woody Woodward said...

So very thankful I have finally been able to leave the many piles dirty guilt at the cross. That of being a father, so heavenly minded I was not earthly good! For years I carried the burden of beating my kids over the head with a 100 pound R.A Ryrie Dispensation KJV Bible, while constantly packing 4-spiritual laws in their pockets on the way to school and telling them “if you want to grow in Christ you have to witness to at least one person each day.” I confessed my selfish piety to the Lord a long time ago, and even wrote my children a confessional letter. Now I do my best to support parents at Redeemer in every and any way I can. Understanding the real meaning of Proverbs 22:6 has only taken me 35 years.

Michael Lockridge said...

Having spent twenty years in corrections, I have seen people (young and older) who were failing in life in a big way. Most were just hitting a low point when they met me in my profession. Some were long time associates.

I observed enough to recognize that parents cannot be blamed for the whole of a child's failure. Humans make choices. Each individual is accountable for those choices they make. In parenting we can strive to do well, and always strive to do better, but the choices of our child become adult are their own.

The grace of God must be great enough to cover all of our failures and limitations. If it is not, we have no hope. I am confident that the grace of God is sufficient.

Jack Sawyer said...

Great post. I have learned the same lesson. Christian parenting/education makes a difference, but it doesn't make the difference.