The Bible has so much to say about parenting, and we have many great resources today to help us understand and apply the Bible’s teachings. It’s also an area where we need to apply the gospel, both to ourselves and in the grace we give our children. (See links below.)
Joshua 9 & 10
Joshua 9 & 10:
If God is for you …
What an incredible picture of what it means to have God on your side, fighting for you! He stopped the sun and moon on their behalf, used hailstones to destroy their enemies and saw that they were protected and had complete victory.
But even when God is not working in such obviously dramatic ways, He is still present and at work in the lives of all who belong to Him.
Romans 8.31b, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” And Philippians 1.6, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
The source of our success
This psalm recounts the truth of God’s intervention in the affairs of His people, “You drove out the nations with Your hand (v. 2) … For they did not gain possession of the land by their own sword, nor did their own arm save them; but it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your countenance, because You favored them” (v. 3). Our Joshua reading was just one example.
Like the ancient Israelites, when God gives us success in some area of life we need to remember where the strength, the ability, the talent, and even the opportunities, come from.
The Bible on parenting
Verse 24, “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.” There is so much advice about parenting out there, much of which contradicts this truth. But we have to decide who we are going to believe—God or man!
This is a subject that deserves so much more space than I can give here, but there are many good parenting books out there written from a biblical perspective. Some good ones are Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick, Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp, Don’t Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman and Age of Opportunity by Paul Tripp (especially good for parents of teens and pre-teens). Another good one for parenting teens is Get Outta My Face! by Rick Horne.
If you’re not sure where to start, I’d recommend Shepherding a Child’s Heart. It will not only help you understand biblical principles of child rearing, but help you understand how to reach your child’s heart with those truths and the gospel. It will also “shepherd” your own heart and help you see areas where you need to grow and change!
Rejoicing in our salvation
The twelve apostles had already been commissioned to go out and preach the Gospel. And now seventy more disciples were sent out two by two. Matthew Henry comments that the twelve apostles corresponded to the twelve tribes of Israel and the seventy disciples were pictured in the Old Testament by the seventy elders who helped Moses.
When these seventy came back rejoicing after having a great deal of success on their missionary trip, Jesus reminded them that everything else pales in comparison to the wonder of salvation itself. Verse 20, “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
Preach the gospel to yourself on a regular basis. Remind yourself of all that Christ died to give you, especially, that your name is written in the Lamb’s book of life!
What about you?
Do you really believe that God is on your side? How has He demonstrated that in the past?
Is there some area where you need to grow in knowledge and understanding about godly parenting? Do you need to order one of the resources mentioned?
Do you “preach the gospel to yourself”? Do you need to contemplate the incredible miracle of salvation? There are some great resources on this subject, as well. Two good ones are The Gospel Primer: Learning to See the Glories of God’s Love by Milton Vincent and Comforts from the Cross: Celebrating the Gospel One Day at a Time by Elyse Fitzpatrick.