It is graduation time around the Despres house. My second son is done and headed to Texas A&M Galveston Campus. He is excited and we are as well. Only 3 more to go…I was thinking about schools, grades, minimum level competencies and graduation. Everyone that walks must pass. Same with a Driver’s License. Written and road tests must be minimally passed in order to have the privilege of driving. Not so with parenting (unless you are adopting). There are no applications, no minimum level competencies, and no background checks. Two people can either decide or “accidentally” become parents. I find that amazing.
When a man and woman decide to be parents, they have appointed themselves at that point to be trustees of the future…the emotional well being of their child and those he/she interact with is largely affected by how you pour into them. WE ARE TRUSTEES OF THE FUTURE.
There are a lot of books to guide parents dealing with God’s way to Grace based parenting to dealing with the brain and boundaries. I am indebted to Buck Hatch; his wisdom and biblical foundations are spot on. Parents who want to have a Biblical framework for parenting may not get answers to the dangers or not of sucking thumbs, or to clear age of dating standards or what kinds of clothes kids should wear but what the Bible does give is Principles.
God is the Architect of the Family– When we hire an architect we want the first question out of their mouth to be “What is the Purpose of the Building?” What will it be used for? So it is clear the first question we must answer is, “What do we want our children to be/become?” If you don’t know where you are going any direction will do but not every direction is profitable for a child.
In one place in the Bible, we meet a boy named Samuel and he has some contemporaries whose names are Hophni and Phinehas. Two sets of boys with two sets of parents with obvious two sets of outcomes. What can we learn about successful parenting? Samuel was a prophet. Eli’s boys Hophni & Phinehas were priests. Is it true that successful parents have kids who go into the ministry? Obviously not, vocation has very little to do with parenting success.
Principles of Parenting –
- Vocation is not as important as a heart for God. Just because someone is a priest, pastor, missionary or bible scholar, doesn’t mean their heart is aligned with God’s.
- Protection is not the end all for parenting. Samuel was in the Temple near the end of the time of the Judges, he no doubt saw Eli’s sons disrespect the things and people of God (1 Samuel 2:17,
- Education is not the final answer for parenting. Homeschooling, Christian Schooling, Public Schooling are all good options for children.
- Temperaments are not the end all either. Introverts are not better than extroverts. Those who are quiet are not holier than the loud children.
- Parents are very important (1 Samuel 2:29). Samuel’s parents were stellar and H&P’s Dad was a useless waste. However, it does appear that although Samuel was a spiritual giant his kids were anything but that (1 Samuel 8:1-3).
Normal Biblical Parenting–
Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the Lord and also with man (1 Samuel 2:26).
Our goal is Normal parenting. Provide for normal physical growth, normal mental growth, normal relational growth and normal spiritual growth. How you choose to provide normal is up in the air. Interesting, this is the same words used of Jesus in Luke 2:52.
The only parenting style that removes guilt from parenting is the one that puts God at the center …If you get any glory out of the process you get to keep the guilt. If you give all the glory to God, then you remove yourself of guilt.