Deuteronomy 6: 4-9
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
Over the last few weeks I have been facing my own inadequacies as a Father and a parent as I ponder the immense responsibility to disciple my children. You may or may not know that the communities I serve have a distinct lack of healthy parenting and it leads to a host of spiritual and social consequences that most would rather not deal with. So to begin with, allow me to define parenting according verse seven: “Parenting is a divine calling and opportunity for multi-generational impact for Jesus”. This is the best opportunity that I am going to have at getting a captive audience to create disciples for Jesus. WOW! When I realised this I felt broken because this was never really my operating model. Repentance before the Lord soon followed. Furthermore, parenting is developed in our text as follows:
Parenting is a Choice. Parenting is not a laissez faire endeavour. Children cannot be left to develop on their own but need the structure and support that comes with authoritative direction. The consumer culture of the day has resulted in countless parents who are prescribed what, where and how to parent. This insults the sensibilities of the Bible at least and demonically opposes it at best. We have to choose to parent and we have to plan to parent.
Parenting is a Calling. The passing on of eternal truth to the next generation in my line is a calling from God. It is commanded, precepted, and expected. I have the opportunity to pastor in the literal sense of the word my own biological and or adopted children. Impressing (v7) is hard work. Notice that impressing, which takes energy, is done as a continuous action in every time and every context. To accomplish this you are going to need some supernatural power. Well, what God calls for God provides for. Walk in your parental calling and see the provision of God.
Parenting is a Cooperation. God’s plan from the very beginning of creation was for children to be discipled by a father and a mother who are joined in matrimony and living together. Much respect must be given to single mothers/fathers who disciple with the lot that they have been given. Parenting is also a cooperation with God as alluded to previously. If he is not the Executive Partner of the parenting team, much can go wrong.
Join me as I ask God to be IMPRESSIVE as a parent!!