Saturday, August 30, 2008

Parenting - Lessons About Ourselves

This is the first installment of "39 Lessons, 20 Tips and 10 "Don'ts" For Parenting" by Matt & Elizabeth Schmucker from the most recent edition of 9Marks E-Newsletter on Family and Parenting. Here are lessons 1-11 in which the Schumakers share what they have learned about themselves as parents.

1. To be a faithful steward of your children you must abide in Christ (John 15:5: "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.").


2. "Trickle down theory" – Mom's daily devotion naturally trickles down to encouragement and instruction in the Lord for the children.

3. Not listening to your children causes you to misjudge them (James 1:19-20: "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires").

4. Our task list is not as important as our children's thought life.

5. Preach the gospel of grace, not self-discipline.

6. Being parented is defining; Parenting is refining.

7. You will parent the way you were parented unless you think things through.

8. Parents should become "smaller" as their children become bigger. In other words, a parent should become more transparent in confessing one's sin and in sharing past struggles as children mature. Your children should hear more about your fight for faith as they grow older. Don't be a plastic Christian!

9. Ordinary times make for extraordinary memories.

10. To have children is to need margin in your life.

11. A disreputable life will undermine the gospel. An exemplary life will commend it.

Matt & Elizabeth Schmucker are the parents of five children who presently range in ages from 3 to 19. Matt is the executive director of 9Marks and an elder at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC.

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