Parenting in Isolation

So, you’ve determined to take hold of your God-ordained responsibility to be the primary trainers of your children. You’ve determined that in the name of Jesus and the power of the Spirit you are going to faithfully and intentionally leave a legacy of faith. You are fired up and ready to see the gospel lived out in every aspect of your family’s life!

I’m so excited for you and have one more word of encouragement.

Don’t do it alone.

A quick look around reveals more parents abdicating their primary role. And yet, many well-meaning parents can quickly swing the other way and begin doing something equally as dangerous – parenting in isolation.

If there’s any lesson we should be learning daily as parents, it’s humility. We have a great call of God on our lives to raise up children who know and follow Jesus, but none of us have all the answers. We weren’t meant to live life alone. We were also not meant to parent alone.

We Need Jesus

When we are weak, He is strong. If anyone knows what’s best for our children, it’s our Lord and Savior. I cannot save my children, but I can point them to the Savior. I am not called to be master of my children; I’m commanded to direct their gaze to the Master.

As the father of 3 young women, my desire to lead, guide and protect my girls increases each moment. I pray for the young men who are brave enough to talk to me about one of these precious princesses! I once had someone say to me, “You’ll just have to tell them that if they want the hand of one of these princesses, they’ll have to talk to the king!” Immediately, I found that statement to be unsettling. My daughters as princesses doesn’t make me king. I’m an older prince of the One True King. So, yes, the young men will have to talk to me. But when they do, I’ll be sure they’ve talked to the King.

In other words, I’m a child of God as much as my believing children are. They need Jesus, and I need Jesus. It’s in this place of humility I parent with a God-focus and not in isolation.

We Need Others

God also knew that we needed a community, a larger family, to bear with us, forgive us, encourage us, and spur us on (Col. 3:12-17). We need to be connected to a local gathering of our spiritual family. We can encourage one another as parents. We can learn from those who have gone before (Titus 2). We can share our hearts and homes with one another and be encouraged and equipped to fulfill our mission.

We also need to understand that the local church is meant to be an expression of the kingdom of Jesus. If our desire is for our children to become children of God, then they need to know the Father. In order for them to obey the Father, they need to understand their place as a potential or actual sibling in Christ. Our children need spiritual brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and grandparents who reinforce and reflect the same truth that we are teaching them at home.

If I’m going to be faithful to my divine call in Christ, then I will see that my children are connected to the larger spiritual family. My family is not an isolated group; we’re part of something bigger.

Inside/Outside

As you turn from abdication of your call, be sure not to turn toward isolation. God has not only given us a divine command, but He’s also given us a divine method for the way we fulfill that call. We do all these things in Christ and community in order to impart a faith to our children that is sincere, sustainable, and secure…in Christ.

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