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Parenting as Discipleship

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
November 3, 2020 1:00 am

Parenting as Discipleship

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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November 3, 2020 1:00 am

A Christian's calling is to make disciples, and for a parent your first disciples are your kids. Author Adam Griffin joins us to talk about a parent's responsibility to love and disciple his/her children. As seen in Deuteronomy, the Hebrews were commanded to talk to their children about the things of God at every opportunity. The key is for parents to live out their faith with passion. This doesn't mean setting a perfect example, but modeling repentance and forgiveness when we fail.

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COVERED TOPICS / TAGS (Click to Search)
raising Godly kids
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

Who is most responsible for the spiritual training of your teenager is it you as mom and dad or is it the youth pastor a church. Adam Griffin says discipling our children is a team effort. The typical student ministers. This 20 something who can relate to kids got a super cool and there's there's not a problem with that per se. Unless you're missing out on what the Bible is called us to. As the Bible is called us to equip the saints for ministry, including parents for the ministry there. Call to which is ministering alongside their teenagers and I believe church has a role there, but so is family and we start to get those things mixed up or we start outsourced to each other and sometimes the kids get missed entirely because the parents counting on the church to do it. Maybe the church is going on parents to do it. This is family life today. Our hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson and Bob Lapine can find us how can parents and local churches work together more effectively for the spiritual development of children and what is our particular role to play as parents will talk more about that today with Adam Griffin stay with us and welcome to family life to. Thanks for joining us. You think there's a difference between parenting and discipleship.

I mean, are they to different ideas way to start deep in the minutes faith how I was think about this because what were talking about this week.

Family discipleship and I thought his parenting just making disciples is there more to parenting than making disciples. I guess there's the nuts and bolts of teaching somebody how to tie their shoes, but at some level that's that's discipleship is skill for living right.

I merely asked that question. First, I thought to be an easy one about. Thanks for that, but I thought now I think it is very closely the same thing if you understand as a Christian father, mother, that your job is to make disciples from Jesus command to us than their very similar almost the same thing. Obviously there's the parent aspect you're not their friend or their parents but you are called right to be a mentor in your discipling them one way or the other right. Are you thinking through this is my mission.

I think for the Hebrew culture. It was one in the same parenting is discipling. It's like Deuteronomy 6 as he talked about going along the way as you lie down as you rise up. It's always a part of you talking about Jesus.

And that goes right along with that is parenting Adam Griffin is joining us as we can. Family idea or we can get the right answers.

Fred F.

Adam, welcome back. Thanks is good to be here.

Adam is a pastor in East Dallas. He is an author has written a book with Matt Chandler called family discipleship and actually I guess discipled. This means student right yeah I think the one distinction I would make.

I think you're exactly right. You are always discipling the matter. If you believe in God or not your discipling your kid and something that learning follow the difference for the Christian is we don't just want a kid to follow us were trying to make a disciple of Jesus Christ.

So that's gonna take some intentionality to say I don't want you to grow up and just be like your dad on what to grow up just be like your mom. I want to grow up and be like Jesus. And that means since I am to fall flat on now knocking to make it all the way on that. I'm in have to also demonstrate how your mom or your dad is can be following Jesus is well. How long you been married I've been married for 10 years, 10 years, three boys at home who are ages 876 yet and did you and your wife start off with a business plan for when we have kids, this is what were to be doing as they do have a discipleship plan in place. You know when we first had our first son and I bet this is expensive. A lot of Christian parents were like beef early stories about family devotionals and family worship. Now you can infant who doesn't speak English doesn't yet can't use the bathroom. I how do you disciple a kid when you can have a conversation. As we talked about and had some great mentoring from my brother and some other people in her life who said no and her children are born their needs are very simple. That includes spiritually, their needs are very simple.

You're in a change in when they're wet you're gonna feed them when they're hungry you can from sleep when they're tired and you're to pray for them when you're near them.

You're gonna think about them. You can read Scripture and bless them and understand that they're not participating much in it. And so, as a parent you get to start very spiritually simply with the child and as they get complicated and they get older. Hopefully you also grow in your ability to lead that child as well and I thought that's true for the Griffin family and part of what you were doing, even when your kids were little was you were building into your own rhythm you are habituating yourself praying for your kids reading Scripture to your kids and making this a part of the organic practice of this is just what we do as a family absolutely and it change the way for me personally without them involved a part of the milestone plan I have for my boys that I have a journal Bible for each one of them that I read through and I put notes in and prayers in little insights into the Scripture that changed the way I was interacting with the Lord is now reading the word think about what do I hope my sons know of God, even before they are old enough to hear it from me I will in creating something that I'm going to give them that's gonna remind them of all the things their dad wants for them in the Lord have three Bibles that urinating right now while I like the idea, as were talking about this. I think our walk with God does shift because it it becomes out loud in a way where maybe had your own quiet time your devotional time you're reading Scripture alone that suddenly I realized I need to talk about this out loud with them what's going on in my head. My prayers aren't silent anymore. They're out loud in front of the kids no matter what were going to be just a simple step like you're just localizing where what you're feeling, praying, you're seeing things. We would drive to school might be like this tree is not amazing in the fall when it's this bright red. Or, you know, like looking at snowing and were praying on the way to school. Some becomes more of the rhythm of every day were just bringing God into the every day. Absolutely I think that the dangerous side of that is that we might 10 parents to fake a version of that to say, hey, maybe you can put on a faade that makes it look like you're some kind of super Christian or that you are really impressed with the tree that you're not you there's a version of that there were not trying to foster we want people to genuinely be following the Lord, and if you are an adult who is generally following the Lord want to do that in proximity to your kids and invite them into hell that's out and let's talk about that because one of the big problems that were seeing with kids who grow up in Christian homes and then hit young adulthood is that a lot of them are spinning out and their reporting back to us. They were aware of hypocrisy in the home. If mom and dad really love their kids and want their kids to follow Jesus. Mom and dad need to be serious about their own faith walk. Yes, if you want to love your kids well. The first step is loving your God.

Well, and if you feel like between you and God. There's something that it's not great than that. You need discipleship in your life you is apparently not supposed to be this arrived just because you had a kid now you're full grown adult with no problems and you two need the Lord and I want to see a genuine walk with the Lord from any mom or dad who's trying to disciple their kids, and that includes somebody who's fluent at and quick to repent both to their kids who they sinned against but also to the Lord for where we made mistakes and so as a parent you're looking at your kids and I think all of us as parents have a longing for our kids to do well. We want them to thrive. We want them to do better than we've done in life and we typically look at our own spiritual development and think, well, this is about my walk with Jesus.

Now it's bigger than that. Now it's about your kids walk with Jesus your walk with Jesus is going to be a key part of how well your kids do, so it's not just does this work for me.

Yeah, but it's I've gotta grow closer to Jesus because I love my kids and I want them to grow closer to Jesus and at the same time we don't limit kids centered version of my walk with Jesus. I don't want to read my Bible from a kids just so they'll see it to read my Bible because I am genuinely pursuing the Lord, I believe that's what he's called me to do and not hide that for my kids, but same time not fake it just so they witness a version of it and that spiritual disciplines for the mom and dad and together that if there's a married couple that the man and wife would be spiritually checking in on each other and having disciplines together is just as important to me as them having a family devotional or leveraging a family discipleship moment with their kids is that the marriage should be a place where were pursuing the Lord together praying for one another and and demonstrating that to one another in sincerity, and that puts a huge weight. In some ways on the mom that think about it because I remember what had be 2015 years ago as a pastor or church trying to help understand our youth ministry. I'm sure every pastor's gone through this like we get these high school kids to be on fire for Christ. So maybe it's not Sunday night we meet. Maybe it's Monday night. May we should meet three nights a week, young to all these different strategies and then when you look at the actual data to say what kind of youth ministries produce adult men and women who are walk with Christ know what the answer is, I'm sure you know it's youth ministries that when they go home they see it in their home.

It really isn't meet Sunday night or meet Wednesday night. Do this in your meeting or don't do this, I mean those things obviously matter, you need to have a good church strategy, but if they go home and they don't see it or they see like Bob said hypocrisy. There's a tendency that they do what they saw in her home that's in and again that the church is a matter it's a blending, but it when I saw that as I call my goodness it's on us. Yeah, you know we want to make disciples. We have to be disciples again not perfect that they need to see a mom and dad or a mom or dad or blended family that's actually live in this out is going to help them live it out in my right yeah I could talk about that all day to get back onto the peer centered student ministry idea. We have a roof you just get them together with their friends. That's the best version of ministry versus a home centered student ministry that really thinks about if I want kids to know the Lord as a pastor and invest in moms and dads and students and I will want to see that together.

The typical student ministers. This 20 something who can relate to kids, and yet is super cool and there's there's not a problem with that per se.

Unless you're missing out on what the Bible is called us to. When you're telling your church the desire to minister to teenagers because the Bible is called us to equip the saints for ministry, including parents for the ministry there call to which is ministering alongside their teenagers and I believe church has a role there, but so is family and if we start to get those things mixed up or we start to outsource to each other than sometimes the kids get missed entirely because the parents counting on the church to do it. Maybe the church is coming on the parents to do it and then you have teenagers growing up going all I did was have buddies I got in trouble with the church and that was, what we did. We went on trips with the parties, but I think Tina's parents.

I know that I felt this is young mom.

There is a sense at times of failing so often that I felt unworthy and so I think parents can feel that me think. While the church and they use clearly much better than I am at discipling my kids and yet God is calling us to show authentically what the Christian life is like, and so I think as we talk about the repentance piece for kids to see our own mistakes and it happens early.

I've talked about this before bed mean Dave is traveling a lot with Allianz he was a pastor starting a church. We were so busy he was gone a lot and it was a night I think the boys where for seven and 10 somewhere around there doing homework and you you know Adam, this is crazy time with three little boys I care just busy and they're active and they're going crazy and they're knocking things over and I was at my wits and I was thinking last night my eyes and he home any kind and that kind of takes you off on a whole another spin and so I had lost my patience and something happen something misspelled and I got so frustrated that I would like to thank all my cats and I kicked the wall and my flight went into the wall got stuck inside the wall and the boys suddenly it's total quiet. They run to the wall.

No one says anything.

I am filled with so much shame, guilt, remorse, everything you can think of as appearing in my youngest census know that you bring a strong saying I thought with my husband and come home even asked the pastor and I went to bed that night only did before he went to bed that night. She ran upstairs and got wallpapering covered up the hole. Yeah just as likely as the hole I would've never known it was just the wall. Dave comes in and they all ran to date. I can't eat a whole and the law pointed at it yet figured out her. It was terrible, but I think this is what parents go through at least I know a lot of mom I lay in bed that night I and the worst mom I am the worst model I should even talk about Jesus taken a turn away from Jesus because I messed up so much now. I had already asked their forgiveness. You guys, I'm so sorry this was wrong. I lost my patience. I shouldn't have done that. I prayed in front of them. Jesus like himself.

Mike and I that what you fear is able think it's their fault. They will think this is on man. Remember I kicked myself for about a week. I think his parents. We just get into this rat like I can't. I'm terrible and yet I think that there is a spiritual battle going on where Satan any of our soul speaks lies, we have our own lives that were listening to, and I think it's important that when your kids are quick to forgive Rick to see like of course to make mistakes and we know they see their own mistakes too and so I think that's good that prayer and repentance from not be perfect but don't live that cited say parents don't live in the shame and condemnation. We are forgiven for that crisis, forgiveness, and our kids need to see as make mistakes and go back to apologize and really confess those amen as you talk about being an honest parent than your time will be a strong parent.

Mere kicking wall down but I say kicking yourself for we come what may have meant that must hurt worse, but return will be an honest parent and being honest about the mistakes you make, and I should say as a qualifier. There are versions of parental mistakes that I do believe can disqualify a person from being in a parental relationship of authority in somebody's life and I'm not advocating that no matter who your mom or dad is you need to give them room to be an authority in your life.

I think a lot of us can testify to that kind of background, but when we think about the opposite if we let our mistakes be used against us or we harass ourselves with them or torments ourselves with them that causes us to inaction or to nonchalance to what were called to we disqualify ourselves than what are we resenting ourselves to rethink my kids will be better without me. We know that's a lie.

I shouldn't be there, mom or dad or they need a different mom or dad or this is not the kid that I want I want a different version of this could these are all like you're saying these are lies that are so convincing and it's so easy to tend towards shame even though we could apply grace to somebody else. It's really hard sometimes to apply to your own heart, especially parenting because we care so much we love our kids so much so we wanted to go so well. So when we make a mistake it hurts so bad and nobody can help or hurt a kid like a parent can parents are so powerful and so it makes it seem almost like insurmountable.

When we make a mistake, but the beautiful thing is one there is no lost cause for the gospel of Jesus Christ including in any parenting mistakes that we might make that our kids can be often more forgiving than we give them credit for.

If we invite them into that honest relationship. They get that level of anger and they understand that maybe they hold it against us to in their immaturity. But we have to take those things to the foot of the cross and say Lord you have called me to this so I need you to empower me for it because you are to be perfect and it and I am not and now like you. You get the point of this is I'm enough for Eve uses in a sermon illustration is so perfect. The hiding of the this thing behind the paper, but now you put it back to that young else a milestone for your family.

Remember the time on kicked the wall so hard she put a hole in it and you get the point back to the faithfulness of God in that moment that at the moment you thought that was your low point and now the Lord points back that says no. This was the high point I'm teaching you that you're not perfect, but your kids are to remember how much you cared about them. So I deserve to live with Mrs. I auditioning today for Sarah Griffin milestone. Are there stories like that from your family that you point your family still young, but if you have some of those highlights is the milestones we talk about the book sometimes for families are the greatest thing it's happened and sometimes it's the worst you know milestone for your family can be when you've lost a loved one are we your kids first funeral. It's not always a happy experience but there are things I've mentioned that the journal Bibles are things I'm working on now for future but there's also things we do together and I think our kids would point back to some of the vacations or trips we've taken as a family as a as a pastor I got to speak at camps in my kids will sometimes get to go with me in the point of those moments of getting to sit in a room where they hear me share the gospel teenagers and they get to spend the day with those teenagers swimming in the pool are going hiking in the mountains and for them.

That's the environment that I want to make the most grand impression on them as a family, but I think to what you're talking about and is I'm always afraid that the memories they'll have her of my worst moment that I could have 100 great nights of my kids. But the one I do lose my temper. The girl would be like. I remember my dad yelling every family has some version of dysfunction, so to pretend that there's a family out there who doesn't is also to believe a lie. Every family has some version. Every person has some version of dysfunction, but I want my kids to remember what's broken about me only in the sense of that. I too in my humility will admit you're right, that was a problem that that hatter that is a mistake that dad made and remember those in the context of repentance is a man who follows the Lord imperfectly and I think what you're saying makes me think how important it is and said it took confess and repent. So your children can see it again you'll make up sin to do that but I think real discipleship is authentic, honest living in front of them don't hide the courses can be age-appropriate as they get older but being able to say I struggled with this today or maybe it's some they see readily like a hole in the you know the drywall but maybe some that's more private, but especially as your boys and I didn't have daughters.

But as they are old enough to process as a teenage mind to say Tyson my I doubted today was God. And here's how I reconciled and got to a place where I'm okay or right now going through some so hard I I'm struggling believe in God is good and start a conversation because you know they are, they just don't believe dad ever.

Mom ever think like that they do in God's there, and God meets him we had a guest on family life today.

A while back who said at family dinner sometimes I will say, let's talk about how we send today and he will always say and I'll go first and he's trying to build a rhythm into what's going on in the family where confession is normal where we are open and transparent about what were dealing with, and by modeling it all go first, here's what I struggled with that.

Here's how I responded, here's what I had to do anybody else that is not that everybody has to do a confession there, but he's watched his kids start to feel comfortable saying why did this arrive, I was aware that only much better than what we did. I would always be like this talk about how mom send it, but I think what you're pointing out that he that he talked about is one thing to talk about.

As we define family discipleship in the book is that the best version of is mostly ordinary. It's not some superlative version of Christianity on display in your house it's it's the normal you make it normal in your rhythm so if maybe the like. If I were now with my kids, age, or if you guys were out with your kids age the first time, sit down, say were confessing sin. At dinner tonight Debbie very abnormal more difficult but if there's a way to build in a rhythm where you don't give up. It's like anything else.

The first couple times you try something it's gonna be as difficult as it will ever be. But the more ordinary becomes more normal becomes to point out the beauty in nature. Like you pointed out, and this tree and that because a normal part of hanging out with mom or to point out confession at the dinner table or point out mom send for doing that on a regular you never did. I mean, I've shared here in family life today before and I will go into but I don't and it's in our parenting book the first time we found porn on the family computer and it wasn't me in an initial payment to me and said is this you and I know so that means is one of these three boys and then when the one confessed it was that moment like okay, here we are, and I remember thinking my whole life. What will I do in that moment, I thought I would discipline a ride. I wept because I was like son. I've been down this road and here's what the road looks like and here's how dad wins. Let's journey together and I think he was 13 at the time so and again looking back I don't know what he would say about that moment, but was a moment where dad was real. This is part of living in the here's a victory plan. You can't hide this if you keep this in the dark. The dark will win once it's out in the light of Jesus can say let's heal and list work. And that's a family discipleship moment exactly right. I think what's beautiful about what you just shared is not this like you didn't prepare a sermon about how you can approach this with your son. You didn't come up with a version of what's the perfect thing that dad did here. It was how you responded to sin and we think about family discipleship as modeling is spending time is leveraging these moments. How we respond to sin is going to be an opportunity. We are to have over and over and over again sin in our own hearts and the sin of our kids. I think about in Scripture were Christ talks about leadership. He says there's a version of leadership that the Gentiles to work their authority.

They used to Lord over others and we do that and parenting all the time because I have authority on the Lord it over you. He says the difference in Christian leadership is to think of yourself as a servant we think about how are we to serve our kids how does my kid need to be loved in this tender moment this opportunity were he's busted is it can it be him to come down like a hammer. Maybe in some things. It is in this case, you're going gently and empathetic. My Christlike and empathetic high priest saying I know what it is like to walk in darkness and work in a walk in the light together, buddy.

This is one of the reasons why I think your book is so helpful for us as parents is because you help us think through things that we might not naturally think about that.

We have to be purposeful and intentional in these areas and we need some coaching and your book family discipleship. Does that in fact were making your book available this week to any family left at a listener who would like a copy. If you're able to help with a donation to support the ongoing work of family life today will send you Adams book family discipleship, leading your home through time moments and milestones. It's our thank you gift when you donate or when you call to donate at one 800 FL today what you're supporting when you make a donation is the ongoing equipping and discipling of moms and dads and husbands and wives in cities and in locations all around the world people are connecting with family life today in so many ways and you as a list or make that happen every time you make a donation. So thank you for your support Adams book is our thank you gift. If you can make a donation today again. The book is called family discipleship and you can donate or you can call to donate at one 800 FL today, not tomorrow we will talk about how we raise kids who can connect with their peers but they may not always fit in the in fact, they shouldn't always fit in how we raise kids who know how to stand for their faith in the midst of peer pressure and influence, because that's what the face today. Hope you can tune in for that tomorrow.

Thank our engineer today. Keith Lynch along with our entire broadcast production team on behalf of our hosts Dave and Ann Wilson and Bob Lapine see you back next time for another edition of family life today. Family life to day is a production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas. A crew ministry help for today hope for tomorrow

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