This is a recap of the latest sermon in our series on parenting: Raising Humans.
Raising humans begins with vision. If we want to raise humans who will flourish in God’s world, we need a better vision for our kids than a school or career or future lifestyle. We need to think bigger. We don’t need our vision for them. We need God’s vision for them.
In Deuteronomy 6:4-7, God tells His people what His will is for their whole lives. Not only did He want relationship with the grown-ups there that day. He tells them that they are to pass His vision on to the next generation. God’s vision for our children is this: that they would know and love God, and that WE would be the ones to teach them how.
Our Fallen Vision
We may know God’s vision for us and our kids, but we can go astray, get distracted, be tempted. It's easy to fall into the patterns of life and behavior of the people around us that have nothing to do with God’s vision. Our vision for our kids and our parenting is fallen. We emphasize success, self-esteem, or self-sufficiency in our parenting, rather than knowing and loving the God who made us and loves us in Christ.
The gospel sets us free from the fear that we will mess up our kids. It tells us we are sometimes bad parents. But it also reminds us that God calls Himself Father! He is the first and perfect parent. And He loves us with a deeper, truer, freer and purer love than any parent has ever felt for their child.
This sets us free to infuse our lives and our parenting with the gospel as Deuteronomy 6:7 calls us to. As parents, the way we teach our kids to know and love God is by embodying the truth of the gospel. It means that when we feel helpless as a parent to console or care for our kids, we can bow ourselves down in prayer. It means that when we sin against our kids, we can repent to them and ask their forgiveness.
Raising Humans Homework #1
If you are a parent, sit down on your own and/or with your spouse and answer the following 3 questions together:
- Our vision for our family is _____________. (How will you restate God's vision for you and your family in light of the gospel?)
- We will live out this vision by__________. (How will you seek to embody the gospel in your family life?)
- The people outside our family who will help us do this are _________. (Who in your Christian community will walk this out with you?)
Reflection & Application Questions
- Do you delight in God and the gospel? How can you grow in this? (Can we expect our kids to if we don't???)
- What side of the "fallen vision" spectrum do you fall on? Do you tend to have a vision for your kids that emphasizes success? Self-esteem? Self-sufficiency? Something else?
- How can you repent of your fallen vision and begin to grow towards a gospel vision for you and your family?
- In what ways do you feel like a failure as a parent? How does God's love for you in the gospel meet you in that?
- How often do you pray with your kids? How can you infuse prayer throughout life in your household?
- Do you regularly practice repentance toward your kids? Why or why not? Is this something you feel free in the gospel to practice?