Ephesians

Pastoring Your Children

Ephesians 6:1-4

  • It is so important in the press of everyday life—in the busyness of everyday parenting—to keep the big picture in view. And here’s the big picture: What in life could be more important than to be one of God’s tools for the forming of a human soul? Let that sink in. God has placed you on site as a parent to form the most significant thoughts and desires and choices in the heart and life of a child; to help a child get to know God’s world and what it’s all about.                   -Paul Tripp
  • Parents should care more for the loyalty of their children to Christ than for anything besides, more for this than for their health, their intellectual vigour and brilliance, their material prosperity, their social position, their exemption from great sorrows and great misfortunes.                 -Francis Foulkes
  1. Foster Their Appetite & Feed Them Well
    • True education, on the other hand, is stimulation, in which parents and teachers act as a catalyst, and encourage the child to make his own responses. This they cannot do if they leave the child to flounder; they have to teach Christian values of truth and goodness, defend them, and recommend their acceptance, but at the same time abstain from any pressure, still more coercion.             -John Stott
  2. Grace-Filled Love & Care
    • Prov. 13:24Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
    • Prov. 22:15Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
    • Prov. 23:13  Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. 14 If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol.
    • Prov. 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
  3. Make Them Hungry for the Gospel

How to Provoke Your Children to Anger

Eph. 6:1-4

  • As the number of options increases, the costs, in time and effort, of gathering the information needed to make a good choice also increase. The level of certainty people have about their choice decreases. And the anticipation that they will regret their choice increases.       -Barry Schwartz
  • When Paul outlines how parents should behave towards their children, it is not the exercise, but the restraint, of their authority which he urges upon them.        -John Stott
  1. Don’t Treat Them Like Children
  2. Don't Treat Them Like Future Adults
    1. Prov. 2:1-5
  3. Don't Treat Them Like Human Beings
    1. How does the incarnation change the way you speak to your children? God became a child. That one act of condescension and identification should forever stop us from denigrating children. The incarnation would have astonished them. To them, children were chattel, properly to be disposed of at a father’s whim. What about the resurrection? Does the truth of Christ's victory over sin and death make any difference when our kids struggle with ongoing sin? How? In the resurrection Jesus brought justification to those who believe, including our believing children. If they are justified, God looks at them not only as those who have never sinned but as those who have always obeyed. How would this truth change your parenting?     -Elyse Fitzpatrick & Jessica Thompson
  4. Forget Their Need for Grace... and Yours Too
    1. Your continual struggles as a parent, your child's rebellion and hatred, are simply thorns in your Father's employ to keep you close to him.… None of us wants to appear weak or incompetent, especially when it comes to difficulties in our family. We hate it when we can't boast about our successful parenting, yet we can grow in our faith to believe the Lord is sending a particular trial because it glorifies him. Has the Lord granted us the privilege of choosing how we'll glorify him? Would our chosen path ever lead us to the valley of the shadow of death with our children? If we spend our whole life trying to avoid that valley, how will we ever experience his comfort while he sustains us by his grace in the valley…? The weaknesses, failures, and sins of our family are the places where we learn that we need grace too. Is there, and those dark mercies, that God teaches us to be humbly dependent. It is there that he draws near to us and sweetly reveals his grace.         -Elyse Fitzpatrick & Jessica Thompson