Every counselor knows when a parent brings a rebellious teenager in for counseling, there will be a need at some point in the process to talk about the condition of the parent’s marriage. From a practical wisdom perspective, the most effective kind of parenting a child can receive comes from marriages that are biblically sound and God-centered.
The Bible is not a parenting book, which is why it gives so little parenting advice. It is a relationship book. Rather than providing us with parenting tips, it gives us a plethora of information about how to have great relationships within any community construct, whether it is marriage, family, church, business, friends, neighbors, or any other context where two or more people interact.
When you think about it this way, then the goals for all community constructs are essentially the same. Below is a list of a few goals or outcomes that most Christians have for the community constructs in which they belong.
There is more you could add to this list or, if you wanted to, you could simplify it by stating it this way: “My goal for each person within my sphere of influence is Christ-likeness.” Jesus is the perfect representation of all of the attributes listed.
Without question every Christian parent wants their child to be a solid facsimile of Jesus, which leads us to the main question in this piece: what is the most effective way to teach a child how to be like Jesus? Paul answered that question this way:
What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. – Philippians 4:9 (ESV)
He appealed to his readers to use everything they had learned, received, heard, and seen in him for future reference. His hope was for them to be able to emulate his exported life in their moment of need. When he was talking to Timothy, he said it this way:
What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. – 2 Timothy 2:2 (ESV)
Paul knew the most effective way to teach someone was to export his life to them. He was a...Read