Tom Ascol – Give Them Law and Gospel

If parents are going to bring their children up “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4), then they should understand the role of both the law and the gospel in that task. The former reveals to us God’s all-encompassing will and the latter reveals to us His all-sufficient provision for sinners who violate that will.

The Law Reveals God’s Will

The first verse that Donna and I taught each of our six children is Ephesians 6:1, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” By doing this we were teaching them God’s law—their and our Creator’s revealed will for their lives. He calls them to live in obedience to their parents. He calls us not to “provoke” them “to anger” but to “bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). We are both, together with all people, accountable to obey God.

That accountability stems from the most fundamental truth in the world—that “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). As the Creator of all things He has the right to rule over and require whatever He deems right of His creatures. He has summarized His requirements of us in the Ten Commandments. Jesus further summarized them in the greatest commandment and the second that is like it. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” and “you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37,39).

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Josh Buice – Parenting is Discipleship

The work of parenting is tough. The labor is long and the discouragement is constant, but the joys of parenting outweigh all of it. I’m certain that all parents experience joys in their relationship with their children, but as a Christian parent we approach the work of parenting through a different lens. Being a parent is far more than building relationships with our children. It is the duty of Christian parents to go beyond building your child’s athletic resume or teaching your child a trade. We have a much larger task and responsibility. Parenting is the work of discipleship.

Parenting is the Task of Making Disciples

Jesus’ Great Commission to His followers involved going and making disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:18-20). Before going to the nations, they were to begin that work in Jerusalem. We see them engaging unbelievers with the gospel at Pentecost in Acts 2. From there, they would then go beyond the borders of Jerusalem eventually spreading the gospel to the entire world.

Before we go beyond the borders of our own homes to share the gospel with neighbors, co-workers, extended family, friends, and even short term mission trips overseas—we must begin the work of making disciples in our own home with our own children. Making disciples is the commission, but how is that accomplished? It’s certainly more than getting decisions. It’s far more than having someone repeat a prayer. It’s much more involved than walking through a gospel tract one time and calling for a child to follow Christ by faith. Making a disciple is a hard task because it’s an impossible task.

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Michael Kelley – 3 Things Not to Say When Your Childs Fails

Sometimes I feel like a failure. I think everyone does. And without trying to be self-deprecating, I’ve lived long enough, worked long enough, and tried long enough to have had my fair share of experiences that at least felt a whole lot like failing. I’ve been cut from teams, did poorly on tests, and needed correction in annual reviews. And it’s always painful.

It’s still the moment when no matter how gospel-fluent you think you are that you question your self-worth and wonder if you have the courage to even try again. But even though it’s personally difficult, it pales in comparison at this point in my life to the difficulty of seeing my children fail at something.

That’s what’s truly gut-wrenching – to watch your own child fail at a sport, or a class, or a social encounter, or a whatever. As parents, we can’t stop these moments; nor should we try to. Failure is a terrible experience but a wonderful teacher. So if, then, as parents we are committed to actually allowing our children to fail at some things, then we would do well to ask the question of how to respond appropriately to them when they do.

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Jon Payne – Wise Technological Parenting

It is the apex of foolishness for parents to allow their children to have free and unaccountable access to technology– smart phones, tablets, iPods, computers, etc. Before I explain the reasons why I believe this, I want to make clear, in no uncertain terms, that I’m not a Luddite. I’m not against the advancement and use of modern technological devices. Indeed, I have no desire to go back to the sixteenth-century! Quite the contrary, I’m profoundly grateful for the seemingly endless and valuable functions of iPhones, iPads, and computers. It’s wonderful to be able to stay in touch with family and friends around the world through FaceTime and Skype, as well as through social media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram. Even so, there is a dark and insidious side to our brave new world of information and connectivity; and, we would be exceedingly foolish to ignore it. Here are a few reasons why our children should not have free and unrestricted access to technological devices:

Internet Pornography. Internet porn is a pandemic of massive proportions. The statistics related to this wicked industry are staggering (see http://www.covenanteyes.com). The porn industry generates thirteen billion dollars of revenue each year in the United States alone. One in eight online searches is for pornography, and the same goes for one in five searches on mobile devices. Twenty-four percent of smart phone users admit to having pornographic material on their device. Fifty-six percent of divorce cases involve one spouse with a porn addiction.

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Michael Boling – Parenting 101: Dealing with Lying Lips

Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices. (Col. 3:9)

YHWH detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy. (Prov. 12:22)

In the interest of transparency, I want to begin by stating as a child, I had a tendency to lie. Usually it was a string of lies sometimes carefully and at other times haphazardly thrown together in an effort to avoid trouble. Typically, the repercussions of those lies being found out was far worse than if I had simply told the truth at the outset. One thing was certain – the truth, regardless of how well my plan of deceit had been through out, was found out.

The temptation to lie, especially to share the incorrectly described “little white lie” is one I submit we all face. While we may have matured from our childhood days of lying about who broke the lamp in the living room, the urge to stretch truth resulting in falsehood remains a challenge for us all.

As a parent, the battle against lying lips has from time to time taken place in our home. We have a teenage daughter. With that time of life comes the temptation to lie, to go behind the back of those in authority, the desire to do what one wants, and the impulse to lie in order to cover up the tracks of the deception.

A recent occurrence of this deception resulted in a prime teaching moment for our daughter. I will not go into the details of what took place; however, let’s just say it involved the use of technology, the agreement that certain elements of technology would not be installed, the installation of said technology despite the established rules, and finally, the discovery of the deception and unraveling of the web of lies.

I remember what it was like as a child. The rules set down by parents seem like such a killjoy. What is the big deal with doing what they told me not to do, especially if it is just for a quick second? Nobody will be harmed by my actions in this one instance, right? Unfortunately, this line of thinking does not recognize the fact established in Scripture, namely that YHWH detests lying lips (Prov. 12:22) and lying is a work of the flesh, something we should be casting off and mortifying (Col. 3:9).

At its core, lying and deception is the oldest trick in the enemy’s playbook. Deception was part and parcel of what took place in the Garden of Eden. Did YHWH really say? Can’t I just divert off the path of righteousness just a couple of steps? It won’t harm anyone will it?

One could suggest the wrongdoing by our daughter in the grand scheme of harmful activities arguably does not rise to the level of being that monstrous. I would respond to such a suggestion that since YHWH detest lying lips, falsehood exists near or right at the top of that which we should also detest. While all sin should be abhorred, lying lips are repeatedly noted as an abomination to YHWH. Lying is like a giant snowball. It begins with a seemingly innocuous fib but ultimately keeps rolling into a giant landslide of destruction. In the case of our daughter, her actions of falsehood were akin to tossing a log onto an already burning fire.

We shared with our daughter how great a fire a lie can set ablaze. The second and third order consequences of lying are what is often forgotten when deception is embarked upon. Lying breaks the sacred bond of trust, something that takes a great deal of time to rebuild once destroyed. What we often think is no big deal and harmless is in reality rebellion against authority, in this case parental authority, and ultimately, it is rebellion against YHWH.

For parents out there who are also dealing with this issue in their home, be sure you set the example to your children by embracing a policy of honesty. Even those supposed “little white lies” should not be tolerated. Instruct your children in the importance of truth and the harm that occurs by deception. As the people of YHWH, we are to always tell the truth. YHWH detest lying lips and we should as well. Helping our children understand the importance of truth at the earliest age possible and addressing the urge and practice of lying with the power of Scripture is vital.

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Andrew Shanks – The New Eugenics: Can We Pick and Choose Our Children?

Eugenics had its heyday in the early part of the twentieth century. Eugenics theory taught that selective breeding among humans would eventually eradicate undesirable physical traits. Individuals and groups who possessed undesirable traits were to be forcibly sterilized to prevent their reproduction. The theory of eugenics (literally, “good genes”) enjoyed wide popularity in its beginning.

That is, until it was adopted as a major facet of the Nazi program in Germany.

The Nazis perfected the more brutal methods of eugenic theory, and the result was the attempted extermination of Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, and other unwanted groups. Since then, eugenics has fallen into predictable disrepute. Recently, however, new developments in genetic science have resurrected some of the goals of the old eugenics projects.

Bright Side of Genetic Sciences

Currently, genetic testing is becoming a common tool for physicians and diagnosticians. The general idea behind genetic testing is that there are certain genes which predispose a person to certain genetic traits, including an array of hereditary diseases. In some cases, the discovery of these genes may give doctors an edge in fighting the diseases which will result.

For example, young children identified as having the gene mutation which leads to cystic fibrosis have sometimes been treated with a variety of preventative medications and therapies, aimed at reducing the severity of the condition once it surfaces. Now, were this type of diagnosis and treatment the extent of genetic testing’s influence (and were such preventative treatments shown to be beneficial with any consistency), then there would be no cause for concern.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there.

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Darren Carlson – Foster Care as the Way of Christ

He told us how many of them did not cry the first night.

In 2004 I learned about foster care from Perry Downs, a long-time professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He and his wife had taken in many children over the years. When he would check on them, they were screaming into their pillows. They had learned that they would be beaten if they cried, so he would only see silent screams.

Twelve years and a few kids later, my wife and I have opened our home to foster children. We have been part of a church culture that cares for orphans. During Sunday services we are graced with numerous racially mixed families (a little foretaste of heaven) as families are diversified through adoption and foster children. As pro-life Christians, we strive to care about orphans and neglected children who have made it outside the womb.

Caring for Children in Need

Foster care is a system run by the government where minors are put into the custody of the state and placed with foster parents to care for their daily needs. Staggeringly, there are 415,000 children in foster care right now, each staying in foster care an average of two years.

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Tim Challies – Be a Parent Worthy of Honor

For a number of weeks, I have been exploring the fifth commandment and, in particular, how adult children are to obey it. “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.” While heeding this command is relatively straightforward to the young child under the authority of his parents, it is much more difficult to know what it entails for adult children. Through this series, we have begun to learn some ways such honor can take shape. We have seen that all children owe their parents a debt of honor that continues past childhood. All children of all ages are to honor their parents. We have explored this from many angles and now, as we conclude, I want to explore it from just one more.

Children do not bear the full responsibility of the fifth commandment. If children are to extend honor to their parents, parents are to make it easy for them by living honorable lives. We need to repeat what we have said before: Children are not to wait until their parents prove honorable before extending honor, for the parents’ honor derives from their position, not their behavior. Yet there is still an onus on the parent to live a worthy and respectable life. And this is what I wish to consider today: How can we who are parents live lives that are worthy of honor? How can we make it easy for our children to honor us now and in the future?

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