I am in the process of reading a great book, Parenting, 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family, by Paul David Tripp. Admittedly, I am not very far into the book, but the reason I am slow moving is I keep stopping to underline and highlight sentences! At this point I have most of the book marked. Now, in reality it doesn’t make much sense to do that, because EVERYTHING can’t be highlight- worthy, right? Well, so far, I am finding this book to be a gem of a resource. The book opens with a chapter called “Ambassadors”, where it discusses the difference between Ownership parenting and Ambassador parenting. The parents who parent with the ownership style (these children belong to me, and I will parent as “I see fit”) tend to be more short-sighted about parenting. Seeking for short term wins, more reactive than goal-oriented, and outside of God’s plan. These parents are motivated by what they want their children to be, to look like, to achieve. As parents, we all want our children to be successful, well-liked, and productive members of the society when they move out of our homes. This is a view of the ownership parenting style. Most of us do this without even thinking. In ambassador parenting, we first need to realize that our most precious possessions do not even belong to us! They belong to the One who made us. Our children were entrusted to us to shape, mold, and grow here on Earth to look more like Christ. We are supposed to be guiding them to seek God’s will; seek God’s purpose for them. To be honest, this is easier said than done. We are only human, after all, and imperfect. Imperfect people parenting imperfect children. We need to be conscious of the fact that we might get it wrong. We might lose our cool. We might react instead of act. All those things are going to happen; none of us have hit the home run yet. Being humble and open with your children will go a long way to helping them see the Father’s heart.
Look to Deuteronomy 6:4-9. Verse 7 plainly states “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” God clearly values parents teaching their children. Your work is of utmost importance as you teach your child about the very character and nature of God. Your lessons are loud and clear not only through your words, but your actions. Make sure your behaviors point your children towards Christ, and not away from Him. If this topic interests you, I recommend reading further in this book by Tripp. But wear steel toed boots because your feet might get stepped on, and keep your highlighter handy!