Living in a harried, busy city kind of life means little time to spend with our children. In between work, school and enrichment classes, our lives are spent mostly on the road driving somewhere or stuck in a traffic jam. The short window of time to interact is often filled with practical stuff like homework or things to prepare for school. We fit in a short time of devotion if we find time, and if not, a short prayer before bedtime to complete our checklist of tasks to do.
“We simply can’t squeeze a biblical model of parenting into a frenetic schedule shaped by the world’s view of what a successful child looks like.” (Paul Tripp) Many of us are running from activity to activity, anxious that our children will somehow miss out.
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth. (Deuteronomy 11:18-21)
Is it possible for busy parents to live up to the bible passage above? Yes. These verses are not just for parents in the OT times – they are just as relevant to us today. Teaching the Word of God and showing our children how to develop a relationship with Him is more than another thing we have to do. It is the utmost priority! We have to swim upstream against all the demands this busy life is calling us to, turn our backs on them, fix our eyes and hearts on the unchangeable faithfulness and grace of Jesus, and grasp the wisdom and grace that can only be found in His word.
When we lose God in our parenting, we lose the very thing we need to give our children most: God Himself. Children do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). If we don’t prioritize or see the urgency of the souls of our children, we have lost what we are called to do as parents – that is to be tools of God’s agenda to shape the hearts and lives of our children in His Word.
So, how can we live out gospel-saturated parenting?
- Rest in the knowledge that God is sovereign, and we can depend on Him totally for our children. Their future lies in His hands, not ours. Christ is more than enough to help us meet the demands of the day.
- Fight to develop a sweet communion with Jesus, as we can’t give what we don’t have.
- Strive to keep the main thing the main thing, and be courageous to filter out temptations to be like the world. Spend time in God’s word, and teach it to your children. Find opportunities throughout the day to speak truths into their hearts.
Let us not lose sight of our main calling in parenting. Let us put off our striving in our own strength, and rest in the sufficient grace of Jesus to bring up our children in this world. Faithfully point them to Him, in the way we live and we love. Our children do not need more of the world. They need more of Christ.