It’s easy to lose sight of God’s plans and purposes for us as parents, especially in the midst of chaos. Paul David Tripp reminds Christians that having a biblical view of the parenting process makes all the difference in the way we raise our children. He describes two common ways of looking at parenting,
“I’m either looking at it as I’m God’s ambassador; my children don’t belong to me and so my job is to ask myself the question, what does God want to accomplish through me in the lives of my children?”
“The other view is sort of an ownership view; my life belongs to me, my children belong to me. What do I want from my kids? What do I want to get out of my kids?”
How we view our role as parents often affects the way we approach our children and respond to their needs. Because of a misplaced view of their role, many parents are carrying burdens that they weren’t meant to carry.
“Good meaning, well-intending Christian parents thought that their job was to set up a neat system of rules that would manage and control the behavior of their children, and if they did that, their children would be okay.”
Paul points out that it’s not our job to control or change our children; it’s God’s job and His promise. While our children still need rules, we need a better understanding of God’s law and the grace that He offers us through his Son Jesus Christ.
“What we have to understand about God’s law is that it’s great at revealing sin; it exposes what’s in our hearts and it’s a great guide for life. But the law has no ability whatsoever to change or transform your children, our children need something more than that.”
Our children need to know the message of the gospel in order to experience a real transformation.
“If the law could change our children, then Jesus would have never had to come, it wouldn’t have been necessary. The fact that Jesus came meant if we’re really going to be changed, we need something more than just a set of rules.”
Paul David Tripp is the president of Paul Tripp Ministries, a nonprofit organization, whose mission statement is to connect the transforming power of Jesus Christ to everyday life. As an author, Paul has written many books including Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family.