Often times I will read an article or a blog that makes me realize I don’t have to write on that subject because someone has already done a better job than I could have done. The below articles are from Chap Bettis, a pastor, speaker, and author on biblical parenting, and Tim Challies, pastor and Christian blogger.
They both write about a phenomenon they notice in today’s churches. The phenomenon of parents that are resistant or reluctant to receive and be given parenting advice in the church. I am thankful and honored every time a parent asks me for wisdom, for many reasons, but many times because I know that it is a rare gift to speak into someone’s life. It is a rare gift that shouldn’t be that rare in the church. Bettis and Challies give explanations for why they think this is and I think both are right.
I highly recommend that we all read these articles. They aren’t just for parents. They are for those whose kids are now out of the home. Our young parents need those that have gone before them. If we want our next generation to be equipped and supported so that they know and love Jesus Christ, then we need to know how to disciple them in both a formative and corrective way. Which means we need parents that know how to form and correct their children as they disciple them, which means our parents need someone to form and correct their parenting. We aren’t meant to do this Christian life thing alone. This is actually one area that our some of our parents can learn from our single parents. Our single parents are usually much better at asking for wisdom and advice from older people in the church.
I will end by saying this. I don’t know how much Sarah and I have done right in our life, but I do know that one of the things that we did right was to ask older people to speak into our lives about our marriage and parenting. And when they did, we promised to receive what they had to say knowing they were people that loved us. We decided to be unoffendable in our pursuit of discipleship. Sarah and I are eternally grateful for people that came into our lives that were able to guide us in our parenting. People who I can still name and call on. I will continue to be grateful for those people that the Lord puts in our life that will help us through the next season. We need each other. We need the covenant-community-of-the-unoffendable-because-they-are secure-in-Christ. Parenting is hard enough that we shouldn’t try to do it without our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers in the Lord.