55. Make Good Parenting Choices - Laura Smith
June 16, 2022
Did any part of Chloes story resonate with you?
Was the bible or church something that felt forced on you?
Did you feel spiritually manipulated?
Did you see your parents and God as equal?
How popular is deconstruction at the moment?
The exvangelical moment is on the rise.
As we listen to their stories, how common is it to hear peoples families, their schools, their churches being a place of pain and judgement. Of condemnation, of forced behaviour instead of changed hearts.
Chloe's story has had me thinking about how we MUST live out our faith - not only for our own good, but for the good of our children.
Our lives will shape our kids more than we realise (or want).
Are we showing them what it means to be a disciple? Are modeling repentance, prayerful, humbly dependant on God?
Are we inviting them in on our suffering and reorientating ourselves to Jesus through it?
Are we modelling knowing God through his word?
Are we prioritising being in fellowship with his people?
Are we being servant hearted with all areas of our life - which will have an impact on our kids as we give our time, energy and money to others instead of ourselves?
Or are we being apathetic with our faith? Professing we believe but having little or no change in the way we live.
Are we not understanding something about the gospel? Do we have a view of God that needs realigning? Do we have an undercurrent based on works or making amends for our sin?
Do we have a parenting style that could hinder the message of the gospel?
Are we too authoritarian that hinders relationship with our kids, or shapes their view of authority as a tyrant or unloving or demanding perfection.
Could we be expecting too much of our kids that crushes them? That shapes their thinking that they’ll never be good enough, and never good enough for God.
Could we be unforgiving, ungracious and sending the message that they’re not worthy of forgiveness?
Have a think about it. Is there some way that the way you live your life could be hindering the message of the gospel in some way. Is there something you need to repent of - to seek forgiveness and change your behaviour?
For those of us who have grown up with parents who have caused hurt in this way.
I hope Chloes story offers solidarity and hope.
Hope for the future: you can change. You can heal that narrative in your family and you can let it stop with you. I have no doubt that this might be hard as you do the work in putting your natural tendencies and learnt upbringing aside. As you practice repentance and seeking forgiveness for those times you stuff up. Pray about it. Ask God to be protecting your kids for the time’s you’ll fail, to keep working in your heart and life to be a reflection of him. Keep turning to him in your prayers.
It would be worth chatting to a more mature, more experienced woman in your local church instead of listening to me here… but I am pretty convinced of this for every mother, or really parent.
It’s not going to be those moments we deem amazingly “godly” that will shape our kids view of Christian living. You know the ones - when you've memorized scripture or a playdough bible activity and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy about teaching your kids about Jesus.
It’s going to be the mum who is turning to Jesus in everything. It's the mum who sins in her anger (again), and turns to her kids (again) to seek forgiveness from God and them.
It’s going to be that mum repents of ignoring her kids to scroll her phone, its going to be that mum who says no to gluttony, who says no to laziness, who says no gossip. It’s going to be the mum who’s working hard to serve and practice humility and choose patience and is kind with her words.
You are not alone in this task. The bible has some beautiful promises for us. We are not alone in the task of putting our sin to death - this freedom comes through Jesus and not our efforts (as hard as we do try). Ask for the spirits help and power. Romans 8 tells us to put to death the deeds of the body by the spirit.
Galatians tells us all the good in us to do so - we have been given the fruits of the spirit, dedicate yourself to using and developing them in your life.
God tells us in Ezekiel 36: And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.
1 John 1:9 is clear: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Be diligent in putting practices in place to renew your mind and orientate yourself to God. Colossians 4 - keep fixed on things above.
Romans 12: Do not be conformed to this world,3 but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Dwell on whatever is true, honourable, just, pure, lovely, gracious, excellent, and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8).
Will these things magically happen? No!
Make a plan to invest in these things. Plan your day around it, your week, your lives.
Go to church, get in a bible study and GO TO IT. Don’t be so foolish to think that anything else is more important or worthwhile that being in fellowship with other believers.
Don’t be foolish to think that you’ll just happen to find time to read the bible each day. That will not happen unless you plan for it to happen.
Don’t be apathetic in your Christian walk.
God promises eternity is coming and what we do in this life matters.
He has equipped you for every good work.
Make good choices my friends.