Saturday April 24, 2010

Steven and I were very blessed to attend a conference at one of our sister churches, about raising our children to face the future, full of faith and unafraid. The speakers were Doug and Nancy Wilson. The sessions were incredibly encouraging and convicting. What a blessing!! Lots of talking about loving our children, educating them, and disciplining them rightly. It was so excellent.
I’ve typed out some of my bullet-point notes, and hope you may glean some blessings from these as well. I may elaborate more on a couple of these points in the near future. Although, really, you should just order the cds of the conference to get the full measure of blessing. 🙂


  • The promises of God for the Kingdom are fulfilled over the course of generations, but more to the point, they are fulfilled by generations.
  • Proper eschatology gives us an arc of time, so we know where we are and where we are going. Since God’s promises are fulfilled over time, Christian child-rearing and education are intimately related to eschatology.
  • God is the Master Storyteller.
  • Comedies tend to culminate in a wedding — so does the Bible.
  • Covenantal mercy (i.e. in Psalm 103) is not a reward for being a perfect parent.
  • These promises are given to us by grace.
  • Generational connectedness = history.
  • You are  bringing up eternal beings.
  • Repetition in parenting does not mean you’re failing! God repeats Himself all the time! (Have you ever read Proverbs?)
  • In contrast to our feeble existence, the mercy of the Lord is not feeble. (Psalm 103:13-17)
  • Child rearing is generational training.
  • Things we do now matter forever.
  • God set eternity in our hearts; we are supposed to get the big picture.
  • One of the ways God grows us up into maturity is having us raise others up into maturity.
  • Are you training your progeny to be leaders or followers?
  • You want loyalty from your kids, not cookie cutter response.
  • The Law doesn’t grow you into maturity (alone) — grace does.
  • Respond to your kids the way God responds to you.
  • Over time sin matures; obedience matures; righteousness matures.
  • Young children thrive in an environment of strict, loving, predictable, and enforced discipline.
  • The only way your covenantal influence will extend over generations is if your biblical standards are internalized.
  • You don’t just want your kids to follow the standard, you want your kids to understand and love the standard.

  • All your parental efforts must themselves be ground in God’s grace, appropriated through faith.
  • You can extend grace to your children because you are a non-stop recipient of it (Eph 2:8-9).
  • If you don’t have a solid grasp of God’s sovereignty, you will parent in fear.
  • Godly Christian parenting looks an awful lot like hard work. But take into account God‘s strength and His enabling grace.
  • Grace accumulates, grace multiplies, grace grows richer & deeper.
  • It is grace to grow accustomed to grace.
  • The Scriptures are all of grace. The world around us is all grace. The breath in your lungs is grace, and the warmth of your feet right now is grace. The children around your table are grace. Receive them as grace, and give to them as grace.
  • Faith the size of a mustard seed in the right object (God) is enough — enormous faith in the wrong object (anything else), however, will not get you anywhere but disaster.
  • When your faith is weak, don’t take it out and look at it — it will grow weaker. Look to Christ. Look outside yourself and your circumstances.
  • Pray with big faith in your big God; don’t use escape hatches in your prayers (i.e. “if it be Your will.”) This is not praying with big enough faith. Ask big of Him.
  • When you’re motivated to discipline, you aren’t qualified; and when you’re qualified, you frequently aren’t motivated.
  • Motivation to discipline must come from another source than annoyance (i.e. your own obedience to God’s commands, and an overwhelming love for your children).
  • Grace is an everlasting waterfall with no top, no bottom, no sides, no front, and no back.
  • What is the thing that makes life hard? A misunderstanding of grace.

  • Psalm 127’s reference to children as arrows is not cutesy — it shows us that children are weapons. They go with us against the gates of Hell.
  • You want to bring up children who will stand with you in the gate.
  • Having more weapons (children) is not the point — having excellent weapons is.
  • Academic work is preparation for life, and preparation for life is a character issue.
  • The most difficult sins to see are the ones you thought were your virtues.
  • You need to raise kids with three qualities in mind: Loyalty, Courage, and Content.
  • Hard teaching produces soft hearts; soft teaching produces hard hearts.
  • School is boot camp — not the war.
  • You must shape and steer your child’s soul and spirit, not break it.
  • Love your children to pieces — this secures their loyalty.
  • Put them in situations where they can fail — and teach them what to do when they fail, how to get back up.
  • Courage is secured by sending your kids out.
  • Courage is not a separate virtue, but the testing point of all the virtues.
  • One of the principal glories of education is learning how to throw down with biblical standards and in biblical ways.

  • Mothers must put on honor, strength, integrity, and courage in order to smile at the future. (Proverbs 31:25)
  • Worry is not limited to motherhood. As women, it is our tendency. We must have faith instead of fear.
  • God suits our afflictions to the needs of our souls.
  • God is going to give us tests over the material He is teaching us. But His tests are all open book!
  • God loves to bless us in our children and grandchildren. (Psalm 112:1-2)
  • We give our children to God even before they are conceived, and we continue to give them to God.
  • Our children are to grow up knowing who they are. Not only blood family, but church community. Who are their people?
  • As far as your earthly ministry goes with your husband, your central and first priority is always your kids.
  • Emphasize to your children that they come first (not before the marriage relationship, but before other relationships, before the laundry, before your hobbies, before your perfect house, before your perfect schedule). Let them know they are your priority.
  • We are raising up the next generation, and that is so much bigger than we can see.
  • We must view our home as an oasis for our husband and children. It must have an aroma of grace and fresh bread.
  • We want our children to grow up in a place that is friendly to them.
  • A worrisome mother will either become repellent to her children, or just plain ruin them.
  • Be mindful not to instill fearfulness into others. Encourage instead.
  • Doubts and fears don’t have answers.
  • Learn to distinguish between the voices of the Devil and the Holy Spirit.
  • Get to know your vulnerabilities so you can control them.
  • Pray preventatively. Strengthen the walls that are weak in your city.
  • Dress yourself in submission to God and to your husband.
  • Do not engage fear. Ignore it. Don’t let it in when it comes knocking — it’s hard to evict once you let it in.
  • God never gives us commands without the means to do them.
  • Leave your children an inheritance of joy: memories, stories, integrity, Sabbath tables, laughter, forgiveness, humility, grace, etc.

  • The duties of a godly parent are profound and challenging.
  • Parenting is completely dependent on the grace of God (like everything else).
  • Parents should love mercy.
  • Mercy is principled, tough, courageous; not lazy, slack, or relative. Mercy is mercy!
  • You can correct your kid because you love him too much to let him grow up that way (the right reason), or you can correct your kid because you’re annoyed and have a headache (the wrong reason).
  • When we stumble or offend little ones, we are refusing to let mercy triumph over judgment. (James 2:13)
  • Faithful parents = full of faith parents.
  • Christ is the fulfillment of all the promises in the Bible. His coming fulfilled God’s faithfulness to generations.
  • Promises to parents are based on the unchanging character of God.
  • Psalm 102:25-27 doesn’t tell us what God can do, but what He will do. This is based squarely on His unchanging character.
  • Parents should always desire to be like God in their relationship to their children. But when we think to apply this, we gravitate to what we think God is like instead of what God reveals Himself to be like.
  • Keep life simple. Keep the rules simple and easy to memorize.
  • Don’t multiply opportunities for disobedience.
  • Reduce the number of commands you issue by about 90%, and then enforce all those commands. Don’t exasperate your children. Remember their frame.
  • A parent who disciplines effectively is refusing to allow his child to make himself unlovely.
  • Discipline is corrective, and it is applied for the sake of the one receiving it. It is not punitive, and it is not rendered for the sake of the one giving it.
  • Discipline, rightly understood, is not an exception to the rule of delighting in your children, it is a principal expression of it.
  • All who love, discipline (Proverbs 13:24). But it does not follow from this that all who discipline, love. A child must grow up in, be surrounded by, and be nourished in, the love of God revealed for His people in the Word Incarnate and the Word revealed. This is the context in which godly child-rearing occurs, and outside of which it cannot occur.

2 Replies to “Saturday April 24, 2010”

  1. Great points…this one really hit home: You are  bringing upeternal beings.

    Sadly, I don’t think most people today realize this: Young children thrive in an environment of strict, loving, predictable, and enforced discipline.
    I think I will save this list for the future. ;o)~J

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