"Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." (Matthew 25:34b)
“Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." (Matthew 25:41b)We have no greater responsibility and privilege than to pass the Gospel on to our children. It is the only means of salvation. If our children are to inherit the kingdom, they must embrace the Gospel and trust in Jesus. Therefore, we must give the greatest care to present the true essence of the Gospel. This week, I want to highlight and strongly recommend three resources—one per day—that I believe should be in the hands of every parent and teacher for better equipping us to communicate the Gospel. My first recommendation and the first book I would suggest you read of the three is: Gospel-Powered Parenting: How the Gospel Shapes and Transforms Parenting by William Farley. Here are a few quotes from the book in order to give you a summary of his approach:
I wrote this book to center parenting in the Bible, more specifically the core of the Bible—the gospel. I am convinced that the gospel is sufficient to answer all our parenting questions.
Your capacity to parent effectively will be a function of your assumptions. I want to discuss five assumptions that you will need in order to internalize the rest of this book.
- Parenting is not easy…Because parenting is difficult, and because you are imperfect, you will need the grace that comes to you through the gospel.
- God is sovereign but he uses means…God is sovereign, but parents are responsible. God’s sovereignty is our hope. Parents are utterly dependent on God. He can save any child, no matter how dark the circumstances. On the other hand, God normally reaches children through their parents. It is fatal to presume on God’s sovereignty by neglecting parental faithfulness.
- A good offense…The gospel, rightly understood and modeled, makes Christianity attractive. Effective parents make the gospel so attractive that the world cannot get a foothold in their children’s hearts.
- Understand new birth…Statistically, most Christian parents assume their child’s new birth. This could be your biggest parenting mistake…A child can be compliant and well-behaved, attend Sunday worship, and socialize with the church youth group, but merely possess MTD [Moralistic Therapeutic Deism]
…New birth is a radical change of heart that ushers in new desires, new loves, and new life direction…It means that the child now owns Christianity for himself.
- [God-centered families]…effective parents are not child centered. They are God centered.
… it is positively hurtful to build your lives around your children instead of God. It damages children, it tears down our marriages, and most importantly, it displeases God.Here is a list of chapter titles:
- Intellectual Submarines
- Gospel-Powered Parenting
- Gospel Fear
- A Holy Father
- A Gracious Father
- The First Principle of Parenting
- Gospel Fathers
- Foundations of Discipline
- Discipline That Preaches
- Food for the Hungry
- Gospel Love
- Amazing Grace