Growing Faith (#3)

We attended the Growing Faith conference on Saturday.  This is the third reflective post on the conference. The other two can be found here (#1) and here (#2).

Seminar: Leading our Children.

Being a parent is challenging. As Christians we not only want to raise our children up as mature citizens but also as passionate and confident followers of Jesus. This seminar gave parents a clear framework to help in this role.

God is the only perfect parent. This was the framework for the whole seminar. Rather than coming up with our own standard for parenting, we need to look to God our Father who is the perfect parent (Matt 6:26-32). As parents we are to seek first him and then try and act like him. All the practical challenges centred first on how God treats us.

Accept our children. God accepts us as we are. He does not wait for us to be perfect, good, obedient. While we were still sinners Christ died for us. As Parents we were challenged to accept our children. 2 Big practical bits. One – we need to remove whinging about them. Two – we need to not base our acceptance of them on their performance. Good reminders.

Demonstrate love to our children. A horrific statistic was shared. Many working dad’s spend 37 seconds per day talking to their children (compared with 2+ hours watching TV). Our children need our love – read, practical love. Affectionate love. Affirming love. Attention love.

Life is the classroom. Repeated again in this seminar. We were reminded how our children are sponges. Parents are called to set a righteous example for our kids, not pretending we are perfect but embracing all of life as an opportunity to shape the next generation.

All Christian parents should go to this seminar once in their life (if not more). It was not profound. It was not complex or even new. But it was meat and potatoes. It was the bread and butter of what Christian parenting is all about. I was encouraged in some things I do and rebukked in others. It would have been good to hear how Churches can help parents learn some of these things. Many converted parents are learning Christian living and hence parenting for the first time. But the basics were there to review and work hard on. Very helpful for all.



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