You may have heard, “If you ask the right questions, you will get the right answers.”
If you have school-age kids, you are in the middle of some of the most significant years of your entire life. How’s it going? Do you want God’s help?
You can answer those questions best by asking one other crucial question: Are you raising good kids or are your raising God’s kids?
“Help me, God!”
I just finished reading Mission Creep by Larry Osborne. I wish I had read it a decade ago. Osborne wrote the book to help churches stay focused and on track, but what he said applies to almost everything, especially parenting. His words inspired the post you’re reading and this post. It’s that good.
I started ChristianParenting.org years ago—because God told me to. (That’s a story for another time.) There is a ton of information, advice, humor, encouragement, support, and education for parents online. I’d have killed for WebMD when I was raising my boys!
What I kept noticing, however, was there was an abundance of people’s ideas for parenting and not enough about how to know God’s ideas for parenting. That, along with many counseling moments with moms and dads, helped me follow God’s direction to start this website.
The single most important factor in parenting is the ability to discern God’s word and wisdom in the moment, for the moment. I can’t imagine trying to parent kids without knowing I could call out, “Help me, God! I have no idea what to say or do right now!”
Good kids? Or God’s kids?
The single most important lesson you will ever teach your kids is that Mom and Dad are not going to know God’s plan for their children’s lives. Those answers are entirely between them and God. So, they need to learn how to access God’s wisdom too. Without that goal, you will likely raise good kids instead of God’s kids. What do I mean by that?
Right before Jesus ascended to heaven, he gave his followers a goal. You have heard it many times, and that might not be a good thing. This time, I want you to hear Jesus hand you the most important goal you can have as a parent. It’s the difference between raising good kids or raising God’s kids.
Jesus looked at his followers and gave them this Great Commission: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18–20).
What does the Great Commission mean to you, as a parent?
This isn’t just a mission or goal for your life. The Great Commission is the most important goal for parenting. Your highest priority with your kids is to guide them to be disciples of Christ, not just believers. What is the difference?
Ask these questions and you will get that answer:
- Do your kids understand that Jesus is their authority? Your authority is an extension of his. But that rope runs out. The older your kids get, the more important it is they understand that Jesus has all authority—because they will recognize that you don’t.
- Are your kids believers or disciples? The difference is that one choice is about a walk down the aisle, the completion of a church program, or maybe even a trip to the baptistery. They are saved. Heaven is their promise. But is salvation enough?
- What is the difference between a Christian and a disciple? A disciple is immersed in the power and presence of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. A disciple obeys.
- What does a disciple obey? Everything that God’s word commands.
- Is your child a disciple? The answer to that question is another question: Is your child making other disciples with the witness of his or her life?
The best disciples
I can hear some of you now saying, “Whoa, wait a minute. My kid is seven (or eight, or eleven, or fifteen). I can’t even get my kid to make his bed, let alone another disciple!”
I can also hear some of you saying, “Yeah, you should have heard what my six-year-old told that woman at the grocery store.”
Or, “You should have read what my sixteen-year-old texted their friend who was in trouble.”
Children have a natural witness and can make the best disciples!
Why is it a big deal that your child becomes an obedient disciple of Christ?
That answer is found at the end of the Great Commission: Jesus told his disciples, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Is there any goal more important than that one?
If you ask the right questions, God will have all your right answers. It’s those answers that will help you be the best parent.
That’s why God wanted this website. I’m glad you are a reader. I believe God is happy about that choice too. Thank you for raising your kids to belong to God and walk in the authority of Christ.
They will be his disciples, and Jesus will be with them—to the very end of the age.