Before the summer, Grace Church did a 4-week series called Parenting by Design. The purpose was to explain how God has designed the idea of equipping the next generation for His own glorification. You can find helpful resources on their website, some of which I highlight in this week-by-week outline.
Week 1: Parenting for the KingdomIf you are like me, you want to create and follow a method to trust in, instead of trusting in Christ. Psalm 127 identifies a common struggle: Dependence on God versus Self-Reliance. As I go through life, I need to continually ask myself, "Who do I believe is in control?"
And as this sermon clip explains, parenting is basically a leadership issue:
Week 2: Establishing Authority
This phase of parenting is from when the child is born up until age 6. During this phase, the parent must define reality for the child. The child should have a limited amount of freedoms, and freedoms are only gained with demonstrated responsibility. You can watch this clip for a further explanation:
It is crucial for the child to begin to learn self-mastery and obedience. Those same skills will be foundational to everything that will occur when he is an adolescent, teenager, and adult.
Week 3: Developing Responsibility
As the child enters into this phase, which should end around the time he or she becomes a teenager, the child begins to carry more weight. It's easy to think that our children are doing great and are successful, but this may be because they don't have enough responsibility. "Not carrying a burden carries the illusion of strength. . . . Carrying a responsibility is the constant reminder of my need for strength."
Of course, it is our role as parents (and leaders) to help our children to develop responsibility. The "easy" route is to do things ourselves, instead of letting them learn. If you struggle with this concept, watch this clip:
Week 4: Facilitating Independence
During this final phase, we parents must begin to launch our children from our homes. As Proverbs 22:6 counsels us, there is a common direction that our children need to be headed in (glorifying God), but the precise trajectory is different for each one.
In this season, we need to think about three key concepts:
- Self-Awareness. Teenagers need to be discovering who they are and how God has created them.
- Theology and Language for a few key areas. Namely, Sex, Gender, and Work.
- Weaknesses. Don't prop up your children, or they will fail and fall into despair. We must give them real time feedback on their weak areas.
For more resources -- such as the full sermon videos and podcasts -- check out this Teaching page, and this Parenting page.