So, There has been a great deal of discussion in the cyber-world about what is/isn’t family ministry? There have also been many discussions on forums and on Facebook discussing the role of parents in the discipleship journey of a child. So is your head spinning? Mine has been.
Last week while listening to Phil Vischer speak at the Kidzmatter web summit, he said something that really struck me. (I don’t have the perfect quote, like I said it hit me hard!) He said something like this, “in a perfect world, parents would be discipling their children, BUT who has taught them how to disciple?”
Just recently I’ve had discussions with others serving in children’s ministry and we were talking about the differences in generations as parents. Growing up in the 70’s-80’s it seemed my parents wanted me to learn about my creativity, how to win and how to lose, to fail without getting hurt or hurting others. I learned somethings the hard way but always under the watchful eye of my parents.
My wife and I have been married since 1987, As a young married couple, we committed to each other to love and respect each other. As we watch others who are married today we are surprised at just how often couples can really break that covenant with each other. I promised my wife that no matter what happened in our marriage, I would never allow myself to verbally “wife bash” when I was hanging out with other guys. She too made this commitment, that when with other women she would not verbally disrespect me as her husband. It is a great feeling of love and trust that has been established over the years together and it has made our love stronger. By knowing that what we say to each other in person is what we describe to others behind our love ones back. I’ve been in the room when a guy will complain or make fun of something his wife has said or done, and while it may seem funny at the time, I know he’d never say those things in front of his wife, as he’d cause major damage to his relationship with her.
In a day and age where Biblical marriage is under attack, I believe it’s time for the church to become totally proactive in helping parents stay together. When marriages start falling apart in the church at the same or greater rates than the world, we should wake up and start doing something to stop it. I was recently at the Orange Conference where Doug Fields presented a challenging message to those of us in attendance to take back to our own churches a strategic plan to make sure our marriages were growing stronger. I’m thrilled that the ReThink Group has worked hard on a strategy to help churches do just such a thing. If you’d like to take a look at it you can find it here:
“Our goal in parenting is not ultimately for our kids to get a great education or to be great athletes, or to find a great spouse or get a great career. Our goal is for them to love a great God.” David Platt D6 Conference 2011
Parents need help! If you’re a parent, wouldn’t your journey be easier if someone had shown you the way to training your children? If you have had the opportunity to have a parenting mentor, I’m sure you are already answering YES!
Lately I’ve been thinking alot about my journey as a father. Some of it has to do with the “new normal” we are experiencing as a family with our oldest son leaving the nest. I’ve spent the week with him to help him get settled into his new place as well as for me to take some time to spend with just him. This time has been really special and while we haven’t done a lot of things, we have had some good chats.
Anyone who thinks being a dad is easy is totally fooling themselves. I’m a dad of 4 between ages 22-16 and life is full of ups and downs and all-arounds!