Monday, August 24, 2009

Responsible Parenting

One parent states:

I am a failure. My child's lack of faith is my fault.

Another parent states:

Well, each kid makes their own decisions. I keep telling my spouse that we aren't to blame for where our child is.

Who is right?

Dan Phillips writes and excellent article regarding how we should view God's sovereignty in parenting. A portion:
I think it is a pan-Biblical verity that you can never be assured of drawing a straight line between cause and effect in relationships. God has a human son (Luke 3:38) who sins in spite of perfect fathering, who has a son who is saved in spite of imperfect fathering. There's your template.

My great task — whether as a husband, father, pastor, friend or neighbor — is to trust and obey. I will be judged for that, and not for what others do in response to that.

If God did not use means, the Proverbial charges to me as a father would be meaningless. If means were sovereignly effective, the charges to my son to heed, listen, receive, memorize, learn and obey would be equally meaningless.
I pray that provides comfort and motivation for all of who have the joy of parenting.

[UPDATE: Chris Anderson has an excellent, must read article on the same topic.]


Darby Livingston said...

How do you think Dan's article jives with MacArthur's view of elders being responsible for their children.

danny2 said...

without seeing the article you are referring to, (but being aware of the general nature of macarthur's approach) i think the two perspectives could be affirmed without contradiction.

what i am aware of in regard to macarthur's view is that he deems an elder disqualified with an unbelieving child. that's more an issue of how he understands the qualifications in the pastorals, not necessarily a exegesis of proverbs.

and i think the two need to be held in tension....

if it is clear that a man has not been a good steward of his home, the church should have the courage to regard him as disqualified.

but this should never be done in a way that perverts the gospel into a child's decision being in the hands of the parent.