oh friends, i have the very sweet privilege of introducing you to my dear friend monica today! she has been a big sister/mother figure to me over the years & my soul is ALWAYS edified after conversations with her. please please read her post below & allow the Father to give you more insight into raising our children.
If we look at the beginning of Deuteronomy, we see that parenting is DISCIPLESHIP. Jesus told us to make disciples until He comes back. If you are a mom, you don't have to look for those people who are needing to hear the Gospel. They are under your nose! (If you are like me, you suspect that Jesus put them under your nose so that in your repetition of the Gospel to them, day in and day out, you would, yourself, truly "get" the Gospel.)Deuteronomy 4:5-8 says, "See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? 8 And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today?"In this, and many passages at the beginning of Deuteronomy, we see four stages of discipleship. We see Submission to God, Training and Equipping, Wisdom and Understanding, and then Witness. These are the stages for any disciple. Because of that it can be really helpful to see them as we disciple our own children.We see in this passage that the first thing the Israelites learn are His statutes. We must remember that the first Law of God that the Israelites learned is "You shall have NO other gods before me." This is the first stage of discipleship, "Submission to God." This is also the first stage of parenting discipleship. In the 0-5 years, every child is asking, "Can I be god?" The parent must firmly answer him, "No. There is only ONE God." God has put the parent in authority over the child. Because of this the parent represents God to him. Your child wants to take you down because you represent God to him, and he wants to be god. He must submit to the ONE, TRUE GOD, and therefore you also.After the Israelites submitted to God's headship over themselves, they were then ready to learn God's ways, His laws and decrees. Moses told them to "keep them and do them." This is the stage of "Training and Equipping," Because the child has submitted to God, and you, you are now able to fill him full of knowledge. This is because "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge."The disciple can now be filled with truth and learn how to walk in it. For the parent discipler, these years, Kindergarten-5th Grade, are a time to fill their children up with Truth and the disciplines of the Faith.Next, you see that these statutes become the Israelites' wisdom. We see this in every disciple! As we disciple our children, we see them begin to be able to think more abstractly in the 6th-8th Grade years. In this stage, the child transitions into a young adult. He can reason and analyze. If a young adult has not submitted their life to God, they will most likely use this ability to reason as an opportunity to be disrespectful and rebellious. But for the young adult that has submitted to God, he is now able to take the truths God has given him and walk them out with discernment, wisdom, and understanding. In this stage, the parent should disciple their young adult specifically in the areas of logic and reason.Lastly, you see that the Israelites have become a witness to the nations. I call this stage the "City on a Hill" stage. The world sees God's righteousness and goodness through God's people and they are "wowed" at GOD! In this stage, the parent disciples their young adult in becoming more articulate with the Gospel and with Truth. The young adult begins to go on mission trips, lead in service projects, and speak with humility, knowledge, and wisdom. The young adult has become a sharpened arrow in God's hand (Isaiah 49:2)!
Monica Brenton has been a wife, mother, and homemaker for fifteen years. She graciously learned from the Lord that being a wife and a mom is her greatest calling. She loves to her encourage her husband and disciple her children. She, her husband, and her three children live in Memphis, TN and attend Centerpoint Church.