In this third instalment we will look at the next four paragraphs in BBC’s radical parental statement of faith, each followed a brief explanation.
We commit ourselves to intentionally adorn the gospel by our lives, both in our successes and in our failures. We hereby commit ourselves to not only preach the gospel to ______ but to also preach it to ourselves when we sin. We commit to using our failures to further point _____ to the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
I have often said that one of the means of raising a godly seed is by proper failure. What I mean is that parents must handle their failures in a gospel-centred way. Parents will sin before their children. They will lose their temper with their child and will sometimes fail to keep their promises to them. Husbands will at times be guilty of showing disrespect to their wives and vice-versa. To ignore this is to fool no one—especially your children. So, when you sin, confess the sin to the one against whom you have sinned. Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and use your failure as an opportunity to proclaim the gospel to yourself. As you explain this to your children—and as they observe this—the precious and powerful gospel will be adorned before them. The line from the old love song, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry,” is nonsense. Confess your sin and ask God and those you have sinned against for forgiveness. Your children may be eternally grateful that you did.
We commit ourselves to both commanding ______ to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as well as commending saving faith in Him. We commit to doing so both by our lips and by our lives.
In Ephesians 6:1 children are commanded to obey their parents in the Lord. Parents have the obligation to command their children in several areas and children have laid upon them the expectation to obediently respond. If it is expected that little Johnny will obey his parents when they command him to eat his broccoli, to clean his room and to not jump on the furniture, then why would we exclude obedience when they command him to repent and believe the gospel? Clearly, the child has no ability to do so, and yet by such authoritative proclamation the child is in a wonderful position to feel his hopelessness and to seek the grace of God to believe. There should be every expectation that children honour their parents, and what greater honour than to follow their parents’ Saviour and Lord?
But, of course, parents must also commend the gospel that they are commanding their children to believe. As we strive to obey our Lord in all of life, this builds our credibility when we command our children to believe and obey the same Lord. So much of what our children do is the result of learned behaviour from observing us, their parents. We therefore must so live that they learn to believe and to obey our Saviour.
We understand that to raise _____ in the training and admonition of the Lord is a super-human task, and we therefore will seek to fulfil this biblical mandate in dependence upon the grace of God.
In acknowledging our dependence on God we hereby commit ourselves to utilising the various practical means of grace which He has provided. We will therefore seek wise counsel about raising a godly seed; we will be intentionally faithful to fulfilling our covenantal responsibilities as members of BBC; we will expose ______ to the numerous opportunities to learn of Jesus Christ through the ministries of BBC.
Parenting is not a coin toss, but neither is it a work of the flesh. Parents that seek to raise a godly seed do so in dependence on the Lord. It is by God’s grace that our children are saved. Thankfully, the Lord has provided means of this grace to believing parents. Wise parents will seek the wisdom of those who have raised believing children. Wise parents will fulfil their responsibilities as members of the church. Such responsibilities include loving one another, serving one another, gathering with one another, fellowshipping with one another and learning from one another. Lone ranger parents may find themselves one day alone in their grief with the ruins of children who have also chosen to reject the Body of Christ. Children pay more attention to their parents than we probably realise. If the church is merely an appendage to your life, so it will probably be to your children—if it is even important to them at all. However, those who utilise the gracious opportunities of the ministry of fellow-believers will experience the benefit of many voices calling their children to serve the Lord. Believing parents, God has granted you the grace to meaningfully participate in the body life of BBC. Utilise this gift to such an extent that your children will hear a host of voices calling them to saving faith in our Saviour.