For the third time in my life, I recently had the joy of standing in the hospital and holding a newborn child in my arms, my newborn child. The birth of a new child is an awesome and exciting thing but it doesn’t afford much time to stand around and soak in the moments. With the birth of a child comes immediate new responsibilities. Diapers need to be changed, insurance needs to be secured, stories need to be read. One nurse even reminded me to start saving for college. (Thanks for ruining the moment lady!)
With all of my children I felt a life-changing responsibility for their well-being that began the moment I held them. Who is responsible for feeding them, educating them, and getting them medical care? Naturally, that would be their mother and I! This is so natural and so obvious that even our politicians can agree on this. I’m thankful for a government that insists that parents do these things and would even charge us with criminal neglect if we failed to do these things. The responsibility to care for a child’s most basic needs falls to his parents. So who do you think will be held most responsible for teaching my children about Christ?
Parenting is hard, happy, often hilarious work full of ups and downs. And every parent I’ve ever met would say that the joys outweigh the difficulties, but parenting is more than just building relationships with our children or providing for their physical needs. Parenting is discipleship.
In the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20), Jesus instructed his disciples, beginning with their hometown, to spread the Gospel to all the world. They were to start with those closest to home and then work their way outwards. The Great Commission begins at home. Who could ever be in a better position to teach your children about the law of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Who is in the best position to shape worldviews, rebuke sin, and redirect youthful passions? Not the local school and not even the local church? Not the pastor and not the children’s minister. Who do you think God will hold responsible for caring for the spiritual needs of your children? Thats right.
Parenting is discipleship. And we are accountable to God for how we do it, so let’s get to it.