"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." 3 Jn 4
Do you find parenting to be overwhelming? It's easy as a parent to merely react to problems as they arise. It's easy to follow the flesh and allow the home to be ruled by the works of the flesh: enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, etc. (Gal 5:19-21)
This year we will be exploring what proactive parenting looks like. Instead of merely reacting, how can we proactively create an environment where our children can flourish and grow to become more like Christ? How can we fill our homes with the Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc. (Gal 5:22-23)
In this monthly series, beginning in January with Love, we will be looking at the Fruit of the Spirit and how we as parents can encourage and develop these characteristics in our children... and ourselves!
Lesson 1: Love
In this lesson we will look at the two greatest commands: "love God" and "love your neighbor" and how godly parenting is the bridge between these two commands. As our children learn respect in the home, they are learning to respect God and their fellow man.
We'll look also at the biblical definition of foolishness and what the goal of godly discipline is the drive out folly in our children (Prov 22:15)
Finally, we will consider the greatest weapon we have in the battle for our children's hearts; a tool that is even more powerful than the rod in winning the battle for the souls of our children!
In this lesson we take a look at Jesus at 12 years old when it is revealed that at a very early age Jesus had a profound grasp of his identity. The case will be made in this lesson that part of the reason Jesus knew who his father was and had such a solid grasp of who he was and why he was on this earth was because of the Scriptures.
It was the Scriptures that motivated and enabled Jesus to be "tempted in all points" and not sin (Heb 4:15). If we are going to be disciplined like Jesus and win the battle against sin, we must likewise be disciplined in the daily habit of Bible reading and Bible study.
So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control..." 1 Corinthians 9:26-27
The root of the word discipline is "disciple." Fundamental to being a disciple of Jesus Christ is discipline. Once a month in 2022 we will be exploring 12 different disciplines which will help us to grow in our walk with God. (The organization of this series is based on the book "A Celebration of Discipline" by Richard Foster.)
We will begin with four "inward" disciplines:
- January - Bible study
- February - Prayer
- March - Meditation
- April - Fasting
Then we'll look at four "outward" disciplines:
- May - Simplicity
- June - Solitude
- July - Service
- August - Submission
And finish with four "corporate" disciplines:
- September - Confession
- October - Worship
- November - Guidance
- December - Celebration
Lesson 1: Introduction
Discipline is not a pleasant word. When we think about the word "discipline" the first thing that comes to mind is failure. We think of all the diets that haven't worked; all the exercise regimens we've kept for a month or so and then quit.
But what if I told you that when it comes to the spiritual disciplines it's not about you. At least, it's not all about will power. It's about allowing God's power to work through you.
In our introduction to the spiritual disciplines we will look at the Why, the What, and the How of the Christian life as presented in Colossians 3 and see how appling the spiritual disciplines to our lives unlocks the power of God to transform our life.