Thursday, December 07, 2006

Raising Children who Hope in the Triumph of God

We met together for the third meeting of our MuMS - Making Mothering Significant - group this week and once again listened to a sermon by John Piper, this time entitled Raising Children who Hope in the Triumph of God. In it, Piper starts with Ephesians 6:4:

"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."
Piper states:
Anger comes from feeling that a parent's rules are petty and trivial—that they don't have anything to do with something really great or important. But a child who sees that the rules of the home and their consistent enforcement are connected to some great vision of life and some great cause to live for will not harbour resentment toward their parents...

So I think it is in the spirit and wording of our text today to say that the great challenge for parents is to give their children a vision of God's triumph in the world, and to instill in them the thrilling hope of fighting on the side of truth and righteousness and joy and victory.
We discussed what it means in practice to have this vision for our children above all others. Our aim when we discipline our children should be as a tool to enable to live lives that glorify God, not because they irritate us or to increase our comfort. Piper gives ten things parents must do to raise children who hope in the triumph of God; these can be found in the transcript of the talk here, where the audio can also be downloaded.

In particular, we discussed how we can effectively pray for and with our children, and how we can keep the Bible central to our family lives. We had a great time of sharing and encouragement and I would urge you to find time to listen to the talk. Have a pen handy to jot down Piper's ten points!

All of the talks we have listened to as well as seven others are available on a set of CDs which can be purchased from Desiring God Ministries.

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