Today we have a dad of four kids, pastor, and new member of the 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team share his thoughts with us. We love J.L. Martin’s perspective and so will you!
Lori & Becky
These are dreaded words to hear when you are driving. Most likely a ticket is coming your way. But how does our identity (ID) affect the way we parent our kids?
In my early years of being a dad, I read every book I could get my hands on to help me raise a good kid. However, recently I have become convinced that good parenting is a result of parenting the heart rather than just good behavior. Many books have been written on parenting out of grace or from the heart.
I would like to encourage you today to parent out of identity.
One of the biggest life questions we all have and must answer is, “Who am I?” Many times in our teen years we experiment with sports, hobbies, activities, or relationships to determine the answer. Should things we do or others’ opinions be the determining factor to answer this question?
Who we are shapes what we think and what we do! So, our parenting must help our kids determine who they are. How? We should tell them who they are in Christ. Because of Jesus’s death on the cross, our true ID has been determined.
We don’t need to look to external influences or the world to determine that for us or our kids, but instead look to the cross.
We need to teach them who God says they are from His Word. The apostle Paul tells the church in Ephesus who they are before he tells them what to do. Every night at bedtime with all four of my kids, I remind them who they are in Christ from Ephesians 1 and other passages.
Each evening I say a blessing over my kids at bedtime by saying, “Mitchell (Mackenzie, Megan, Molly), you are blessed, chosen, holy, blameless, loved, adopted, redeemed, forgiven, an inheritance, sealed by the Holy Spirit, fearfully and wonderfully made, gifted. Use your gifts to glorify of God. May you grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men. Amen.”
John of Kronstadt, a nineteenth-century Russian Orthodox priest, said this when he found people living in sin, “This is beneath your dignity. You were meant to house the fullness of God.” So when my children make a bad decision or disobey, I remind them that this is not who they are and encourage them instead to live out their identity in Christ.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us. . .
For he chose us . . .to be holy and blameless. . .
In love. . .he adopted as his sons. . .
In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins,
in accordance with riches of God’s grace. . .
you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.
When we teach our kids to live out their identity in Christ, will they change the world?