Monday, October 22, 2012

Spiritual Parenting, part 1

This Summer we went through Dr. Michelle Anthony's revolutionary class, Spiritual Parenting, to get ready to share it with the rest of our church families.  

I'd like to share with you why I believe this course is such a parenting game changer.

To begin at the beginning, I think we can all agree that parenting is a job of training, protecting and nurturing our kids.    Every parent should be doing these 3 essentials, regardless of their background, faith, nationality or character.    We feed, clothe, bathe, and train our children to be healthy and successful participants in their world.

This kind of parenting is essential.  And yet this parenting role is just the beginning.    If we do this first role well, we hope to end up with kids that are kind, healthy and productive.    That sounds great,  doesn't it?   But we all sense that there is something more to parenting, don't we?    This first parenting role focuses on the outward nature of a child.    But there's more to a person.  So let's wade deeper...

Many Christian parenting experts have been calling for godly parents to focus on the heart of their child.  What are the heart issues in them: the motivations, attitudes, and thoughts that lead to their outward actions?    These are the hidden things that guide and direct your child's behavior -both good and bad.    With this deeper look at parenting, parents are asked to shepherd their children's hearts: to discern and direct their inner motivations, attitudes and thoughts.  This parenting perspective has been a blessing to God's people.  We are doing more.  We are going deeper.

Yet something in us can't help but wonder if there might be even more still; because no matter how much we address the heart of the matter, each of our kids still has a sin nature   . . . and sin management is such a tiresome chore.    But what else can we do?

Let me answer that question with another question:

Are your kids being totally transformed?

Whatever your answer to that question, don't fear, because the only One that can transform a person from the inside out, is God.  That is not your role.

But that does bring us directly to the concept of Spiritual Parenting.

Holy Spirit
Spiritual Parenting takes us the last step... right to the core of who we are as people.  Spiritual Parenting doesn't stop with the physical life of your child, or even with what is hidden inside their hearts.  Spiritual Parenting goes way beyond controlling the behavior; even past their inner attitudes.

Spiritual Parenting takes the parent into the deepest waters of all: into the spirit of their child.

But don't freak out!  The liberating truth is that there is no way we can control the spiritual part of another person's life.       . . .Thankfully we were never meant to.

That is why Spiritual Parenting:

Depends on the Holy Spirit to direct our parenting as we humble ourselves before God, relying on HIS transformative power to change our kid's hearts and lives. 

Believes that our ultimate goal is to see our children transformed, from the inside out, into the likeness of Christ.

Trusts that the Holy Spirit knows our kids intimately, and will always parent them better than we ever could on our own.

Expects that God will speak to our kids, and that they can experience Him for themselves.

Rests in the knowledge that our ultimate job as spiritual parents is to set up environments in which our kids can encounter God.

Makes space for the Holy Spirit to show up in every day life.

Takes our parenting to the next level, by introducing our kids to what it means to live in the Power of the Holy Spirit.

In the next post, Spiritual Parenting Part 2, we'll see what that means.

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