Paul David Tripp wrote an interesting parenting book called Parenting: 14 Gospel Principals. I thought it might be interesting to read through this book. Join in if you would like.
I decided to start with the introduction rather than digging into the first of 14 chapters.
In the introduction Mr. Tripp talks about how as he has travelled the world helping parents learn to do this job better, he has discovered that what they need help with is “big picture parenting worldview”. Having this worldview will give us grounding in what God calls to do as parents.. it explains, guides and motivates all that we do. Ergo as he writes this book he wants parents to understand the gospel behind good parenting practices.
To start with, we have to know who we are in relation to God, to what life is all about and to who your children are. This knowledge is of paramount importance.
Mr. Tripp wants us to move away from the ownership idea of parenting to the idea that we are ambassadors. We need to remember, these children aren’t ours. They belong to God and we need to parent them with that idea in the forefront of our minds.
As we parent, we need to be aware of something. As much as we desire to be ambassadorial parents….. we will fail. We will want to do things our way, to meet our needs, to just want the short run satisfaction. We’ll fail. But that’s not the point. The point is to keep striving to do God’s will.
Questions we could ask ourselves.
1. Identity – where do we get our identity from.
2. Work – working to turn your children into something? or helping them develop into something more?
3. Success – which is more important the end product or what you are doing?
4. Reputation – Living with the craziness that children can bring… does it affect who you are or does it reflect your children?
An ambassador is called to represent the message, methods, and character of the Owner to their children. (p.20)
The next 14 chapters will introduce different principles to reflect upon to help us do the job of ambassador of God to your children effectively.
I read the thought of “you will fail” and it made me smile. I so often feel like I am failing in what I am doing as a parent. But it strikes me that seeing oneself as an ambassador of God before the eyes of my son… strikes me as a grave responsibility, as well as taking a load off. It’s not my job to make my son into anything…it’s God’s job. Mine is simply to show God to him. That’s it.