The most important lesson that I have learned as a parent is to be transparent and to be real. I learned that it was not my job to just be a dominant figure in my children’s life but to be a picture of a sinner saved by grace, standing on faith, secure in the gospel. I was to be a servant leader in their life allowing God to use me to lead them to Him… which meant teaching them what it means to be forgiven and to forgive.
In his book, Parenting Unchained: Overcoming the Ten Deceptions That Shackle Christian Parents, Dr Dempsey writes: “our walk must match our talk. Parenting is a no-hypocrisy zone!”
Here’s another gem from the book: “The foundation for all things in life, including parenting, is your character, and that’s determined by your relationship with God. As you parent, God wants to mold your character right along with your child’s. Don’t ignore God’s work in your own heart as He directs your work on the hearts of your children. By doing so, you can follow Jesus’s advice to “first take the log out of your own eye, then you can see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:5).”
I can confirm Dr Dempsey’s words with my own experiences… you can read a little of my own parenting testimony here, Really, It’s Not You. It’s Me., and throughout other various posts in my blog.
In Parenting Unchained, Dr. James D. Dempsey reveals the ten most destructive lies about parenting. He writes from the heart about the way these lies infected his own parenting, and illuminates the Bible’s powerful truths that counter each lie. Both Biblical and practical, each section ends with home activities to help parents take immediate steps to develop their kids’ character–character that lasts when they leave home.
The last chapters focus on the most important adjustments parents must make with teenagers to prepare them for independence. Weaving humor into strong warnings, Parenting Unchained points out the hazards that derail the parenting journey.
Satan has been pretty busy in this age. He has done a wonderful job of stringing parents out and convincing them they don’t have what it takes to adequately raise their own children. We have been told it takes a village and we can’t do it apart from Dr Phil. The world has worked hard at trying to tell us that the best thing for our kids is to get them away from us and our influence as soon as possible. It has even come to the point that the world wants us to not even define our children’s gender, but to leave that for them to choose.
Dr Dempsey hits on this lie as well:
Parents outsource much of their responsibility to schools, coaching clinics, and even churches. One reason is that parents often believe they lack the specialized information needed to train their children, so they defer to others. This plays right into the hands of Satan, who wants us to believe that information is all that’s needed to make a good decision. We’re told that if we give our kids all the info they need, they’ll make good decisions and develop right thinking. But as information has increased and our kids have accelerated their intellectual growth, character training has withered. And our society is paying a price. The Information Age has produced smarter sinners!
Dr Dempsey goes on to share that, Satan wants to shut you up. One way he accomplishes this is by making you feel awkward about verbally sharing your faith with others, even your own children.
Satan wants you, as a parent, to be as uninvolved as possible with the foundational development of your children… make no mistake they are after the minds of your children and they are not ashamed to admit it.
Please don’t think that it was an accident that this interview played the morning of a holiday that our children were out of school… Satan is after our kids. Let us not get caught up in the rat race of life and forget that our #1 calling from God is to parent the children He entrusted to us.
You can get the kindle version of Parenting Unchained today (Dec 11th) and tomorrow (Dec 12th) for $0.99. If you are a parent, I would say this would be a $1.00 well spent
Just a few more of my favor quotes… this book is filled with some great stuff!
God disciplines His children, and His punishment stings, yet He always forgives His repentant children. Herein lies the most important instructional guide for us as parents: we must have rules (otherwise forgiveness has no relevance), but we must always convey the truth that rules are the result of the relationship, not the cause. Your message must be “I love you, therefore, these are the rules,” not “These are the rules. If you obey them, I will love you.”
…our choice of disciplinary acts should be made with discretion and to achieve a purpose, not out of reactions like anger or revenge. Waiting until we know what to do serves us, and our children, better than jumping in to correct before we have a clear idea of what we want to achieve. Take time to pray that the discipline tool you choose will teach the precise lesson the child needs to learn.
~ Dr James D Dempsey