I have so enjoyed our conversations on parenting. I do think parenting is always more profitable done together. I am sharpened by your comments and I hope you find benefit in what I say. I do, however, want to follow up on a few thoughts, if I may.
The entire premise of parenting is based on a theological truth: we are all fallen. However you parse it out, we are fallen from feet to forebrain; belly-button to bones. Since this is the truth, we have a whole lot of work to do; not the kind of meritorious work, but the kind of work with grace-saturated breathing. What this theological reality means is that the way to raise healthy children is by having a clear picture of their unhealthy natures as sons and daughters of Adam. While we should have a robust picture of Psalm 127-128 and the role of positive redemptive parenting (more on this in another letter) we also need to have a robust picture of Genesis 3. The parental picture is incomplete without considering the effects of our first parent’s failures.
If our parenting forgets Genesis 3 due to a faulty starting point or naive optimism, we will certainly idolize our children overlooking their little deceits as acts of cuteness, treating their good grades as acts of godliness, and their disrespect as acts of self-confidence. Therefore, we need to be ever aware that their endeavors are filled with glimpses of the fall. They too will find alternative voices more appealing than Yahweh’s.
For this reason, we need to be in a constant exercise of remembrance with them: remember you are dust and to dust you shall return; remember you are sinful and you need a Savior; remember you are prone to wander and you need to be found in Christ.
I will have more to say on this later.