The reason behind almost everything I write – both in blogs and books is based upon the belief that Christ can best inform our parenting. I’ve been told, by more than one Christian, that Jesus has nothing to offer us in regards to parenting wisdom. “We are on our own with a few spare verses in the epistles and Proverbs. We can make our own way, Jesus need not apply.” I would argue that Christ is the first and best choice to inform parents what it means to be a good parent. He gives us everything we need to parent beautifully and to glorify God in the process.
There are many ways to relate to God, but Jesus taught us a new way. When told us how to pray, starting with “Our Father in Heaven,” he wasn’t just giving us words to recite, he was teaching us how to talk to God as a father (Matthew 6:9). The Father sent Jesus to bring us into a new relationship with Him. The work of Christ allowed us to be adopted as children “So you are no longer a bond-servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” God ripped the temple veil, which separated humanity from closeness to God when Jesus died (Matthew 27: 51).
Through the risen Christ we enter into a new life and receive all the benefits of Jesus, including a clean slate, eternal life, and access to God as a Father. Through Christ, we can come to God with confidence, as children, no longer slaves (Hebrews 10:20, Galatians 4:7). By receiving Christ, we have been given the right to become God’s children (John 1:12). “And because you are children, God sent out the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, ‘Abba, Father!’” (Galatians 4:6). Through the Holy Spirit, we have union with Christ who “is the image of the invisible God… For all the fullness was pleased to dwell in him” (Colossians 1:15,19).
During his time on Earth, Jesus revealed the good Father to us. “No one has seen God at any time. The one and only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him” (John 1:18). As Jesus said of himself, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on, you know him, and have seen him…He who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:6-7, 9).
Despite not having physical children, Christ’s life provides many examples for us as parents. Isaiah referred to Jesus as the “Everlasting Father” (Isaiah 9:6). He is not the person of the Father but is one with the Father (John 10:30). Jesus has revealed how a good Father relates to those in his care. Jesus often referred to his disciples as “little children” (Matthew 11:25, Mark 10:24, John 13:33) and treated them as such: initiating, providing, protecting, guiding, correcting, teaching, preparing, modeling, encouraging, and loving those entrusted to his care. He said, “I will not leave you as orphans” (John 14:18).
We are called to be like the good Father through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:22-24, I John 2:6, Luke 11:13). God sent us the Holy Spirit, who continues to reveal the good Father to us. “These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God” (I Corinthians 2:10). “All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Him” (Colossians 2:3). By his Word, his Life, and his Spirit we have access to all wisdom and knowledge, including for guidance in parenting.