great article about “2 lies that keep families from being missional” from the Verge Network

from STEW with the VERGE NETWORK:

When talking with parents of young children about the idea of being in a Missional Community, of joining a small group of believers who work together to declare and demonstrate the gospel, I usually get one of two excuses.

Click here to find out more.

Grace and Peace,
Michael “Stew” Stewart
Founding Director, Verge Network

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3 reasons why being families who welcome confession and generously forgive is so important.

Monday the suggestion for parenting SENT kids was that we must parent for confession and restoration, not just expectation and correction. Here is a quote from Monday’s post:

I would suggest that it is absolutely crucial that our homes be environments where confession is welcomed and forgiveness is free and restoration is expedited.

Why? Three reasons.

1 _ Because the Bible tells me so.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
(1 John 1:9 HCSB)

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!
(Ephesians 2:4, 5 HCSB)

No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore strengthen your tired hands and weakened knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated but healed instead.
(Hebrews 12:11-13 HCSB)

Brothers, if someone is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so you also won’t be tempted.
(Galatians 6:1 HCSB)

2 _ Because we don’t want kids who walk in our preferences but who walk in the Spirit.

The problem with parenting from our preferences is exactly that – our expectations are linked to OUR preferences rather than the intentions and truths of God. We should not consider ourselves so pridefully as to think we want our moralistic preferences replicated. We do NOT need kids who are remakes of ourselves. We DO need kids who are being remade by the Spirit of Jesus. To raise kids as though under the law, even if it is our own law, would make a mockery of the power of the Gospel and the effect of the cross. Paul wrote very eloquently about this:

I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.
(Galatians 2:21 HCSB)

I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. (Galatians 5:16-18 HCSB)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
(Galatians 5:22, 23 HCSB)

3 _ Because we don’t want our kids to hide in shame alone but to live out in the open with others, including their parents.

The problem with just correcting behavior rather than cultivating for a confessional heart in our kids is that behavioral-correction assumes there will one day be no need for behavioral correction, while cultivating for a confessional heart assumes that confession and repentance and continued growth are actually the norm. Too many parents today raise their kids for the sake of image, and far too often it is their own image as parents that they are really worried about.

WE MUST REPENT OF THIS!!! It is anti-Jesus and anti-Gospel. Throw down the idol of keeping up a good image! It is built on the falsehood that our had a good image in the first place. And it too often results in kids who hide their issues in shame for the sake of a seemingly good image, all the while dying inside because of the hypocrisy of pretending to have it all together. PARENTS – make it safe for your kids to live out in the open. Make it safe for them to confess, or you will miss the opportunity to walk with them in the light and be transformed with them by the Light Himself.

For you were once darkness, but now ⌊you are⌋ light in the Lord. Walk as children of light — for the fruit of the light ⌊results⌋ in all goodness, righteousness, and truth — discerning what is pleasing to the Lord. Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what is done by them in secret. Everything exposed by the light is made clear, for what makes everything clear is light. Therefore it is said: Get up, sleeper, and rise up from the dead, and the Messiah will shine on you.
(Ephesians 5:8-14 HCSB)

Praise be to God that the Messiah shines on us. So grateful for the security that we have in Him because He came near to our darkness as the Light of love making it safe to walk out into the open with Him.

May we as parents beg this Messiah to come be Light in darkness through our parenting in our own homes, as well as in our own lives (for we need Him more desperately than we often are willing to admit).

Here are two consequences I personally fear if confession and forgiveness and restoration are not prominent in our homes:

: _ that our kids will learn how to get along independently without God rather than how to go along dependently with God.

:: _ that our kids will learn how to judge others critically rather than how to love others graciously.

Families where the environment is defined by correction and expectation are more likely to send kids off to college who wander away from God OR who live wearily to perform well for God’s favor. Families where the environment is defined by confession and restoration are more likely to send kids off to college who find their way with God even when they haven’t performed well, because they have learned how much they need God and how welcoming He is of our confession and cry out for help.

May we be families of confession and forgiveness and restoration.

FRIDAY _ what I am not suggesting with this week’s suggestion.