Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Parenting #2 - Marriage talks

'First principle of parenting' was the title of the chapter. I was reading Gospel Powered Parenting and expecting to get to the practical bits.

It was somewhat of a surprise when William P Farley started talking about marriage. I guess it is obvious when you think about it. Here are some reflections.

Marriage talks, so lets talk marriage

For those in my position trying to build biblical marriages of headship and submission from Ephesians 5, our great hope is that we will in some way be a picture of Christ and the Church. This is why marriage was created. I like the way Farley puts it, "human marriage exists to point men and angels to the eternal marriage of Christ and his Church."

My son has a front row seat to see and hear the message coming from my marriage. My marriage is my first opportunity to show him something of the gospel. This message will either attract or repel my son from the message which comes from my mouth. The first thing I can do to help my parenting is to work hard on my marriage.

Dad

I have an opportunity to demonstrate a pattern of sacrifice which displays to my son something of the love and affection that Jesus Christ has for his Church. As I cherish, value, compliment and delight in my wife so my son might see something of the delight Christ has in his Church. As I pray for and lead my wife in Bible reading and prayer so my son might see something of Christ's sanctifying grace towards His church. This is a high calling.

I once heard CJ Mahaney ask himself something to the effect of, "Will I take advantage of my wife's godliness or will I model myself on Jesus Christ and his love for the Church." This kind of chat improves my prayer life!

Mum

Chloe has an opportunity to support and help and submit to my godly sacrificial leadership. I realise this is a can of worms. We do not take this lightly. This is going to take some wisdom and discernment! Again we found CJ and Carolyn Mahaney teaching on this very helpful and clarifying. As she trusts me joyfully she is showing our son how the Church is to be to Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5v22-24. What a beautiful picture God wants to paint with our marriage. 

Gospel

We know we will fall short. We will need to ask for forgiveness and repent. We will need to confess in front of our children openly and honestly. However as we walk with Him, as he changes us little by little, I hope my son will see our intentions, our aspirations which point Him to Jesus and also the power of God as he gradually changes us.

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