What’s hardest about parenting as a Christian? Is it something that is completely detached from our faith? How can the gospel affect how we bring up our children?
In his book, “Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family“, Tripp unpacks the gospel and uses it as a foundation for a theological model of parenting. Through the central 14 chapters, Tripp gives us 14 principles to use in home life. Chapter 3, “Law” gives one of the most striking principles. “Your children need God’s law, but you cannot ask the law to do what only grace can accomplish”.
In our churches, we take care to make sure that we emphasise the grace found in the gospel. It can be so easy to slip into a moral mindset, working to achieve our salvation through God’s law and moral codes we add. We must regularly go back to the Bible to be reminded that Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection three days later was everything we needed.
But does that affect your parenting? Do you treat your own rules like a moral law? Do you model the grace shown by Jesus in your home?
Ephesians 2 v8-9 say, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”
We should be showing our children and young people that we, like them, need grace from our Father in heaven. The rules we set in our homes should be important, but the relationships we have in our family should be greater. As we show our dependence on our relationships above the rules, we point our children to the relationship we enjoy with our gracious God. That’s much more loving and attractive than parenting that relies only on following the law.
Tripp’s book isn’t perfect, but it offers an excellent summary of what gospel-centred parenting looks like. You can pick it up from many Christian book shops as well as Amazon.