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A resource of different articles written by our staff as they apply scripture truths.

The Apostle Paul on Parenting

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  • Dr. James Boyd

    Last week we learned from 2 Cor. 3:12-18 that godly parenting is reflecting Christ, but also being transparently transformed by Christ. In 2 Cor. 4:1, Paul gives both the duration of and reason why we must reflect Christ and being transformed by Him as parents.

    Therefore, since we have this ministry because we were shown mercy, we do not give up. 2 Corinthians 4:1 (HCSB)

    In verse one, the main verb phrase is "we do not give up." In this process of being transformed by Christ and reflecting Christ with "unveiled faces," the believer must endure. Prior to heaven, no one can say "I have attained the perfect reflection of Christ's great grace," or "I have been fully transformed into his image." The task of Christians and of parents is to continue in this striving until Christ returns to present them to the Father. What foundational belief, then, is it that enables, and even drives one to endure?

    The answer is in the opening phrase of verse one.  It says, "Therefore, since we have this ministry. . . we do not give up."  If "this ministry" refers to the practice of reflecting Christ to all by being changed into His image, then we do not give up because our goal is to reflect Christ who never gave up. Christ's will was to do the will of the Father to the point of death. "Since we have this ministry [of reflecting Christ]. . . we do not give up," because Jesus did not give up. In this enduring ministry, it helps to remember, as verse one reminds, that we have "received mercy." This ministry of reflecting Christ to our children and being transformed before their eyes is not something we deserve.  It is an unmerited gift. How do we persevere?  We remember that the holy God came down to a sinful people to redeem them with His own death. By His resurrection, that holy God destroyed death and sent His Spirit to live within us to enable us to do this ministry victoriously. What we deserve is to be excluded from God’s kingdom and family. What God gives us is this ministry of knowing as His brothers and sisters and reflecting Him to the world and to our children by looking and living more and more like Him until we see Him face to face. God is one patient Father. 

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