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The Apostle Paul on Parenting

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  • Dr. James Boyd

    Last week's study looked at 2 Cor. 3:1-3 and emphasized that parents, as the primary ministers to their children, should make it their goal to lead their children to become Christ's letters (messages of Christ to the world concerning the truth about salvation and abundant life). This week, we will look at 2 Cor. 3:6 to discover the nature of the ministry that God has given to parents.

    He has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit produces life. 2 Corinthians 3:6 (HCSB)

     

    Paul says in this passage that "God has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit." What does this mean with regard to how we are to parent? Our goal is to develop young people who seek the leadership of the Holy Spirit and follow His leading at all costs. Our goal is not to establish a set of rules for our children to keep, just for the sake of keeping it. Although the giving of God’s Law resulted in the awareness that we cannot keep it and therefore need a Savior, God’s motive in giving the Law was to help His people love Him and others rightly. He gave the Law because His people were messing up. Parents must give rules at times to help their children live rightly. Our ministry toward our children, however, ought to be of the Spirit. The truth is, if we teach our children how to follow the Spirit and walk with the Spirit, rules will become unnecessary.  Rules are only for the disobedient (1 Timothy 1:9). The goal of the Spirit is to exalt Christ. The Spirit will never lead our children to do anything that will besmirch the name of Christ. We must lead our children to become sensitive to the tugging of the Spirit, and constantly in the Word as the medium through which the Spirit speaks. We also need to guard consistent time and quiet for our children to hear the Spirit. Are you teaching your child to obey the rules because they should, or to seek the leading of the Spirit? The life led by the Spirit gives life and frees us from needing the Law/rules in order to love rightly.  

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