The Death of the Death of Parenting In the Death of Christ John Owen was, how do I say this, a Puritan stud. Owen, who like John Calvin, has been called the Theologian of the Spirit. This title is a bit of a reference to such Spirit-led emphasis which marked his life and this book, The Death of Death in the Death of Christ.
There are 2 reasons I make a connection between Owen; his book title and our current parenting paradigms. 1) Owen is a Puritan father. 2) He focused on the the Holy Spirit. I believe we cannot behold a vision for the future of families and parenting with a better working knowledge and total dependence on the Holy Spirit.
The Death of…
We have to put to death the dwindling picture of family that is currently being painted. We have to paint afresh the rich pictures were have in history and Scripture.
If we don’t bear the burden, we will be stripped bare by it.
Can we not let our families display the handiwork of God? We do not have to settle for weak comparisons. We can live so radically distinct and attractive that our families become the very ideal of hope in the neighborhood.
The need for a revolution of parenting and of families is clear. None can lead the charge besides the Church. Why? None else knows the truth. But we have been given the ministry (not only a message) of reconciliation.
We can rear our children to the glory of God in God’s way. Even ungodly people see hope in Godly parenting. We also see hopelessness in principled, pragmatic parenting which has no personal element. The person of Christ must be revealed throughout our decisions.
We don’t see parenthood or families as a stewardship but we should. Good gifts have been given to us and we bear the responsibility of using them in His way for His glory.
Children are an inheritance, a gift from God. He has more than a rule book though. He has gifted us with Himself and not only as the example but also as the infilling, indwelling presence which empowers, enables and equips us for our assigned tasks.
The Death of Parenting…
Look around. It’s hard to find a tight family unit. It is scarce that you see Catechism or even any form of discipleship happening in the home. The Good News is since we see that, we can change it. The even better news is that it isn’t up to us because we will fail miserably anyway. Rather we must strive to be led by the Holy Spirit.
We could watch a million documentaries. We could read a million more stats. The bad news alone does not compel us. Besides this, we are unmoved and unresolved, as of now, as a people God. We have been sold on the problem. In fact, we have been sold into the problem, returning again to slavery. When we prefer darkness, we remain slaves to sin. Not even witnessing the terrible effects in a child will call us to a higher way.
What we must have to combat this void is the voice and Word of God to fill it.
He adopted us through Christ. He’s done the greatest parenting feat ever. He adopted a world full of babies who already rejected Him and whom He knows full well that they will continually reject Him and His ways and break His heart.
Jesus lived the Spirit filled life. Why then are we so cocky and arrogantly tied to our own leadership? The Holy Spirit is He who enables and empowers to give every area of our lives over to the lordship of Jesus.
Why are we resistant to this especially in parenting? This is a place we most obviously see our failure individually and a whole. This is why we are even talking these days of the absence of death and parenting. We so clearly need help!
The most maddening problem of this discussion is the understanding that Jesus has not only promised such help but insists life will be better with the Spirit. How could we knowingly choose to live a different life than the one the Master has planned for us? When we put it like that, it sounds like our default setting is rebellion. Maybe depravity is a real thing, a major hindrance, a powerful party in the triumvirate of the spiritual battle, no?
One of the problems we have with total dependency is that we are only asking for help. He’s the God of the universe and we ask for His help. We don’t just need His help. He needs to take complete control!
He is the good Father. When do you think we will figure out that this is really a truth for living not just speaking? Please pray with me that the Church, starting with me, begins to cry out to God and to surrender to His every plan for our lives and the lives of our families.