Summary: Every parent is different and every situation is different; but successful parents are proactive, hands-on parents.

Serious Parenting


1. Happy Mother’s Day to all our moms.

2. Most moms are amazing and wonderful, some are not.

3. Mother’s Day celebrates the ideals of motherhood, a time to honor our moms.

4. It also provides pastors an excuse to speak about the family and rearing children.

5. If you have children at home, I urge you to read Dr. Leonard Sax’s books, “Boys Adrift” and “Girls on the Edge.” I don’t recommend many books from the pulpit.

“….three beliefs …characterize the ‘toxic culture’ in which today’s teenagers live. 1. The belief that getting drunk and using drugs is normal. 2. The belief that sex is sport. 3. The belief that violence and death are entertainment…..Our boys and young men are growing up in a culture that…regards academic achievement as unmasculine Our girls and young women have to deal with a culture that focuses relentlessly on their personal appearance…what really counts …is not what kind of person you are inside, but how many likes you get on Instagram for your selfie in a bikini….

“We musts create a subversive counterculture that promotes such unfamiliar notions as:

1. Real men love to read. 2. What really counts is not how you look, but who you are. 3. Achievement in the real world is more important that achievement in the virtual world.”

[Boy’s Adrift, pp. 269-270]

6. What does it take to rear children in today’s world?

Main Idea: Every parent is different and every situation is different; but successful parents are proactive, hands-on parents.

I. There Are Many TYPES of Homes.

A. Achsah: A SHALLOW materialistic mother (Judges 1:12-15)

Harvard professor Elizabeth Schor writes, "We live with high levels of psychological denial about the connection between our buying habits and the social statements they make."

B. Abi: A mother with an evil husband and a GODLY son (2 Kings 18:1-3)

1. King Josiah followed the ungodly Amon, but he had a good "role model" in the high priest Hilkiah.

2. Mom, if your husband is an unbeliever or a wish-washy Christian, one important thing to do is to look for other men to serve as role models… boys need to see masculine Christianity and masculinity...

C. Isaiah’s wife: A godly TEAM of parents (Isaiah 8:1-4)

Note that Isaiah's wife is not mentioned by name, but she was a prophetess…

They followed God's will in naming their child -- and probably His will for their lives in general…this is the ideal…but even the ideal can get bumpy…

II. What Kind of Christian Parents Gives Their Child the Best CHANCE?

George Barna (Revolutionary Parenting) studied the success stories – children raised in Christian homes who turned out to be solid believers who followed the Lord – and worked backward. What he found vindicated the direction given to us in Scripture.

A. Parents took responsibility to train their children in SPIRITUAL and MORAL matters (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).

“Hear, O Israel… these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

B. There was no DOUBT that parents were the authority (Ephesians 6:1-2).

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honor your father and mother' (this is the first commandment with a promise)...”

"real friend and authoritative coach" (Barna, p. 33).

C. Parents eased off and gave their children reasonable FREEDOM (Ephesians 6:4).

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

If you want to develop children who become conscientious, you have to give them room to make some of their own choices, to give genuine complements without hidden barbs or admonitions to do better or keep up the work… assume the best of them instead of the worst of them, but don’t bury your head in the sand, either. down.

• Typical family with several children: a hero (can do no wrong) and a scapegoat (can do not right)... watch for that (often different parents assign different)

• Negative parenting is a bad idea. Refusing to celebrate success or failing to complement because you think it will make a child stop trying is completely wrong. Negative parenting produces children who give up, or won’t start.

• A junior age girl offered to help with dinner, so she cooked mashed potatoes. Her dad complained about how bad they were, so she never offered again.

D. Parents aimed to produce mature CHRISTIAN adults rather than aiming to please their child; the kids did not have to be happy about everything (Hebrews 12:9-11).

“Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

E. They oversaw who their children’s FRIENDS were (I Corinthians 15:53).

“Do not be deceived: 'Bad company ruins good morals.'”

"Revolutionary Parents fight the cultural enticements…to embrace society's dominant parenting philosophy" (p. 28).

F. They oversaw what their kids WATCHED (Psalm 101:3).

“I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.”

G. Parents were more concerned that kids were KIND to their peers rather than excel above them (I Corinthians 13:4-7).

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

III. Parents Need to Be FAITHFUL in Prayer and Biblical/Moral Instruction!

A. The example of LOIS and EUNICE (2 Timothy 1:5)

B. The BASICS are the most crucial.

• Pray that your children will genuinely come to know Christ.

• Pray that they will surrender their lives to Jesus Christ.

• Pray that God would give them a hunger for the Word.

• Pray that they would exalt the Word over their own opinions/desires/fads.

• Pray that God would fill them with His Spirit and His wisdom.

• Pray that they would seek out solid Christian friends.

• Pray this, when going to college, they would seek out a Christian group like Campus Crusade, Navigators, or Inter-varsity.

• Pray that they would stay sexually pure.

• Pray that God would lead them to a solid, believing spouse.

• Pray that they would flee temptation and confess their sins.

• Pray that they would prioritize following the Lord above success or popularity.

• Pray that they would enjoy wholesome pleasures, develop good social skills, and become loyal not only to Christ, but faithful to a church family and participate.

C. Part of Christian parenting is an opportunity to DISCIPLE our children.