Summary: Let's talk about 5 radical priorities for parents (Material adapted from Dennis Rainey's book, A Call to Family Reformation, Chapter 7 Parenting with a Purpose, pgs. 119-139)
Title is “Radical Restoration of the Family”, took this idea from F. LaGard Smith’s book called Radical Restoration: Smith takes aim at many features of today's church that bear little resemblance to the picture presented in the New Testament. He begins with our token, ritualized observance of the Lord's Supper and argues for a return to a memorial "love feast." He proceeds with a critique of our substitution of large, expensive church buildings with spectator pews for the intimate, cost-effective "house churches" of the first-century. He continues with a stinging critique of today's distant, corporate-like elderships in place of the loving, hands-on shepherds known in the early church. He also critiques today's "pulpit ministers" and "youth ministries" as departures from first-century patterns of evangelism and parental responsibility. This book gives some food for thought but is too theoretical to be practical and his ideas seem to be too counter cultural to be relevant. Let's talk about something much more practical, the family.
The church alone cannot turn the tide of 60% of young people raised in the church leaving and many never coming back. We are going to need families that are committed to radical restorations in their families. Tonight we turn to raising children. God wants families to pass on a godly legacy from one generation to the next. The home is the best place for a child to learn about God. To a culture devoid of character and high ethical standards, our best hope for renewal lies in the restoration of godly homes. Though we hesitate to bring children into our sinful society, the reality is, our kids have to be the ones to preserve and redeem our culture. We need to recapture the biblical imperative that views parenting as a sacred calling. Children are worth it! As parents, God has selected us and set us apart for a work that angels can only envy. As parents we have a high and holy assignment.
Thesis: Let’s talk about 5 radical priorities for parents tonight
#1 Radical selflessness
Many parents are double minded when it comes to children. We talk about the importance of children; we say we would freely sacrifice our lives for them. But theory and practice are two different things. In many choices we make, we demonstrate that our commitment is not quite as strong as we think.
God gave us children to save us from toxic self absorption. This ought to challenge fathers who spend too much time climbing the career ladder or pursuing hobbies, spots, or our own interests- at the expense of our children. This ought to challenge every mother who works outside the home, not out of necessity, but out of a desire for self fulfillment or a higher standard of living.
Christians must stop patting one another on the back, affirming one another in our greed, while we abandon the gritty work of shaping our children’s conscience and character. Is is wrong for a father to climb the career ladder? Is it wrong for a mother to work outside the home? No, but if we lose at home, we have forfeited our legacy of passing on the faith to the next generation.