If Jesus is to be the standard used by a Christ-Focused Parent, then we should probably study how Jesus behaved. Throughout scripture we learn that God cares more about who we are, than what we do. What is in our hearts is what is reflected through our actions, words, and thoughts. If a parent is who he or she ought to be in Christ, then many parenting and teaching problems are solved. Not all of them, but many.
I see this exemplified in my homeschool, and in the past when I was a classroom teacher. There would be times (and still are) when I would become so frustrated with the students. Either they would misbehave, or not seem to understand a concept I had been teaching over and over again. And once I got myself into a tizzy, I then realized that if I would just change one thing about my delivery of the subject, or my tone of voice, or my proximity in the room, then the behavior of the students changed. I had to change before I could get my students to change.
There has been an attitude in education, parenting, and Christian circles that in order to understand spiritual things you go to the Bible, but if you want to understand human behavior then you go to an authority on human behavior. Absolutely there have been great things discovered through the years about brain development and learning styles. These should not be ignored.
“Yet Christian [parents and] teachers should not expect these to do more than they are designed to do. These are natural principles and are effective in producing natural results. In Christian [parenting and] teaching supernatural changes are necessary so the Christian [parent and] teacher needs more than these natural principles.” ~ Rev. James M. Hatch
So how does one become a parent and teacher like Jesus so supernatural changes occur?
1. A Christ-Focused Parent realizes that he can do nothing of himself. Jesus, who is the Son of God, said He could do nothing of Himself (John 5:19). In fact, John 8:28 tells us that Jesus stated, “But as the Father taught Me, I speak these things.” Jesus, who is equal to God the Father, purposely took off His glory so He could show us, His disciples, how to do everything, including parent and teach in our homeschools.
2. A Christ-Focused Parent trusts the Lord with all His heart. We are not able to change the heart and life of our children. Only God can. And the quicker we can trust God with our children, the better.
3. A Christ-Focused Parent prays. I will never be able to pray as Jesus prayed until I come to the realization that I can do absolutely nothing on my own. I trust myself too much. I don’t spend nearly enough time on my knees praying for my children and our homeschool. Jesus would escape to the Mount of Olives and pray. Then early in the morning He would return and teach. He didn’t read books. He didn’t scan the internet looking for cool websites and printables. He didn’t check off the scope and sequence. How much time do you spend preparing for a lesson for Sunday school? Bible study? Homeschool? Public school? Co-op? How much of that prep time is prayer? If I am to be a Christ-Focused Parent, then I must be a woman of prayer.
4. A Christ-Focused Parent teaches with authority. After Jesus finished teaching, the people were amazed and said “He taught them as one having authority, and not as one of the scribes.” (Matthew 7:29) Jesus was totally convinced that what He spoke of was Truth. Books and commentaries on the Bible are great resources to have and use, but we must have experiences ourselves with the Holy Spirit and God’s word in order to parent and teach with authority.
5. A Christ-Focused Parent exemplifies humility. In one of the greatest object lessons of all time, Jesus took off His cloak, grabbed a wash bowl, and proceeded to wash the feet of humanity. Jesus is the “heir of all things,” yet He washed the dirty, rough feet of men who would one day deny and betray Him.
We who want to parent, who feel the call to teach, in whatever avenue that may be, must be willing to show the Truth of Christ in every aspect of our lives. And when we fail, we must seek forgiveness in humility.
When was the last time you went to your children and asked for forgiveness? What a valuable lesson that is to your young ones.
Posts in this series:
1. The Role of a Christ-Focused Parent
2. The Standard Used By a Christ-Focused Parent
3. The Goal of Christ-Focused Homeschooling
4. Resources for a Christ-Focused Homeschool
5. Moment by Moment Christ-Focused Teaching
Please click on the button below to hop back over to the Crew blog to find the next blog to read. Enjoy!!
Anne Marie is a Bible Teacher and Bible curriculum writer with more than 25 years of experience. She has created Bible lessons and taught children about Jesus at churches, camps, Christian Schools, and conferences. She is the owner of FutureFlyingSaucers Resources where she helps busy parents and church leaders teach fun, flexible, multi-age, budget-friendly bible object lessons that enhance the spiritual growth of children. She lives with her husband and three children in South Carolina.