Sometime last year, my children were struggling with they way they spoke to one another (not that they’ve completely overcome it now, but I have seen great growth!) and since we were memorizing one verse a month, I decided we should memorize Colossians 4:6 “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt.” My little Molly Kate couldn’t get the phrase quite right and it was so stinkin’ cute that I just let her continue every week with “Let your speech be always be with grace…”.
I know I haven’t posted in a while and I’m so sorry that our new life is so busy and the days are just rolling by. But lately, I’ve felt this recurring surge in my heart regarding the particular topic of biblical parenting and so tonight, God has granted me time to just write. Since moving to Georgia, God has made me so aware of exactly how useful my time in Louisville was. Not only did the Southern Seminary community coupled with the body at Third Avenue Baptist Church grow me in my understanding and theology of the local church, but more importantly, God allowed me to just sit at the feet of two extraordinary women and learn. From each of them, I learned what it meant to love my husband sacrificially and submissively. I learned what it meant to serve the church, especially when it wasn’t glamorous or exciting. And I learned how to shepherd and parent my children with the Scriptures as my source.
Recently I sat through a conversation between mother and child. The child had said something that wasn’t very kind to another child. After recounting what the child had said, the mother responded with “We shouldn’t say that…its not very nice.” And while I agreed, it wasn’t nice to say what the child had said, I couldn’t help but think “Isn’t there more?” You see, there is more…there’s a holy God who has instituted holy regulations for our lives, one of which is that we use are speech to be gracious to others. We are also called to use our speech to build others up and not tear them down (Ephesians 4:29). When our children speak unkindly to another, God has given us the opportunity to explain His holy will for our lives and expose how that child has transgressed it in that moment. Telling them “we just don’t say that…its not nice” won’t cut it…it might keep them moral for the next hour or so…but it won’t cut to the soul and plant seeds for salvation. And isn’t that what God has called us to as Bible-believing parents? To nurture our children in the Word of God and help them to understand how to daily live it out, all the while helping them to understand that they can never obey it apart from Christ? If you’re unsure of the answer to this question let me just tell you…the answer is Yes!!
So biblical parenting is on my heart…I don’t do it perfectly and this side of heaven, I know I never will. But its my goal and its my desire and with every conversation I have with one of my four little ones, I’m seeking to give them a greater understanding of how God’s Word applies to their little lives. And if you think, “well yes Laura, that sounds good in theory but I can’t imagine it really working with my kids”, let me assure you that my four precious kiddos are just as much sinners as yours! But, having heard Colossians 4:6 for over a year now, they know before they take another breath that when they’ve spoken an unkind word or said something disrespectful to an adult, that I’m going to confront them immediately. And so I say “Mikias/Molly Kate/Miles…what does God want our words to be?” And they reply “to always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt.”
Sweet mamas…if you are weary in parenting, I beg you to turn to the Bible. You know as well as I do that God’s Word is the only Word that has the power to change. Your words to your children have no power if they aren’t the very words God has revealed to us in the Bible. Don’t train your children to be nice or to be moral. Train them according to the Scriptures and pray that God allows you to reap a bountiful harvest!
P.S. – Later this week I’ll post my top 5 biblical parenting books and why I love them so much.