Parenting By God's Grace

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In this 32 minute session from the 2012 Ligonier Conference, Joel Beeke, President and Professor of Systematic Theology and Homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, teaches parents to hold onto the covenant promises of God as the foundation for raising their children. While parenting skills and tips are good and helpful, truly effective godly parenting begins and ends with the gospel.

As you watch this session, take notes and write down thoughts about how this session can impact your role.

Because of Dr. Beeke's message, many of these questions assume young children in the home. If you are not at this life stage, answer how you would like to operate in your family one day (if you don't have children) or consider how you raised your children in the past and might counsel younger parents now (if your children are grown).

The covenant grace of God is the bedrock of godly parenting. Raising godly children won't happen because we are moral people, but because God is good and rewards those who seek Him (see Hebrews 11:6).

Some people feel that you don't need to evangelize children born into a Christian home, because those kids are under covenant. Dr. Beeke calls this thinking "disastrous," and the way to create little pharisees. Why is this so?
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Read Deuteronomy 6:4–9.  The first basis of godly parenting is to teach the foundational truth of Scripture, imparting the promises of God to your kids.

He said that God's normative way to regenerate children is through God-fearing parents who bring their children up in the fear, nurture, and admonition of the Lord. How does this statement reflect the way that you parent? What does it cause you to believe should be part of parenting?
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How has parenting (or even working with children) shown you your desperate need for God?
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The second major area of godly parenting is using the 3 -fold office in the home. Parents should assume the role of prophet, priest, and king.

Does your family have a daily time of worship? What does your worship time look like? If you do not, how should you plan this so that it becomes a part of your family's life?
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How do you daily pray for the members of your family? Is part of this prayer for the salvation of your children? How do you sacrifice for your family?
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How do you use loving discipline to help your children discern God's will? How does doing so protect them from harm?
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Godly parenting also means modeling the gospel in front of your kids. We have to live out what we have been teaching them, and Dr. Beeke gave six steps to do this.
  1. Love your children as Christ loves you.
  2. Do not disown them for sinning.
  3. Continue to grow spiritually.
  4. Use a gospel-centered approach to problem solving.
  5. Encourage - make 85% of your communication positive.
  6. Walk by faith and wait on the Lord for your kid's maturity.

Consider these suggestions for living the gospel. How are you doing well in some of these areas? In which areas do you need growth?
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The last area of godly parenting that he shared is that we should consider the different times and seasons in the parenting dynamic. Challenges with children change when they become teenagers, when we are grandparents, or when some kids go astray.

What are the most important areas of maturity that adolescents should be taught to prepare them for adulthood?
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What are the most important things a parent must do when a child wanders from the faith? What should a grandparent do?
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May God help you as you seek to parent your children in the fear and nurture and admonition of the Lord.

If you are interested in learning more about R.C. Sproul's Ligonier Ministries, visit their website at

Joel's book Parenting By God's Promises is available in the Ligonier store. Click here to see that resource.