Job descriptions for pastors are often ridiculous. They reflect our human desire for “game changing” leaders to “take us to the next level.” We are often times looking for some kind of “super-person” to organize, strategize, vision-cast, and execute programs and initiatives, all for the glory of God of course. In reality, what the Church needs is shepherds. Shepherds who imitate Christ. Just like God places elders as shepherds to lead His family (the church), God appoints shepherds to lead your family, YOU.
Your position is not based upon your incredible talents, your awesome personality, or your ability to get things done. Your position as a Christian parent is based upon the faith you possess in the only “game changing” leader who ever existed, Jesus. So what are the responsibilities of a Christian Parent?
Responsibilities for a Christian Parent:
1. Keep your heart vigilantly! – be treasuring Christ through confession of sin so you’re your heart does not grow hard.
“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23
2. Fear God, not man. It is not what people think about you that gets the final say, it is what God knows about you.
“In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.” Proverbs 14:26-27
3. Make known God’s faithfulness in your household.
“The living, the living, he thanks you, as I do this day; the father makes known to the children your faithfulness.” Isaiah 38:19
4. Humble yourself like a child before God.
“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3-4
5. Walk in love and forgiveness, not grudge bearing or record keeping.
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2
6. Be filled with the Spirit, give thanks for everything, and submit to one another out of reverence to Christ.
“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:18-21
7. Love, treasure, honor, respect, and cherish your spouse. No works-based love allowed! Love your spouse as Christ has loved you: sacrificially, unconditionally and intentionally.
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,” Ephesians 5:22-25
8. Instruct and discipline your kids in the Lord, not in emotional outbursts.
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
In Christ we are freed from needing to be loved by our kids in order to unconditionally love our kids. The former, turns our kids into little gods we serve by killing ourselves to keep them happy. The latter, trusts in a God who saves us by dying. What grace! God has equipped those who believe in Jesus to fulfill the role he has given them through the indwelling presence of His Spirit.
God desires for all parents of every tribe, tongue, and suburb to receive forgiveness of their sins and life eternal through faith in Jesus. Wouldn’t it be terrible if you spent another day missing out on the power and position that God gives freely through faith in Jesus?
Joey Turner is the pastor of student ministries at Patterson Park Church. Follow Joey on Twitter @JTurner_1 and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.