Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Power of Twitter to Help You Parent

John Piper in one of his books (I looked, but could not find the quote) states that often the greatest changes in the Christian life come from thinking about one single sentence. One sentence that is pondered, carefully parsed, and thoughtfully applied can have more impact than a thousand pages. Think about our walk with Christ. Often there are short verses, such as Ephesians 2:8-9, that can completely turn our world upside when they are allowed to take root in our souls. Herein lies the value of Twitter, especially for those of us who love Jesus. Twitter can of course, be a banal waste of time. But it can also deliver a quick, powerful punch that spurs you on to Christian growth.

Here is a good example. Last Friday and Saturday (November 7-8) Pastor Toby Sumpter's church gave a free parenting conference. During the conference Pastor Sumpter tweeted numerous statements from the speakers. I found several of these very convicting in my own parenting. Below are all the tweets that he sent out. The only change I made was to organize the tweets by speaker. I have bolded one quote from each speaker and followed it with a thought from me in italics. Pastor Sumpter can be found on Twitter @TJSumpter. Of course, one danger with short quotes is that they can be taken out of context to mean something the speaker did not intend. So I would encourage you to listen to all the talks along with several Q&As here.

Bruce Evans
If you teach your kids self discipline when they are young you open the world up to them to explore & enjoy. If you don't, you rob them. 

One of the reasons our boys are immature is because we don't give them enough responsibility early enough. Send them on adventures. 

Temptation for communities that value large families: If you want your quiver full, you need to be prepared to finish what you start. [I have nine children. I want to finish well. I need to pray daily for perseverance. The road is long, but Jesus has promised me grace to reach the end.]

Your family culture is far more significant than your community's culture. Don't assume your kids are fine because of the stream. 

A flourishing Christian community is a blessing because the stream is flowing in a good direction & because of that it's a temptation. 

Daniel didn't suddenly become wise when he arrived in Babylon. He was loved & trained & taught to prepare him for the king's court.

Your kids don't belong to you; they belong to Christ. They are not here primarily to make you happy but to serve Jesus. 

Christ Schlect
Modern specialization & suburbia has given many Christians a tragically anemic view of the home & of what we're training daughters for. 

If you do for your kids what they can do for themselves, you rob them of their future. Maturity comes from constant practice. [I do too much for my children. I need to give them more freedom to practice, fail, and then practice again.]

Proverbs 7 gives us a picture of parenting where the father isn't covering his son's eyes but pointing the harlot  out to him.

Send your children into the world as the body of Christ. Send them into the world to confront sin, forgive sin & die for others. 

One of the greatest parenting passages in the Bible is Jn 3:16. God the greatest parent sent His Son into a dark world to save it. 

Our task as Christian parents is to call our kids out of the world & send them into the world at the same time. 

Joshua Appel
Discipline begins the day a child arrives because discipline is planting. Waiting for weeds to grow is like waiting for harvest to plant.

Discipline expresses our delight in our children because it is for their good. We correct them so they will share in God's glory with us.

Discipline communicates our attentiveness & care of our children. It shows them that they are important to us; they matter to us. [This and the one about sloth below hit hard. By overlooking sins and refusing to discipline and train I am telling my children I do not care about you. Hebrews 12:5-11.]

Discipline communicates belonging. Not only is it loving; it insists that children belong to us & are part of our family. 

It's easy to think that love & discipline are opposites, but the Bible says that discipline is an intense expression of your love.

Psychologizing with your children when they are in sin is self-centered parenting.

Russian Roulette Parenting is parenting by manipulation and moodiness.

Sloth is not primarily laziness; it is inattentiveness. And in parenting it breeds wrath which is followed by despair. 

Christians don't discipline as a means of image control; they discipline for the good of their children. 

Discipline is for the purpose of internalizing self-discipline not a means of tyrannical control. 

When we discipline, we are not primarily trying to get our children to not do something, we are trying to give them glory. 

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Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud on their beds, let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; to bind the kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron. Psalm 149:5-8