Which Map Matters

One of the best things to know is what you do not know. 

Having only been a parent for six years, there is a great deal that I am keenly aware of the fact that I do not know a great deal. Due to this lack of understanding, I started the wonderful hobby of sitting down with parents over coffee and asking them how they parent. I love these talks. I have picked the brains of parents in various stages: those with young kids, those in the thick of raising teenagers, those who guided academic high achievers and those who raised compassionate young adults.

The more conversations I have the more I realize we need each other as we develop as parents. 

If I really want to throw people for a curve I ask a question that so far has made everyone pause and look a little bewildered. I simply ask what they do differently from other parents. At first, people react a little defensively, but then they seem to come around to embracing why they made certain choices to be different as a family. I have come to realize that parenting differently is often one of the best things you can do. 

Seongeun Kim authored the research paper The Influence of Christian on Korean Parenting.

Kim noted that Korean parents who had for years been raised in a 80% Confucianist culture changed their parenting styles and goals when they converted to Christianity. Korean Christian mothers analyzed their Christian faith and realized that it did not fit well with the predominant non-Christian culture’s parenting style and they changed.  It seems so simple, but is so incredibly difficult.

Their brave choice to parent differently because of their faith got me thinking: What in our American culture does not fit with biblical parenting? Where do we need to leave the tide of culture to align ourselves with God’s truth?

Biblical parenting is the heart behind the next Life+ topic we will cover. We want to parent from a biblical perspective because we trust that is the best path for our kids. It may not be the easiest path, but we know it is the best path.

So here is my homework assignment for everyone before next week. I want you to sit down as parents and ask yourselves what lies about parenting are you believing? Where are the areas where you have let culture determine the parent you should be and not the eternal word of God?

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6

In this amazing promise found in Proverbs, the author leaves no doubt, saying that there is a “way to go” in training children.  

In the coming Life+ posts, we will be talking together to make sure the right path matches the way our culture is going. When we find areas where they differ, we will walk together and follow the only map that really matters: God’s map.

Jason Suddeth
Director of Community Life

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