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As believers in Jesus, we would say the goal of parenting is not necessarily that our kids would grow up to be powerful, wealthy or successful. We cannot even say that the goal is to have them be “good kids” or to live a life free of adversity. While power, wealth, success, comfort, and being a good person are all good things, they will never provide the fulfillment or joy that walking with Jesus does. We have been given the honor and responsibility by God to raise our kids to know Him and follow His word.
When Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was, he responded by quoting Moses in Deuteronomy 6: "Listen, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your foreheads as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
This is our goal as we parent our kids: that they grow up to know their identity in Jesus, to love God, and to love their neighbors.
Parenting with this goal is messy, full of questions and difficulties. We often we parent out of misconceptions. But there is hope! The gospel sets us free with the truth. Gospel parenting is challenging, but providing our kids with an identity set in Jesus is the best possible thing we can give them.
Soma Eastside is a community of people growing in this truth and the freedom that it brings. We hope you will join the journey with us! Here are some resources to explore as you consider gospel parenting.
Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul David Tripp
Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus by Elyse M Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson
Like Dew Your Youth: Growing Up With Your Teenager by Eugene Peterson
Growing Grateful Kids by Susie Larson
Mom, Dad…What’s Sex? Giving Your Kids a Gospel-Centered View of Sex and Our Culture by Jessica Thompson and Joel Fitzpatrick
God's Design for Sex series by Stan Jones, Brenna Jones, and Carolyn Nystrom
How and When to Tell Your Kids About Sex by Stan Jones
Resource List - Self harm and suicidal thoughts in kids and teens