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The Pressures of Parenting, Part 1

Thursday, September 23, 2010 | Comments (8)

Remember when you were newlyweds, fast approaching your one year anniversary? Life was good—your relationship with your beloved spouse, fresh and romantic; your ministry within the church, exciting and rewarding. Marriage was everything you thought it would be—and the future looked bright.

But then you have that talk—you know, the one about having kids. Your heart skipped a beat. Suddenly your shiny optimism became overshadowed with clouds of doubt and fear.

If that sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Many Christian couples have feared the prospect of raising children. If you surveyed them, you’d probably hear something like this: “Parenting is expensive, time consuming, and complex. Having kids means I’ve got to get a bigger house, trade my SUV for a lame mini-van, set aside my personal goals, and say goodbye to time with my spouse.” Whether or not those fears are legitimate, they pale in comparison to the real pressure of parenting. John MacArthur explains . . .

Listen to this 9-minute clip:

Launch Player  |  Download  |  Full Sermon

Listen to John’s sermon excerpt, then join the conversation in the comment thread. Here are a few questions to discuss:

  1. Seasoned parents, what advice would you offer younger couples about to enter the realm of parenting? What lessons did God teach you that you’d like to pass along concerning the social, cultural pressures of parenting?
  2. New or soon-to-be parents, what concerns you the most when considering the future you face as a new parent?

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#1  Posted by Jason Gilleland  |  Thursday, September 23, 2010at 6:50 PM

I am a new parent to a 10 week old daughter. What scares me the most about parenting is not being able to control my child. What I mean by that is I often see parents, who say that they are Christian, that seem to have NO control over their children! One Christian mother actually told me that they rarely go out as a family because their 2 year old is such a hassle to deal with in public. Should we as Christians expect to change what we will and will not do in such a dramatic way, because of our children?

#2  Posted by Chad Smith  |  Thursday, September 23, 2010at 7:05 PM

New or soon-to-be parents, what concerns you the most when considering the future you face as a new parent?

I just became a father almost 5 months ago and being first generation believers it is very diffacult to deal with unsaved family in these early months ,espicalley the fact that my wife and I were only saved almost 2 yrs ago ,but what im most concerned about is my sons soul and my wife and I being an example to him because if he doesnt see us doing it the way that we should he's going to see it as a joke . I am dreading the teenage years where todays society says thats the time where you have to "find yourself",while our unsaved family and the world is going to try and beat in his head about the whole "find yourself" stuff im going to be telling him that Jesus says to save your life you must loose it ( Luke 9:23-24). Battling our saved family is def. one of my most concerns. Any advice would be very helpful...thank you

Thy will be done

Chad

#3  Posted by Veronica Marroquin  |  Friday, September 24, 2010at 9:31 AM

Hello,

I've recently become a new parent 4 months ago. Our child is most definitely a blessing. After 13 years of endless prayer, trying and seeing doctors, we finally decided to leave it to the Lord. He is the only one who knows what we need and when. To our surprise I had conceived twice. The first was not ment to be, and the second, well we named him Samuel Lucas. Fitting I thought. We couldn't be happier & proud! It then dawned on me, how will we ever raise our Son to be what the Lord wants him to be? I'm so afraid of today's society and their secular beliefs, that it seems nearly impossible to instill the morals and values he will need through out his life. There is already so much criticism towards Christians in the world today, that it makes many afraid, even ashamed, to admit their belief in God. I wonder how much worse it will be when Samy is finally able to voice his chosen path. Even now as an adult the pressure to live a Godly life is difficult to abide by. My greatest concern is: How will we ever make him strong enough to stand firm on God's word??

With Love in God,

Veronica

#4  Posted by Ayza Santiago  |  Friday, September 24, 2010at 11:34 AM

We all go through this stuff. Iam a parent to three teenagers. Ever since they were babies I read the word of God to them, pray with them, and sing spiritual hymns. Since in the church we go to they hardly ever sing the old hymns I made sure that at home I will sing it with them or by myself so that they will learn them. I believe they are one of the few in church that know these hymns. My advice to all parents is, teach your children the word of God, take time to read it with them and as they grow let them read it to you. Make sure they see you in your devotional time alone with the Lord it shows them how important it is to you and it should be to them. The Lord will take care of the rest. I praise God because I have a 13,16 and 19 year old and all three love the Lord and are very active in church.

#5  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Saturday, September 25, 2010at 3:06 PM

I was reading the blogs.

Remember the Lord has a plan for each of your children. Prayer is important. Ask Jesus to guide you as you raise your children.

Very good comments. God bless.

#6  Posted by Joseph Whiting  |  Saturday, September 25, 2010at 3:39 PM

Congratulations on your new daughter Jason! I took interest in your comment/question because I have observed the same thing myself. Proverbs 22:15 says, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.”

We are all born little sinners. Isn’t it amazing that no one has to teach a child how to sin, they just know how to automatically? We both know why that is though. I’d have to answer “no” to your question. We as Christians should not expect to change what we will or will not do when leaving the home in a dramatic way because of our children. We as Christians are to address our children’s sin as scripture directs us to.

Also check out:

Prov 22:6; 23:13; 29:15; Eph 6:1-4

#7  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Saturday, September 25, 2010at 11:18 PM

*Written by Shauna Bryant*

Congratulations to all the new parents! Raising your children up to love and obey the Lord that is the most important thing you can do for them.

We discipline so we don't have to worry about taking our children anywhere as they are well behaved and truly a joy to be around. One thing that drives me bananas is when I hear parents saying "If you don't...(whatever) then I'll...." yet they never follow through, they just keep repeating themselves over and over so their kids don't trust that they mean what they say! Our philosophy was : you will learn to obey the first time -not the second or third - the first. It would be awful to have ill-mannered children because people look at the kids and think "eek-what monsters!" when they should be looking at the parents wondering why they raised their kids to act that way. Kids will behave EXACTLY how they are ALLOWED to.

We do not compromise with the culture. Also, I think too many parents make the mistake of trying to be 'friends' with their kids. Our job is to train them up. We can be 'friends' later, when they're grown up & when we've done our job faithfully.

It is, admittedly, seemingly difficult to raise Godly kids in today's abominable culture and I think a lot of that (at least for me) was because I had to reassess my own life and activities & what an eye-opener that was. We home school (though I know many people who don't, yet still successfully raise Godly children) and TV is limited (we have DVD's that are appropriate - nothing on TV really is and certainly most commercials are horrid). Our children's friends are being brought up by Godly parents in a Christian home - it is our duty to be protective in this manner.

Unfortunately, the greatest challenge we face in raising our kids is with my family who are all unsaved. My nieces and nephews are immersed in and intoxicated by the latest fad and popular culture. We did go through a period of time when we didn't see anyone on my side of the family because they couldn't be bothered to act appropriately in front of my children. They do now so that makes for nicer visits, but if they hadn't agreed to abide by our wishes then we would not have started seeing them again. We are commanded to love the Lord before all others, so we stood firm. And I love my parents so that whole situation was difficult, but necessary for the sake of showing our children just how important it is to live our lives before the Lord. We can't exactly expect them to grow up and 'earnestly contend for the faith' if we don't display it for them in their formative years.

At times I think that while raising your kids is rewarding beyond words, it is also difficult......in no small part because it makes us take a very hard look at our own lives. We have to decide "are WE willing to make the necessary adjustments - which glorifies Jesus Christ or not..."

Post #4 had it right - Pray.....unceasingly.

#8  Posted by Lori Lynch  |  Wednesday, September 29, 2010at 1:00 PM

Congrats to all the new parents. My husband and I were not saved when we started having kids but by God's grace we are and our children have both professed faith. I think the greatest key to raising kids is to first bring them up to know God, and live your faith daily. The second thing is to make up your mind about what you will and will not accept. My mom laughed at me when I said, "my kids will never..." But the fact that I have always made them aware of what we will and will not allow or tolerate has raised the expectations that they do behave. My kids may have thrown a tantrum once in public. ONCE. They don't talk back and never have. They don't say no to us and they don't use foul language. We are helped by the fact that we homeschool and discuss the ramifications and biblical perspective on everything they are exposed to, but you can still accomplish that with a piblic schooled child. Just let them know what your expectations are and more importantly what God expects.