5/14/23 A Note From Pastor Ben

Friends and Family,
On this Mother’s Day, I want to give a shout-out to all of our awesome First Baptist moms. Some of you are young and you tend to deal more with throw-up than you get to dress-up. Some of you are young at heart and grin from ear-to-ear when you see our sweet, young mamas with their arms full, recalling the days when you did the same. Some of you are incredible spiritual mothers, pouring into younger women just like the Titus 2 trophies you are. What a calling you have as mama! And what a great job so many of you are doing—even though I know at times it may not feel that way.

Parenting is the hardest thing most people ever do. As I think about Mother’s Day, I can’t help but think of different ideas I’ve learned along the way. I’m usually slow (very slow) to give parenting advice to anyone, but hopefully some of this can help my fellow strugglers.

Here’s some free random parenting advice from somebody that seems to have more parenting bricks than dunks (basketball terms for saying I stink at being a perfect parent):
1. Create a culture of confession in your home by admitting to your children when you’re wrong and asking for their forgiveness. It’s amazing how vulnerability is a love language for your child’s heart.
2. Encouragements and confessions should be more frequent than the corrections Encouragement is like adrenaline for the soul and confession is pesticide for hypocrisy.
3. Seek to win their hearts, not merely their behavior. Our goal is to reproduce Christians, not raise up Pharisees.
4. The calling of parenting is not merely to raise kids, but to pass on a way of life. So give your children a vision of the good life—walking with the Lord, walking in wisdom, walking in virtue, using talents and skills to advance the Kingdom of God, marrying a godly spouse, raising
children in godliness, and serving the church.
5. Don’t be as concerned about giving them a “traditional” childhood, teenage, and college
experience in order to obtain athletic, social, and academic achievement. Be concerned with
ordering their loves, training their affections, and building their character.
6. Parent with 30 in mind, not 18 in mind (years old). This helps you not overreact to rebellion in your child, but rather lead with a patient hand. Not every moment is a freak-out moment
and not every rebellion is a crisis. If you parent with 18 in mind, you’re going to get in a
hurry. Play the long-game. The reason God is patient with us is because He’s building us for eternity. Play the same kind of long-game with your children.
7. Be neither harsh nor passive when it comes to disciplining your children. Operate within the tension of Ephesians 6:4, “Do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
8. The key to parenting is being the kind of person Christ has called you to be. This takes a
ton of pressure off so that you don’t have unrealistic expectations to see particular results on a particular timeline.

I love you, First Baptist! Have a great Mother’s Day as we continue to behold the glory of God in the face of Christ and thereby be changed from one degree of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18).
- Pastor Ben

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