Last Saturday, we gathered for our first-ever Gospel-Centered Parent study. 20 individuals woke up early on Saturday morning and came to church out of a desire to be better shepherds to their children. It was a great time and we discussed a ton, but here are four things that stood out from our first gathering:
“Unless the Lord builds the house”
Our Scripture for that morning was Psalm 127. It was the perfect text for our first gathering because it reminds us that though we will spend a bunch of time considering how to be better shepherds, all of our efforts will be futile unless it is the Lord that builds our house. That’s an important tension for us to have. We must do, but nothing can be done apart from Him. It’s both – we do and He does. Our understanding of that truth will determine whether we will ultimately trust in ourselves or on Jesus for our children.
There were no experts in the room
No one had all the answers. In fact, most of us only asked questions. We are all in different stages of parenthood, but it was apparent that we were all in need of help. Our time wasn’t filled with advice giving or sharing best practices, but instead, many opportunities for us to look to Jesus together. You could sense our desperation as we closed in prayer. Parenting is hard and we have more questions than answers, but thank God that He gives us wisdom and grace.
The gospel is enough
At one point we realized that the same sins that plague our work or our marriages, also plague our parenting. In other words, I’m not only an angry parent, I’m also an angry employee or an angry spouse. We realized that the root of our sins are often the same, and that it simply looks different depending on the context. Since this is true, regardless of whether we’re talking about parenting or work, the remedy to sin will always be the same – the person and work of Jesus Christ. We will never move past the gospel. The gospel will always be enough.
We laughed a ton
We couldn’t help but laugh as we heard each other speak because so many of our experiences are identical. There were moments of clarity. There were moments of seriousness. But there were also many moments of laughter. I’m grateful for that.