Kingdom leaders often expend tremendous time and energy building their teams and organizations, leaving little time to focus on their personal lives. Yet, 1 Timothy 3 reminds us that leadership starts at home.
Those in our own household are the most immediate and consistent people we lead, and the way we parent is rapidly evolving. For most of us, technology and social media permeate our lives and parents are juggling the growing amount of extracurricular activities their children are involved in.
Adding to these trending issues are the leadership questions that have always existed: How do we lead our children in love? How do we, as a family, serve others well? How do we relate to one another in healthy, life-giving ways? How do we parent and lead in such a way that our children will allow us opportunities to speak into their lives when they make mistakes?
In the Christian Life School of Theology Global course, "A Theology of Parenting," my long-time friend and faculty member, Dr. Lon Flippo, offers practical advice for today's parents, rooted in the Word of God and developmental psychology. He offers the following wisdom for leading your family:
1) Keep your view godly. Focus on the eternal more than on what you can see. So often, we spend more time talking about the president, the culture or silly YouTube videos than we do talking about God. Of course, it's appropriate to talk to your kids about politics and have nonsensical fun, but most of us need more practice when it comes to focusing our lives and time spent together on Jesus.
2) Practice real grace and forgiveness daily. More than just small moments of Christlikeness, families need to make it part of who they are. In this way, when your kids and teens make mistakes, they are more likely to trust you with their hearts and share their struggles.
3) Maintain discipline. Parents should be on the same page with respect to discipline, never caving or giving up. If we do, we set in motion an entire generation that believes they can argue, cry or bargain their way out of consequences.
4) We should parent our children the way God parents His children. Has He ever broken up His relationship with you? Has He ever once taken away grace and forgiveness? No, He's consistent and loving. Even when our kids break our hearts, we don't break our relationship up with them.
Love like Jesus loved. When you don't know what else to do for your kids, just love them.
Consider Apostle Paul's admonishment shared in 1 Timothy 3:5 (NIV): "If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?" To learn more about how to lead your family well, listen to the full podcast episode on this topic at: www.randallangley.com/podcast. You can also subscribe to the Pinnacle Leaders Podcast with Dr. Langley to listen to this episode and others for more biblical wisdom on the areas of lordship, leadership and lifestyle.
Dr. Randal S. Langley is the president and CEO of Christian Life School of Theology Global (CLSTG), a world leader in theological and leadership education, providing online degree programs and customized Christian higher-education solutions for churches, ministries and other organizations. Dr. Langley is also president of the International Association of Bible Colleges and Seminaries and is a founding partner and certified life coach, teacher and trainer for the John C. Maxwell Team. His desire is to help people fulfill their ultimate purpose in life and achieve their God-given dreams.
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