I'm enjoying this book. It's challenging me. I'm guilty of wanting to raise "good kids". I'm guilty of wanting the approval of other adults for how well my kids act. That is not gospel parenting that's moralistic parenting. I'm not good, how can my kids be good? Only Jesus is good. My kids can follow our laws outwardly to perfection but if the heart hasn't changed it doesn't matter. As Tullian Tchividjian said, "the law shows us what a sanctified life looks like, but it does not have sanctifying power. It's the gospel (what Jesus has done) that alone can give God honoring animation to our obedience.
I never realized until seeing it laid out in this book, how I am works based not grace based in my parenting. We all want obedient children but the problem comes when we tell them they are good and they can obey God's law. What we need to be telling them about is their desperate lostness outside of Christ. The Bible isn't about us, it isn't learning about the Bible heroes and how we should copy them, it's not about making good little boys and girls better...its about Jesus, the one and only hero in the Bible and his love and grace for us. Gospel parenting starts and ends at the cross. As I am reading this book, I know the Holy Spirit is doing something in my heart and I'm thankful he doesn't leave me where I am.
Raising good kids is utterly impossible unless they are drawn by the Holy Spirit to put their faith into the goodness of another. You cannot raise good kids, because you are not a good parent. There is only one good Parent, and he had one good Son. Together, this Father and Son accomplished everything that needed to be done to rescue us and our children from certain destruction. When we put our faith in him, he bestows the benediction upon us: "These are My beloved children, with whom I am well pleased" (see Matt.. 3:17).
Give this grace to your children: tell them who they really are, tell them what they need to do, and then tell them to taste and see that the Lord is good. Give this grace to yourself too.
-Give Them Grace, chapter 2