Introduction

If you search for parenting books on Amazon, you will scroll through thousands of titles (175,592 at last count.) Many guarantee smart, healthy, happy, and yes … obedient children, some by the time you finish reading the chapters. By the volume of books on this topic, you can conclude that parents are hungry for answers. They want to know what to do and they want to “do it right.” And, they hope for quick results. Parents need answers and encouragement.

Parenting frequently fills us to overflowing with joys. But, it is still so hard. Why? One reason is that there are many aggressive forces outside of us that are attempting to direct our thinking. We hear their message and feel their pressure. Many of these forces are aimed directly at our children.

Not only are there pressures from outside of us, there is a powerful force inside of us–our own nature. Our kids want what they want, when they want it. This is the core of a natural and continual struggle in all parenting, because so much of parenting involves conforming the mind and will of another individual. And, one who by nature resists being submitted to you–or, to anyone else in authority!the-ten-commandments-yul-brynner-ramses[1]

When Tom Petty sang, “It’s good to be king and have your own way,” his lyrics could have been handed to him by your four year old. (And, by the way, the child’s nature is also our nature.)

There is good news. God has given us the power to overcome our nature. The means and the power of this grace are in His Gospel, His Word, and His Spirit. He has also given us the added encouragement of His church and God is planning to work through parents … even us.

So, why the number twelve? Scripture overflows with wisdom for parents.  It could have easily been Four Hundred Passages for Parents. The number chosen for the title of this site was not randomly selected. It was discovered by studying the text of I Thessalonians 2: 1-14. In these passages, Paul clearly and precisely outlines his behavior and work among the Thessalonians, whom he considered to be his spiritual children.

I was initially drawn to this text by Paul’s own description of his ministry with the Thessalonian church. In describing himself as a parent, he used the words “like a mother” and “like a father.” I spent more time here, mining gold and gleaning the following:

  1. Our confidence is in our God.
  2. Conflict surrounds us.
  3. We have been entrusted with the Gospel, God’s plan for redeeming the world.
  4. Parenting is a ministry of words.
  5. A mother brings gentleness and tender care to her children.
  6. There is great power in an upright life.
  7. A father instructs and encourages his children.
  8. Our heart’s desire is that our children walk in a manner worthy of God.
  9. We do all with prayer and thankfulness.
  10. The highest cause of rejoicing is when our children receive and believe the Word of God.
  11. God’s Word works in our children and in us.
  12. Our children will imitate someone.

All of these are wonderfully supported throughout scripture. So, we will expand them with examples and daily application as we draw on wisdom from the Old and New Testaments.

From time to time, you will hear from Cheryl. Our forty-seven year marriage has been an adventure and God has taught us much through the years. She is the mother of our four sons, now mom to their lovely wives, and Grammy to thirteen young gifts from God. She is my perfect complement and I am hers.

So, join us on this journey as we explore and learn from God’s Word. Our desire is to encourage you to understand, love, and guide your children … “with that calm composure that prepares for duty and sustains in adversity.” (Charles Spurgeon)