Am I Supposed to Change My Kids? (#670)

Do you as a parent have the power, or even the responsibility, to change your children? Thinking you do, misunderstands your role as a parent and will undermine the relationship God wants you to have with your children. That's the conclusion found in the Introduction to Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles that Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul David Tripp. This week Wayne and Julie begin their conversation about parenting using this book as a launching pad to talk about parenting from their experience and passions. This week's focus is on not taking ownership of your children, but to see yourself as God's vessel to expose them to him and to his grace.

Podcast Notes:
Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles that Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul David Tripp
Loving Our Kids on Purpose by Danny Silk
The latest news from our project in Kenya


  1. Another great podcast!

    You often mention your dislike of Christians saying that they want to be ‘used’ by God or being a ‘tool’ in his hand.

    I can see what you mean by that.
    But I used to be a tradesman – building, decorating, repairs, etc.
    In my toolkit I had a variety of tools which each had its own specific purpose. I looked after those tools and nurtured them. I loved them and protected them. I kept them in good shape and knew pretty much exactly what each one could do.
    So my thinking of the word ‘tool’ is different to yours. If I’m God’s tool, I’m loved, cherished and looked after. I have purpose and that purpose is to be used by the Craftsman.
    I also like the concept of being ‘used’ (although I see the negative connotations).
    Growing up with a low self esteem, I often thought of myself as useless. A waste of space. So when I got saved and the Holy Spirit actually worked through me, that too gave me a great sense of purpose and reason to be alive. That He would actually use me (that is, Me, as opposed to someone else!) meant that I was useful, not useless, and to me was the greatest ‘proof’ of God’s love and acceptance.
    I also your use of the word ‘conduit’. I conduit without him, and he conduit without me. Excuse my English humour…

    Great thought provoking podcast. I hope Julie becomes more and more vocal so we can hear her views more. It’s always refreshing to hear a different voice and a different viewpoint.
    Here in China, I’m actively involved in being a grandfather to my wife’s daughter’s son, and although it’s culturally very different to how it might be done in the West, many of the things you discussed were very helpful.
    Thanks to you both.

  2. My two favorite helpful parenting books are
    Loving your kids on purpose by Danny silk and also now Connected Families by Jim and Lynn Jackson based out of MN. Also what has helped me with parenting hugely is Jesus’ honor of children. If I start with the view that children are sinners worse than adults or if I start with another view that children are His creation, and honored by Jesus…I choose the latter. To look up to them, to learn from them, to not quench them with my own worse sin I think. That and along with the connected families book talking about how “gifts gone awry”. I like how Julie and the book mentioned taking a step back…Connected Families also says this…step away talk to a God.
    I take a different view on ownership. I don’t think ownership is what I want for or from my child, ownership is protecting your priceless treasure. I take ownership of my children in the sense of protection spiritually in authority of Christ and physically here on earth. We protect or sheep from the wolves…and of course He does but that is our job as parents too (and His Spirit leads us in that)
    God modeled this for us…He calls us “Mine”. And yes this means they are His but I currently believe this is what He designed for families…to be possessive to call them our own and His.
    I like Wayne’s comment…we are all broken people looking to God…
    when our children can be safe in their family knowing we are all broken looking to God, resting in God we experience His Kingdom.

    • Sorry the book title is “Discipline that connects with your child’s heart” by Jim and Lynn Jackson Connected Families is their website name.
      I think Julie might enjoy this book:) no book is perfect but it helped me encourage my kids in their “mess ups” finding their gift that went awry.
      One example: I woke to squeals from my eight year old at 5 am and my 9 year old shouting from the shower “stop it Grace!!!!” Over and over again. I get up to find my eight year old Grace swinging from the bathroom door throwing towels into the shower on her sister taking a shower! Now before this book I would have screamed, lost my temper at her…this time I took a breath, said “Grace you have such a gift for humor…do you think this is the wise way to express that humor? Etc.

      She has always had a pranking/humor gift that never really it into my efficient orderly life;) so after that book I repented for quenching her gift and now try to allow freedom for her gift while guiding with wisdom:)
      Even at age 9 months she sat in the back of the double stroller pulling her sisters hair in front of her giggling away;)

      As to why my 9 year old was showering at 5:00am?….a motivated morning girl and high achiever in studies

Comments are closed.