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“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…” (2 Timothy 3:16)

As a pastor, I have seen just how true this verse is! Over the last several weeks, I have seen just how life-changing Scriptural wisdom can be to young parents.

Our church in southwest Michigan has been growing numerically over the last few years, especially amongst one demographic in particular – couples with young children. It’s an exciting type of growth to have because it means that we will have years to invest in multiple generations of the same families. At the same time, bringing in so many young families in such a short time is not without its unique challenges. As a pastor, it is my duty to shepherd these young parents as they try to build homes that honor God and that pass our faith down from one generation to the next. That’s where the Servant Leaders course, Proactive Parenting, comes in!

We are presently in week 6 of going through this 8-week course. The timing for this course could not have been better. Several young couples have some very unique challenges. Here are just a few: One couple recently adopted a four year old little girl. Her biological mother lost her parental rights to her daughter, and now, this young couple has a lot of un-training to do before re-training her properly. Another couple is fostering three young children with hopes of adopting them in the future. One mother has an uninvolved spouse, and is trying to raise her daughters in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, without any help from her husband. Each couple has their own story.

These are all unique challenges, but we are not without hope! The Bible is full of wisdom for all of these circumstances! And God has been doing some amazing things! Each week, I ask for testimonies about how things have been going over the last week. It has been so encouraging to hear their stories. They’ve been using words like “gamechanging” and “life-altering” to describe what has been going on in their homes!

One couple described how their children were essentially running their home. They couldn’t even get their kids to go to bed at night. They only way to get them to sleep was to allow them to sleep in bed with the parents. This was not ideal for either the parents or the kids. They came into class one night and said, “Our kids are going to bed now! And we have our room back to ourselves. And more importantly than that, we feel like we have the tools to make this the first of many victories!” The excitement in the room was echoed by similar stories from the other homes as well.

The couple who is fostering tree children shared the following testimony in an email:

“We became parents overnight when we began fostering sibling groups. Initially we read a lot about how to parent children with trauma backgrounds. The strategies we learned have been fantastic. However, when Pastor Dave offered to lead a Biblical parenting class, we knew weneeded to participate. The sessions we have had so far have been grounded in Biblical truth and practical. There are a couple of concepts which have really stood out. The first concept is to remain focused on the character trait we are trying to develop in our children. Many times we get caught up in the individual behavior and get hyper focused on correcting the behaviors. We have been reminded to stop, take a step back, and identify the character trait that is being neglected. By addressing the bigger need (the character trait) we will also be addressing the individual behavior.

The second concept has been making sure we maintain a stable action line. Our action line cannot fluctuate based on emotion. Without a stable action line, our children do not know what to expect. This creates an unstable and unpredictable environment which hinders our children’s behavioral and emotional growth and development.”

As a pastor, there is nothing more exciting than seeing people take biblical wisdom and apply it to their lives. I’ve also see the change in the lives of the kids! God is so good!

What is also exciting is to see how God’s wisdom is contagious! Several of the parents in our class have been sharing with others what they have been learning. It has generated enough interest that we are offering the course again next month at a different day of the week, so that we can accommodate the schedules of other parents. I can’t wait to see what God does in their lives too!

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