The words of man may help us understand the Word of God. But they must never become a substitute.
When we substitute the Word of God with the words of man, we're taught to behold someone other than Christ. And when we behold someone other than Christ, we don't change.
Paul David Tripp on parenting teens
I don't pretend to know a lot about parenting. And I have yet to parent a teen myself. But as a student pastor, I often think about the parents and families of the students I have the privilege of pastoring. One of the ways I seek to come alongside them is finding good resources to encourage and equip them.
This year, Paul David Tripp released an updated edition of Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens. I highly recommend this book.
He encourages parents to view the teenage years as a great opportunity. Teenagers are experiencing big struggles and making big decisions. And God desires to use them in big ways for His glory and their good.
The book emphasizes how biblical parenting is shepherding hearts rather than merely regulating behavior (p. 45).
Just because the parent prevents (or stops) bad behavior doesn't mean there is a change of heart in the teenager.
Only God can change a heart. Tripp writes, "Change in the hearts and lives of our teenagers is always the result of the gracious work of God" (p. 228).
This book reminds parents to pray for their teens and cultivate godly habits (like constant conversation).
If you're parenting a teen, this book is worth the read.
"Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way" (Ps. 139:23-24).
Lessons from Baxter on discipleship
Richard Baxter (1615-1691) pastored a church in Kidderminster. In 1656, he published The Reformed Pastor. By “reformed pastor,” Baxter meant one who supported the Protestant Reformation and sought to imitate the New Testament church.
I read an abridged and updated edition of The Reformed Pastor edited by Dr. Tim Cooper. It was released by Crossway last year.
Reflecting on the Summer of '22
Summer officially ended. God's faithfulness never does.
One of the reasons I enjoy writing is because I can read it later. I don't want to forget the Summer of '22, so here's a story about God's faithfulness.
A school year provides structure to our lives. For the student, structure comes in the form of classes, activities, practices, and games. For the parent, mornings are spent making sure the student is ready to go, and evenings are often spent on ball fields and gymnasiums. The structure of a school year is valuable in that it can fill our lives with worthwhile relationships, opportunities, and learning. There is, however, a busyness to the school year that easily produces fear, anxiety, and even dread in our lives. In this post, I want to share 3 truths from Ephesians as we think about glorifying God in the 2022-2023 school year.