What is grace-based parenting?

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Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
As President of the Board of GCP, I take what you say there seriously. We are quite aware of the challenge of this for our graded curriculum and have been revising it in recent years to reflect more self-consciously the kind of redemptive-historical approach that you cite here, that of seeking to locate our lives in His. You may PM me if you have any particular on-going concerns about curricular matters. We always appreciate the efforts of those in our churches to make our material sounder. Bottom line: we want that rich approach to sanctification that you mention above. It is so needed and, so often, lacking.
Thank you for that encouraging news. My knowledge of what I've seen is a bit dated from a few years ago and it is such a great encouragement to me to see like-mindedness in how the curricula for our children ought to be shaped. Thank you so much for the work you do and I hope you will forgive me if I spoke about things past rather than the situation as it currently is.
 

Pilgrim

Puritan Board Doctor
Rich,

Thanks for your post (#27). It confirms some suspicions I had regarding men vs. women regarding these matters. As noted earlier, I thought that women might have more of a problem with "trying harder" apart from the Gospel whereas men, especially in our day, often really do need to try and work harder and seem to be more subject to carnal presumption.

And I wonder how much of the material directed toward women and children really reflect genuine Biblical law and how much of it is just moralism?
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
Her point is that women and children especially need the Gospel. Mothers, especially, are extremely bogged down in the difficulty of raising children and they often feel guilty about how well they're doing raising their children.
Yes! So true. And this is much of what makes her book good.


With children, the point Elyse made likewise is that children SS material is typically very "law oriented"... Again, it's not that the law is bad but children need to learn the nature of grace. They need to hear the Gospel regularly.
Double yes! This is what I've been writing on for the last several months.
 

Alan D. Strange

Puritan Board Senior
Rich:

I do not take you to have misspoken at all with regards to Great Commission Publications (GCP). I think, frankly, that we have a better product now than ever, but it does not come easy: it is easier, from a number of vantage points, to publish moralistic literature for children than materials with a solid biblical-theological, redemptive-historical, soundly confessional viewpoint. The publishing of such, in an increasingly illiterate age, theologically and otherwise, is more challenging than ever. How do we "reach out" without "dumbing down?" We spend much of our time agonizing over this. We appreciate your prayers and support in this endeavor. Tom Patete, our Executive Director, is first-rate and very responsive to questions or concerns. We seek to be responsive to the legitimate concerns of the churches. What you express in your post is precisely what we are seeking to do in our material. We fail sometimes and we are happy to work with our friends to make our publications better.

Peace,
Alan
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
We even occasionally forgive what the kids know should otherwise be punished to provide a picture of grace to the kids.
While this may seem weird to some people, I taught my kids to ask for mercy and grace. After they did something wrong, If they asked for mercy I would forgo the punishment and even show them after their plea for forgiveness that I whole heartedly loved them and expected them to keep up the fight to do what is right. I really believe 1 John 1:9 is one of the most important scriptures in my life as an adult. It is for children also and I tried to show it to them by openly repenting in front of my kids and seeking for that same forgiveness. I love 1 John 1:9.

(1Jn 1:9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Would this practice unduly encourage the feigning of repentance in order to gain a lesser sentence?

My son volunteered to be whipped for his little sister one time. Was I wrong to whip him just as hard?

---------- Post added at 01:42 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:39 AM ----------

Rich,

Thanks for your post (#27). It confirms some suspicions I had regarding men vs. women regarding these matters. As noted earlier, I thought that women might have more of a problem with "trying harder" apart from the Gospel whereas men, especially in our day, often really do need to try and work harder and seem to be more subject to carnal presumption.

And I wonder how much of the material directed toward women and children really reflect genuine Biblical law and how much of it is just moralism?
How do I not fall into the trap of teaching moralism to my children? I am going through the Ten Commandments with Noah, but am reminding him that none of us can keep the law perfectly and it condemns us. Though I do stress the normative use of the law as well to guide our lives.
 

Pilgrim

Puritan Board Doctor
Rich,

Thanks for your post (#27). It confirms some suspicions I had regarding men vs. women regarding these matters. As noted earlier, I thought that women might have more of a problem with "trying harder" apart from the Gospel whereas men, especially in our day, often really do need to try and work harder and seem to be more subject to carnal presumption.

And I wonder how much of the material directed toward women and children really reflect genuine Biblical law and how much of it is just moralism?
How do I not fall into the trap of teaching moralism to my children? I am going through the Ten Commandments with Noah, but am reminding him that none of us can keep the law perfectly and it condemns us. Though I do stress the normative use of the law as well to guide our lives.
We have not yet been blessed with children, so I'll defer comment with regard to teaching children to others. My first comment in the thread had more to do with sanctification and related issues in general (i.e. the continued debate in the Reformed community over that issue) rather than specific comment regarding how Christian parents should raise their children.

But I will attempt to address what I mean by moralism. Going through something akin to the WSC or WLC teaching on the 10 Commandments is not moralism, especially when the whole counsel of God is taught as it is in the rest of those catechisms. What I'm referring to is giving a list of rules without also teaching the whole counsel of God or worse yet, fencing the law the way the Pharisees did, etc. (It might be helpful for Rich or someone else to either post or link to the kind of material from GCP that they have in mind that is deemed to be moralism.) You noted the Third Use earlier. The Third Use is for believers so of necessity, rightly used, it seems to me that it will be taught in light of the gospel.

One example that comes to mind of what I'd call "moralism" (or maybe some would just call it poor teaching regarding a genuinely biblical concept) is a sermon my wife and I heard a few years ago at a confessional church. The Teaching Elder basically berated the congregation over Sabbath keeping. He gave some excellent proofs for the OT Sabbath, but never once explained how it is transformed under the New Covenant or even why it is now to be observed on the first day instead of the seventh. The upshot was, do what your grandparents did or you're a bad Christian, a bad Presbyterian and maybe even a liberal. Scant Biblical evidence was advanced. It was basically an argument from history.
 
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Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Chris:

Thanks. We always stress that grace is lawful and that to even come close to obeying the law requires grace (i.e., we try not to drive a wide wedge, and we also stress all 3 uses of the law). The biggest benefit to teaching the Shorter Catechism's list of sins from the Ten Commandments is to show how often we break them and need Christ.
 
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