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Parenting By The Book
Helping You Understand God’s Design For Your Family
By Travis Gilbert

This guide to parenting is our gift to help you in your monumental role as mom, dad, grandparent or guardian.
A gift from the congregation of Cliffview Chapel
217 East 300 South PO Box 186
Kanab, Utah 84741 www. cliffviewchapel.org
Please contact us for more family resources or parenting classes.
Visit us on Sundays for our 10:00 am worship service. It is family friendly and open to the public.

To our boys:
Luke, Noah, & Ethan,
your mother and I are blessed and humbled by the awesome responsibility
of bringing you up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Proverbs 1:7-9
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Table of Contents
Preface …...…………………………………………………………………………………...7 The Nurture & Admonition of the Lord ………………………………...9 A Biblical Foundation ……………………………………………………………13 Your Child’s Greatest Need ……………………………………………………17 Teach Your Children Well ……………………………………………………..21 Good Resources ……...……………………………………………………………….....25
Appendix: Let’s Talk about Gender ………………………………………………………27
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Preface
Raising children is at the same time sobering and joyful, a responsibility and a privilege, full of fun and loaded with concern. Think about it, every parent is a sinner who is raising other sinners. Little wonder that the home needs help! We have help, and it is not found on the day time talk show circuit. Our society is awash with voices that clamor for the family’s ear, offering solutions, remedies, and answers for the “modern family.” With so much background noise it is essential that parents hone in on the one voice that deserves their attention. God’s Word does not leave us in doubt regarding the home. Marriage is defined by the scriptures. The relationship between husband and wife, parents and children, the home and the church are all explained in God’s Word; those who have ears to hear just need to listen and obey. The goal of this series of lessons is to orient, or reorient, parents along the path of understanding the home from a Biblical perspective. This is by no means an exhaustive study on parenting and home-life. Instead, it is one that will equip the reader to recognize God’s design for the family. Then we must prayerfully and sincerely ask the Holy Spirit to enable us to follow that Biblical pattern, and to follow it joyfully and consistently, in every situation, every day. These lessons have been prepared by one who does not consider himself an expert on parenting. The only people who do count themselves as parenting experts are people who have no children of their own! (Or people who don’t have a lick of sense.) I am a parent who has messed up more times that I care to recount. But my wife and I desire, pray for, and, by the Holy Spirit’s power, work towards building a home according to the Biblical blueprint. There are no tract homes, spiritually speaking; every home is a custom job, but every home must follow the same Biblical design if they want to have a God-honoring and fulfilling home.
Grace and Peace to You!
Travis Gilbert Garland, TX
October 2011
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“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture
and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
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The Nurture and Admonition of the Lord
Perhaps you can relate, on some levels, to this parent who wrote his pastor the following: “I’m looking for biblical help with parenting. Not just parenting advice from a Christian perspective, not just warmed-over child psychology couched in "Christian" terminology, but solid, biblical parenting guidelines.
It seems to me that the specific commandments to fathers in the Bible can be written on half a sheet of paper. But I’m sure there are also principles in Scripture that teach parents how to raise their kids. I’m just having a hard time knowing which "principles" are really biblical and which are not. I looked for parenting books in the Christian bookstore. There were lots of choices, but I notice they are peppered with phrases like "your child’s sense of self-worth"; "self-bias impulse drive"; "attention deficit disorder"; and so on. How much of this is truly biblical, and how much is borrowed from secular child psychology? I see very little in these books that actually refers to Scriptures.
My wife and I are barely out of our teenage years, and now we are faced with the responsibility for training up our child in the way that he should go. I don’t feel we are quite ready for the task. Can you recommend some resources that will help us?” (John MacArthur, What the Bible Says About Parenting, (Word: 2000), p. ix-x)
Parenting books abound in our society. Beginning with the famous (or infamous depending on your viewpoint) Baby and Child by Dr. Spock to more recent volumes such as: the What to Expect… series; Secrets of the Baby Whisperer; 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children, etc. There are ample resources, but not all resources are created equal! Our culture does not lack in material or information. Our culture does lack in happy, fulfilled homes.
Which parenting method is the best?
3 Trial and Error method? 3 Not Make My Parents’ Mistakes method? 3 Consult the Experts method? 3 Parenting by the Book method?
The last option is the best option, because the ultimate authority on all of life, including parenting, is God’s Word. Another pragmatic program is not needed for successful parenting. The sole requirement for successful parenting is consistent obedience and faithful adherence to biblical principles.
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Parenting is not a precise recipe. “Follow the steps in proper sequence, to the correct amount, and out will pop a God-fearing, church-going, covenant-keeping, gainfully employed and wise young adult.” Don’t you believe it! Ephesians 6:4 says, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Successful parenting is rearing our children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” How does that look? It looks like parents…
Who are always learning about Jesus…
"The greatest need of my people is my personal holiness." - Robert Murray M’Cheyne
While that is true of pastoring, the same goes for parenting. Parents who are “grow[ing] in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18a) are needed. Parenting by the Book means being able to answer the question: What are you learning about Jesus? Not just intellectual but experiential knowledge. Not just lecturing about Jesus, but living for and by the grace and power of the Lord. When we are parenting by the book we will be able to communicate to our children, not just what but how we are personally learning about Jesus. (Do not be discouraged when you miss a few days here and there.)
Who talk about Jesus with their children…
It is natural to talk about things we have learned, and if we are learning about Jesus we will talk about Him; not just to our lost co-workers but to our children as well. In so doing we follow one of the biblical guidelines for parenting.
“Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons; Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.”
Deuteronomy 4:9-10 If Jesus affects our everyday lives, then our children will hear about it and see it.
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