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Being a biblically resilient parent

Updated: May 30


an amazing yet humbling task

Parenting is wonderful, inspiring, encouraging, joy-filled, scary, exhausting and sometimes difficult. We go through life taking care of ourselves and then we get accustomed to sharing life with our spouse. Then we decide to have a child, and all of a sudden our lives are forever changed. Our children are completely reliant on us to care for them in each and every way - physically, emotionally, economically, and most importantly, spiritually.


Most parents will agree that raising children is an incredible experience, and when we do it with a goal of inspiring them to see God’s ways and follow Him, we are confronted with our own weaknesses and shortcomings.  It’s humbling.  It’s also frustrating, because the results we want are not guaranteed.


that inconvenient thing called free will

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it”

Matt 7.13-14


We have three children ages 29 (Alexa), 23 (Ryan) and 20 (Jordan). Our oldest is from Corey’s first marriage, but we raised her together. Alexa was 4 years old when we were married 25 years ago. Along with being new parents, having a blended family came with some unique challenges. We made a lot of mistakes in our parenting over the years. Praise God that He is the perfect parent - He shows love, grace and mercy to all of us. God does not make us do anything, but gives free will, allowing his children to decide on their own how they will respond to all that he has done for them.


In all his perfection & power most of God’s children turn away from him & live their lives without acknowledging Jesus as Lord.  Sadly, sometimes that includes our children.  When they do, it’s one of the most painful experiences imaginable.


the bible is enough

“As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day”

John 12.47-48


“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”

2 Peter 1.3


The word of God is what will be used to judge all people, including our children, once they reach the age of accountability. Wyndham & Jeannie Shaw did a parenting class for us while we lived in London some years ago. They said this about our parenting: “It is not our job to make our children choose to follow God - It is our job to create an environment of faith in our home where our children can choose faith.” This statement resonated with us, having experienced our daughter walk away for a season. We battled feeling shame several times when we heard of parents who were “doing things right” because their kids became Christians. After hearing from the Shaw’s we felt the freedom the Bible calls us to: to follow the Bible and live lives of faith and pray for our children every day while we do that. We can’t control the results, but we can do our best to offer them a Biblical worldview.


Our goals for our children are for them to follow Jesus, to get married to the spouse God designed for them, to have their own children, and to be productive citizens of God’s kingdom and of the world we live in. In reality, we control very little of this. We do have control over the atmosphere we build in the home, and the best way to create an environment of faith is for the Bible to be our primary guide in every choice we make. We aren’t minimizing the value of other books or resources, there are plenty that are helpful. However, if they contradict what the Bible says or adopt ideas which are outside of the Bible, then we would avoid them. Contrary to what the secular world is telling us, Biblical principles can be applied to every area of life.


a consistent personal example

“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.”

Deuteronomy 6:6–8


The world is pressuring our children from every direction, so we must be committed to impressing God’s truth on our children continually. We often hear parents saying “They say” - followed by some anecdote about some parenting advice (time/ schedule/ discipline/ etc). The challenge is that what “they say” does not always align with biblical truth, and is almost always the wisdom of other humans.  There isn’t inherently anything wrong with that, but we must trust God and His word over what “they say”.  God’s is the only wisdom from above (James 3:13-18).


The truth is, faith is caught much more than it is taught. Our children watch everything we do.  This is the tough part!   If we talk about the Bible being our standard and yet not allow it to guide every part of our lives inside and outside the house, the faith of our children can be adversely affected. Again, it doesn’t mean we need to be perfect Christians, just that our children need to see us striving to put the Bible into practice.  They need to see a model of repentance in our daily lives as we follow Jesus. They need to hear us apologize when we make mistakes and witness first hand the work of the Holy Spirit transforming us into the image of Jesus.


Simply put, when they see us sincerely living it out, it makes a difference.


faith not fear

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.“

1 John 4.18


Early in our marriage our parenting was based on fear that our children might not choose faith or that they might fail in life or not represent the family well. Much of our parenting came from each of our families of origin.  We were operating based on fear of what they might or might not become. This method was effective in some ways, but it back-fired in others. When our daughter was 15 she rebelled against our fearful parenting and walked away from God, and from us. We learned a lot about our parenting during that time.  We did some self-assessment and made some good changes in our own lives and approach to our kids. 


Praise God our daughter responded to our repentance and she later responded to the love of God and made Jesus her Lord just over a year later. Rather than parenting out of fear, we chose (to the best of our ability) to parent the way God does - out of love, mercy, grace and generosity - and give our children every opportunity to choose to respond to these things. We have, at times, reverted to what came more naturally, but the Bible has always directed us back to God’s way.


the power of a faith community

“Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.”

1 Thessalonians 2.8


“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

Romans 12.9-10


We have the blessing, as followers of Jesus, to have the community of believers to help us in our lives, including our parenting. We can learn from each other through victories as well as difficulties. We would often seek out other parents whose children were thriving in their faith and pick their brains to find out what helped them to make the greatest impact on their children. We also sometimes learned what not to do. Our connections with others has been essential to our own maturity and growth over the years. The faith community of the church is such a vital piece of being a Biblically resilient parent. 


We are grateful for the lessons we have learned since becoming parents. No matter what may be going on in our lives, we have the solid rock of God’s word to do it’s work of encouraging, comforting, teaching, rebuking, correcting and training us every step of the way.


May God Bless you and your family on your parenting journey.


Corey & Angela Stuck


Corey & Angela Stuck lead the Hampton Roads Church in Eastern Virginia. They have been married for more than 25 years and have served in the full time ministry since 2002. They have three children - Alexa (29- from Corey’s first marriage), Ryan (23) and Jordan (20). They also have two amazing grandchildren. They led the church in Richmond from 2008-2012 and served in the church in the Southside of London from 2012-2017.

1 commento


Great job, Corey and Angela! A sorely needed message!

Mi piace
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