(This is part five of our recent sermon at Central, “Parenting: So, You’ve Ruined Your Kids…” I’ve been posting this in sections all week. We’ll conclude tomorrow.)

Big Picture Perspective – Your children are not the most important thing in your life. They’re not. Your whole world cannot revolve around your kids. They can’t be the center of your universe. You can’t compromise your commitments to your spouse in time or energy or affection because of your kids. You can’t neglect the commitments you’ve made to the Lord and to his Church because of your kids’ interests or pursuits. Your kids can’t come first. Your life cannot revolve around them and their schedules and what they sign up for and what they want to do. Parents need to operate out of a big picture Kingdom of God perspective. And the children need to understand it, too.

Your children need to see you caring for other people — spiritually, physically, and emotionally. The best thing our children can learn from us is that Carrie-Anne and I are part of God’s Church. Our kids see us singing in worship and serving others with our covenant group and investing our time and money and talents into God’s people and God’s mission. Our lives revolve around our commitments to Christ and to each other.

Kids know when you put other things first. They’re not stupid. They know because we tell them with our actions. They see it.

Church is important in my family, but not as important as my traveling team. Serving others in the name and manner of Jesus is important, but not as important as our school. Or our club. Or this vacation.

The parenting passage in Deuteronomy 6 says, “The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” That’s the big picture perspective or a godly parent. The Lord is first. The kids are not.