We Are Family
A SERIES AT NEW CITY CHURCH
The following content is based on the message “Biblical Parenthood” spoken on 08/21/16 by Brian Kruckenberg at New City Church in Phoenix, AZ. The following is not meant to be a full synopsis of the message but rather a brief look at the main ideas. To use this Study Guide effectively you must listen to the message found at https://newcityphx.com/sermons/.
Leaders using these Study Notes for group study and reflection should read the Biblical text thoroughly before beginning, using this resource as assistance and not relying solely on this material for insight. We encourage all leaders to pray and ask the Spirit for revelation as they lead their respective communities.
Pray and ask God to lead the discussion as everyone gets to share.
THE SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 6:1-4
OBEY AND HONOR
Paul subverts culture with his instruction to children. They would not have been addressed like this. In fact, Paul is treating everyone in the home with dignity. He instructs children to obey their parents and to honor them. To obey means “to do what they say”. To honor is a commercial term, meaning “to give proper weight to something”.
- Talk about the type of parenting you experienced growing up.
- In the past what are some things that made it difficult to obey?
- What was harder for you—to obey or to honor? Why? How are they different?
TWO MODERN SHIFTS
There are two modern shifts in parenting. The first one is that the parent-centered nuclear family is becoming more children-centered. Parents are acting more and more like a child’s peer.
- Why do you think it is dangerous to have a children-centered family?
- What can parents provide that peers cannot?
- What good has unlimited empowerment done to children?
- What bad has unlimited empowerment done to children?
The second shift is the effect of technology. People are able to demand what they want with themselves at the center. Life has become about getting what I want and I need now.
- How do you see technology changing parenting?
- Why do you think it is so easy to let technology parent?
HOW DO WE PARENT?
Paul addresses the children with lower authority first, and then turns his attention to parents. He tells mothers and fathers that they need conduct themselves in a way that is worthy of respect and demands respect by their actions!
- Encourage them.
- Be present with them.
- Pray for them.
- Repent and confess in front of them.
- Be in the word.
- What is the difference between not giving children just what they want and provoking children to anger?
- What was your experience with your parents repenting?
- We all need to work on these, but which one do need to work on the most as a parent? (If you are not a parent, which one do you need to better in your close relationships?)
LIVING AS CHILDREN AND PARENTS
Regardless of what has happened (what you’ve done or what others have done), repent, seek forgiveness, and grant it. We are able to do that because Jesus did that for us. No matter what and regardless of your experience, remember that you have the best father ever.
My actions towards other is determined by my relationship with Christ, and not by the standing or performance of others.
- What is God laying on your heart as a child or a parent or both?
- How can does your relationship with Jesus motivate you to live as a parent or as someone’s child?
- Pray for parents. Pray for families. Pray that we all could live as people that are motivated by Christ’s love.
RESOURCES FOR PARENTS
- Boundaries: When to Say YES, When to Say NO, To Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
- Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp
- Boundaries with Kids by Cloud and Townsend
Devotional resources for kids:
- The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name
by Sally Lloyd-Jones
- Day by Day Devotions: A year of character building devotions for kids by Karyn Henley
Online devotion for students: