New 9Marks eJournal Is Up: A Theology of Children

The new eJournal is up and it looks excellent. Here are a few snapshots from the current issue. As always, the content is free and very beneficial. It’s theologically rich but quite readable.

The Cline family on doing missions as a family:

“For various reasons, few families today choose to go overseas, and the leaders of these families (the fathers) will often say that “the family” is what keeps them from doing so. They regard their families as burdens in missions work rather than as valuable assets, so they hesitate to commit to full-time cross-cultural disciple-making. Meanwhile, the single man or woman is treated as the prime candidates because he or she is unhampered and available.

Singlehood is indeed a good time to pursue missions without the added cares of family. But having a family should not prevent overseas work. When it does, the family may have become an idol.”

Andrew Nichols on how the image of God affects our theology of children:

  • It keeps us from viewing children as obstacles. Some evangelicals seem to think that having children is not that important, and can even be a barrier to godly ambition and valuable Christian service. But if parent-child relationships are commanded and bear witness to God’s very nature, then nothing could be further from the truth. Children are not obstacles to ministry; their very presence and our relationships with them are a kind of ministry.
  • It keeps us from viewing children as idols. Others in the church seem close to worshipping their children. Fathers and mothers—and pastors—who put children on pedestals need to be reminded that God did not imbue families with the divine image so that we can worship them, but so that we can worship Him. By all means build up the homes in your church—but as a means to building the family of God to the glory of God!”

Matt and Eli Schmucker offer numerous excellent parenting tips (we should have to pay for this):

  1. “The saying goes, “When mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” We believe daddy is actually the problem. From a complementarian’s viewpoint one needs to conclude the above saying with, “And if daddy ain’t happy in the Lord, ain’t nobody happy.”
  2. In a stay-at-home-mom scenario, dad tends to back away from discipline when mom has been with the children all day. In one sense this is wise as he has not observed the rhythm and rhyme of the day. However, dad needs to catch up and jump in.
  3. Talk to both good and not-so-good parents; you’ll learn lessons from both.
  4. Talking to really old parents may not prove to be fruitful as their memories fade and they’ll remember raising kids as either a nightmare or a glorious experience. Talking to parents 5-10 years ahead of where you are seems most fruitful (Prov. 15:22: “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed”).”

Another excellent journal from 9Marks.

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