A Lesson From King Asa for Christian Parents

A Lesson From King Asa for Christian Parents May 12, 2024

Do you focus on what you’ve done or left undone in your parenting? | Photo by: TeroVesalainen from pixabay.com.

Parents, is your to-do list never-ending? Do you feel you can’t get enough done for your kids and family? You have dreams, hopes, and great intentions for your children’s discipleship and discipline, but you feel like you don’t measure up. There isn’t enough time. I invite you to stop looking at what you could do and look instead at what you are doing and how God sees it. 

So Many Family Discipleship Options

If you are anything like me, you have so many things you want for your family discipleship: devotions, prayers, gratitude reflections, mission trips, teaching them Bible verses, singing the classic hymns together, journaling together, celebrating liturgical calendar feasts and holy days, and the list could go on and on. You keep trying your best and it feels like it is never enough.

When you reflect on how nurturing your kids’ faith is going, you just see the list of things you aren’t doing. This list grows longer and longer with each podcast you listen to, other Christian parent you talk to, book you read, and each time you visit Pinterest.

How You See What You Do

Often when I feel like we have a great moment of family discipleship, I get this feeling of “It was great, but not enough.” I could make a list of all the little things we do, but make an even longer list of all the things I don’t do, or at least don’t do consistently.

I know that it is the enemy, but I kind of feel like King Asa in the Old Testament. In the book of 1 Kings, it starts by looking at what he didn’t do and then describes constant war.

1 Kings 15:14, 16 NLT

Although the pagan shrines were not removed, Asa’s heart remained completely faithful to the Lord throughout his life… There was constant war between King Asa of Judah and King Baasha of Israel.

But, the thing is, the book of 1 Kings is written from the perspective of humanity. 2 Chronicles, however, tells the same stories from God’s perspective.

How God Sees What You Do

Let’s see how God talks about King Asa and all that he did or didn’t do.

2 Chronicles 14:1-5 NLT

Then his son Asa became the next king. There was peace in the land for ten years. Asa did what was pleasing and good in the sight of the Lord his God. He removed the foreign altars and the pagan shrines. He smashed the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherah poles. He commanded the people of Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and to obey his law and his commands. Asa also removed the pagan shrines, as well as the incense altars from every one of Judah’s towns. So Asa’s kingdom enjoyed a period of peace.

These perspective begins and ends sharing about the peace that King Asa brought to the land. That is a far cry from the “constant war” described in 2 Kings. 

This doesn’t mean that 2 Kings is wrong, but simply God has a different perspective than we do. 

God also recognizes that King Asa destroyed the pagan shrines, when 1 Kings doesn’t. When I read this, it is comforting. God’s perspective doesn’t once here talk about what Asa didn’t do, only humanity does.

Could these be true for us in our parenting too? Could we be too focused on the things we aren’t doing, while God is seeing and being glorified in all that we are doing? 

What Toxic Lies Are You Believing?

When we look at things in ways that God wouldn’t, the ministry Connected Families calls it “toxic lies.” As a Connected Families Certified Parent Coach, I love helping parents identify these “toxic lies” or “toxic half-truths” and turn them into “grace-filled truths” or reword these untrue beliefs into what God would have us believe. 

“I am not doing enough” might become “I am doing my best and God doesn’t expect me to do everything.”

Focus Is Fertilizer

Another helpful Connected Families phrase in this situation is “focus is fertilizer.” The idea here is what we focus on we get more of. So, if we are focused on all the things we aren’t doing as parents, we will see more things that we aren’t doing.

But, if we focus on all the things we are doing well, we will grow there and see more. This idea is also found in Philippians.

Philippians 4:8 NLT

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Where is Your Parenting Worthy of Praise?

As you reflect on King Asa and your parenting, I want you to look through the eyes of God. Fix your eyes and thoughts on your wins and all the things you are doing well. If you are bold enough, comment a recent parenting win below and let us celebrate with you!

About Joy Wendling, MA
Enthusiastic. Passionate. Profound. Joy Wendling is a family pastor, writer, speaker, podcaster, certified parent coach, and founder of Created to Play. She has over 20 years of experience in children, youth, and family ministry, as well as a Master’s in Youth, Family, and Culture from Fuller Theological Seminary. She also is certified in Connected Families Parent Coaching and Parenting for Faith. Her idea of relaxing is gazing at the mountains from her island home with an ice-cold Diet Coke and a good book. Joy lives in the Pacific Northwest and enjoys laughing and playing with her five daughters and husband. Get to know her better at CreatedtoPlay.com and on her podcast titled Playfully Faithful Parenting. You can read more about the author here.

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