Reflections and Encouragement for Parents from Galatians 1:1-5
Galatians 1:1-5 – Paul, an apostle – not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead – and all the brothers who are with me, to the churches of Galatia: Grace and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Paul, an apostle – not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father… Although there is a distinct difference between apostles and parents, there are some similarities. A parent’s authority is commissioned and empowered by God (Deut. 6:4-9, Proverbs 1:1-9, Ephesians 6). It should be grounding for parents to know that their authority is not in their own wisdom, strength, or ability but the conferred wisdom, strength, and ability of God. He is the one who raised Jesus from the dead. He is certainly powerful enough to equip you for the task of parenting. Man did not call you to be a parent, the Lord called you to it, and he will sustain you.
Grace and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ… Not merely a greeting, Paul uses the words “grace” and “peace” as reminders of the story of God’s people. They were in the Garden of Eden, sinless. Adam and Eve rebelled and sin entered the world. The rest of the story is one of God’s grace through mercy and discipline. Jesus came to bring peace to a rebellious people and we await the final consummation of full grace and peace with his second coming. This should encourage us in at least 2 ways: (1) The story of God’s grace is from beginning to end and has persevered through the worst of times (see Micah 6). God’s grace will be sufficient no matter how badly you “mess up” as a parent. God’s grace will be enough for your child. Even if they have an “exile” or “prodigal” experience, God’s grace is enough. (2) God’s story of grace and peace is the only story of God we have to give away to our children. Do you wonder what to teach your children about God? Teach them about his grace and peace. A pastor I heard once said that he would never preach anything else other than grace. If we as parents look for more “creative” things other than grace to teach our children, we just may stray off course. I also wonder what other stories we tell our children other than “grace and peace.” Perhaps the titles would be “fear, guilt, and shame” “success is the highest goal,” or “grades are what matter most.”
…to deliver us from the present evil age… The Lord will defend your child. Certainly, it is our job as parents to “be as wise as serpents” (Matt. 10:16). However, it is the Lord who will eventually deliver all of us from the present evil age and will sustain us until Jesus returns. Christian schools, Christian sports leagues, and Christian play groups might be a good thing, or they might play right into the dilemma of Matthew 9:9-12. Be diligent to raise your child to love the Lord and the lost sheep and allow the Lord to defend them from the present evil age.
God the Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever… God is our father. God is our children’s father. We are children, just as our sons and daughters are children. Place yourself under the fatherly care of the Lord and you will learn a lot about the grace and mercy of your father as you grow as a parent.