Which of The Four Children live in your home? How does a Christ-honoring parent share God’s Word with so many unique individuals? Join AMBrewster as he starts this five-part series to help parents know their children better and parent them more effectively.
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Welcome to TLP, I am thrilled you’re here with us today!
I’ve been looking forward to this series for a while. Our study is called, “The Four Children,” and today’s episode is the introduction.
The discussion we’re starting today and carrying on over the next four episodes contains information that I use on a daily basis with my own children and with the students at Victory Academy for Boys.
How can you lead well if you don’t know your followers? How can you parent well if you don’t know your children? “The Four Children” will help you understand better who your child is and the best way to reach them with Truth.
You know, we’ve talked a lot recently about speaking Truth to your children and applying that Truth to their lives, but what’s the best way to do it?
Yes, we need to be the Ambassador Parents from episode 26 and we need to use The Communication House and Revolving Priorities from episodes 38 and 39. But what commands and principles do we use, and how do we communicate them?
Well, as always, Jesus was the perfect example of all we’re going to discuss in this series . . . but more on that in a minute.
I’m very thankful for a recent 5-Star review on iTunes. Jamie said,
“I cannot say I agree with every fine detail of every single podcast, but my philosophy concerning parenting advice is to, ‘Eat the hay and spit out the sticks.’ There is SO MUCH hay to be found here because [TLP] approaches each subject from a Biblical perspective. I have been blessed and encouraged with each episode to parent my children with purpose.”
I’m so thankful Jamie’s found so much beneficial “hay” on our shows, but I’m also very appreciative of her initial comment. No two people will ever perfectly agree — I rarely agree with myself from day to day — which is why it’s important that we at TLP do our best to ground everything we say and do in the Bible. I can’t go wrong when I side with Christ, but there will always be room for disagreement when we move from the clear biblical commands and principles to our own standards and convictions. My personal convictions will always sneak through in these episodes, but I’m so happy that Jamie and others can see the difference between God’s commands for Ambassador Parents and my suggestions.
Please continue praying for me that I will stay true to the perfect Word of our Holy God — not only here on TLP, but in my own family and walk with God.
Thank you again, Jamie for that review, and I want to encourage all of you who haven’t Rated and Reviewed us yet to open up iTunes, click the search button, type in “Truth Love Parent,” click on our show, and then click on the “Ratings and Reviews” tab. I know, they make it complicated, but when you Rate and Review it makes it so much easier for searching parents to find us.
Okay, so what can Jesus teach us about speaking Truth to The Four Children?
Let’s look first to Jesus’ Example. I love that when the Lord spoke to people about Who He was — basically, when He witnessed to people — He approached it differently every time. This is not to say that using a memorized approach or sharing a planned out system is a bad idea. We’re not God, we don’t intrinsically know exactly what everyone needs the moment we meet them.
But His example is instructive.
- First, we note that regardless of how He presented it, Truth is Everything – None of Christ’s words ever contradicted themselves. He never changed Truth. He was the way, the Truth, and the life in every encounter. We must never add to or change God’s Word. We’re not allowed to communicate an easy-believism or prosperity gospel. It’s a sin to suggest that all faiths lead to God. We must speak only the words of God we find in the Bible. But, though the Truth was always the same, Jesus rarely shared the Truth the same way.
- And that leads us to the second point that Presentation is Almost Everything. Jesus never did anything haphazardly or without purpose. If Jesus changed His approach, it must have been because He needed to. Now, we’re going to spend a lot of time later looking at how He presented Truth differently to different people, but for now we need to move to the third lesson. Because Jesus presented Truth differently, we can understand that . . .
- People Have Different Needs. It was better for Jesus to meet some people alone by a well. Other people needed to have the Law quoted to them. Others needed to be openly condemned, and others need to be run out of the temple with a whip.
Those three lessons are the foundation for everything else we’re going to discuss in this series. Understand The Four Children is rooted in the fact that each of them need Truth, but because they all respond to Truth differently, we’ll need to premeditatedly and intentionally discern the best way to present that Truth.
And with that, I want to read you the passage that will be our home for the next few shows. Many of you’ve heard of the Parable of the Soils — sometimes referred to as the Parable of the Sower. It’s related in three of the four gospels. It’s in Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8. I’m going to read the account to you, but I’m going to do it a little differently. Each of the times this parable shows up in the gospels, there are minor additions depending on who related it. So, what I’ve done is I’ve synchronized the accounts and included all the unique elements from each telling into one version. You won’t find what I’m about to read all together in one book of the Bible, but you will find all the same pieces throughout Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
And so it begins:
“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path and [were] trampled underfoot, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground [the rock], where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away because [they] had no moisture. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them, and [they] yielded no grain. Other seeds fell on good soil and grew and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.”
Then in each account Christ gives explains the purpose behind His using parables, and then He proceeds to explain the parable He just told.
“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The sower sows the word. And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one [Satan] comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart so that they may not believe and be saved. This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on the rock, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself; [he] believe[s][and] endures for a while, and in time of testing when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but as [he] go[es] on [his] way the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and pleasures of life and the desire for other things enter in and choke the word, and [his] fruit does not mature, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it and accept[s] it [and] hold[s] it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear[s] fruit with patience. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
So here we see seven characters and four responses.
- The first character is the Seed. The seed is a metaphor for God’s Truth. Though the Bible isn’t necessarily a living, breathing being in Its own right, the Word of God is alive. It’s the written word of the living Lord Himself. The Truth being sown in this parable is primarily the gospel, but the four responses to Truth are similar regardless of what Truth is being discussed.
- The second character is the Sower. In the beginning, it was Jesus Himself Who sowed the initial seeds of the gospel. But it didn’t take long for His disciples to spread that glorious news themselves. And as we learned on Mother’s Day, every one of us is commanded by God to speak His Truth to all creatures — primarily our children — and the most beautiful relationship in the home is not merely the family, but family members who are united both physically and spiritually in the family of God.
- The third character is Satan. We’re going to see his role in all of this on our next episode.
- And the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh characters are the individual people represented by the Soils. And we’re going to take the next four episodes studying four vital things about each of them:
- How they respond to Truth.
- Why they respond the way they do.
- Though all negative responses are dangerous, we’re going to see which responses are the most dangerous and for which we parents must watch diligently.
- And we’re going to learn how we can speak Truth as Jesus did — uniquely applying God’s Word to the specific soil of their hearts in an attempt to cultivate the ground to receive His Truth.
I hope you’ll join us next time as we learn to parent a Hard-Hearted Child.
But I strongly encourage all of you to listen to each episode.
- Here’s why, first, you may think you know which Child is yours, but — trust me — you may be mistaken. As I’ve studied these passages, the Lord has shown me things about the hearts of my children I didn’t know before.
- Second, people often drift between the soils. They rarely have only one response to Truth as they grow. This is obviously good, because we want all of them to move from where they are and soft hearts, but a hard heart can be become rocky and a thorny heart may become hard. Every time our child makes such a shift, we need to be prepared to package the same Truth a little differently.
So plan to join us as we peer into each of these lives. Lord willing, we’ll understand our children better and know better how to present Truth in a way that digs deep into their souls and bears fruit to God’s glory.
As always, we’ll provide a transcript of today’s show and free PDF episode notes at EvermindMinistries.com. I look forward to finalizing our new website so all of our resources and episodes can be located in the same spot, but until then I encourage you to click on the “Support TLP” link in the description so you can see all of our ministry goals and learn how you can help us achieve them.
And speaking of goals, I will be meeting with Natasha Crain on May 31st to talk about her ministry, the best devotionals for your kids, and her book, “Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side.” But we’re also going to have a full episode dedicated to answering your parenting questions. Please submit your questions on Facebook or send an email to TeamTLP@TruthLoveParent.com.
Lastly, will you consider liking and following us on social media and sharing this series with your friends? This study will be invaluable for all parents who want to know their children better and effectively guide them to Christ.
See you next time.