Speaker: Michelle Anthony
Title: The Spiritually Formed Family: Beyond Good Behavior and Chore Charts
Intro: Beyond Good Behavior
  • Sometimes we can think we are getting it right if we are just not sinning anymore or sinning less.
  • We must recognize that sinning less is not what we are striving for. We must strive to follow Jesus.
  • We all want the “abundant life” that Jesus promised, but often we don’t know how to acheive it.
1. Striving for the Abundant Life
  • What is it?
    • Peace
    • A relationship with God
    • Understanding who is in control of our lives
    • A “spiritually formed family” understands that God is the director of our lives and we are just playing a part.
2. Taking Over Control
  • Relinquishing control is one of the hardest spiritual disciplines of our time because so much of life says that we are in control.
  • “I gave in and admitted that God was God.” -C.S. Lewis
  • The Grand Illusion
    • Ultimate control vs. Fixing it myself
    • Recognizing God as the One who is ultimately in control, doesn’t mean that we do nothing.
    • We need a vibrant relationship with God so that we will have His wisdom.
3. Families try to achieve the “abundant life” on their own and in their own power.
  • Parenting styles
    • Controller
      • You know what is right.
      • Everything is done the way you want it or you do it yourself
      • Kids don’t understand that you make all their decisions for their own good.
      • The world is dangerous…period!
      • Kids often end up self-doubting, driven to perfection and struggle with emotional/physical issues.
    • Pusher
      • Live vicariously through your child’s life
      • Everyone else is competition
      • Your child can’t waste a second
      • Childhood is overrated, start getting ready for college now!
    • Narcissist
      • Your needs are more important than your child’s
      • You love being the center of attention
      • Your kids end up avoiding you in adulthood
    • Indulger
      • You want to give kids all that you didn’t have.
      • Discipline is exhausting and so you don’t do it.
    • Best Friend
      • Your child becomes your junior companion.
      • You rely on your child for emotional and social support.
      • Choose your child over your spouse.
    • Self-esteem Killer
      • Life is tough so you make it tough on your child.
      • Criticize to control your child’s ego.
      • No praise given.
      • Don’t encourage your child’s interests.
    • Neglector
      • You work many hours to provide for your child.
      • Your children learns to fend for themselves.
      • Your babysitter practically raises your child.
      • You deny emotional bonding so time away is easier.

4. Spiritually Formed

  • Recognize that your child has been entrusted to you by God and you need His guidance to raise them.
  • You live in a sinful world but want to put God’s character on display in all situations.
  • You know that there is something bigger than controlling your child’s behavior…faith formation.
  • You seek to grown spiritually yourself, knowing that the “overflow” of this will have a great impact on your child.
  • Your kids often end up: knowing God, loving others, living a life of meaning, recognizing that this world is not home.
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GJ Farmer is a husband, a dad, the founder of ChildrensMinistryBlog.com, and is the Children’s Pastor at First Baptist Church in Somerset, Kentucky. He has completed a Bachelor’s degree in Church Ministries and a Master’s degree in Children’s Ministry. He has also been fortunate to lead and teach groups at children’s ministry conferences and to have had some of his writing published. Apart from working with kids, he enjoys reading, performing magic tricks, playing video games, and University of Kentucky basketball.