The Process

The Process

Big point: You must be committed to long-view parenting because change is a process and not an event. 


  • We want parenting to be a set of corrections that change our kids rather than a lifelong process. 
    • Your son hits his little brother. You want him to say, “I hit my brother because of the sin in my heart. It makes me selfish, jealous, and violent, and I am a person who needs to be rescued from myself. My greatest danger lives inside me, not outside me, and for that I need a Savior. 
    • Your teenage daughter arrives past her curfew. She’ll tell you that a few minutes late doesn’t make any difference or that at least she’s not drinking or taking drugs. What she won’t do is quit shifting the blame, acknowledge her irresponsibility and her need for help.
  • In loving us, God is committing himself to a lifetime of day-by-day incremental awareness of our sin and progressive change away from it. 


  • Parenting would be infinitely easier if all we were dealing with was wrong behavior. But what we’re dealing with is something deeper and more deadly than just misbehavior. 
2 Corinthians 4:3-5
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
  • The problem with the four-year-old is not just that he hit his brother, but that he feels fully justified in hitting him and being angry that you don’t take his side. He does that because he is blind.
  • Your teenage daughter doesn’t think that coming in late is a big deal and that you’re overreacting. She thinks she is a responsible person with valid excuses. She thinks these things because she is blind.


  • Like our children, we do the same wrong things over and over again because we are not only blind, but we are blind to our blindness. We need compassionate and patient care if we are ever going to change, and so do our children. 
  • As we think of the task that God has called us to, we need to understand the destructive power of spiritual blindness.
  • Here’s what parenting is: it’s unfinished people (we parents) being used by God as agents of transformation in the lives of unfinished people. And, yes, your children will leave your home, just as you did, still unfinished.
John 16:12-13
I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.


  • Here’s what is important to understand: Forgiveness of sins is our adoption into his family, but his work of transformation is literally a life-long process.
  • The antidote to spiritual darkness is a lifelong commitment of allowing God to guide us into his light.