Parenting 2: Bring Them Up

Janet Aucoin March 25, 2022

In part two of our mini series on parenting, Janet and Jocelyn return this week to discuss how to bring up our children in the Lord in a way that honors and glorifies God through daily connections to the Gospel.

Main Passage: Ephesians 6:4

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Episode Transcript



The Heart of Anger - Lou Priolo

For the Love of Discipline - Sara Wallace

Shepherding a Child’s Heart - Tedd Tripp


Restoration Men’s Ministry


Diagram on Instruction and Discipline

Janet: I don't just need to feel better. I need the truth. And ultimately that will make me better.
Alexandra: I just want to make it as totally simple and no brainer as possible for ladies to see that
the Bible is really applicable to their everyday life.
Jocelyn: When they understand theology, the application flows out of it quickly with joy.
Janet: It is a journey, but even the journey itself is joyful when I'm doing it, holding the hand of
my savior and trusting him all along the way. This is the joyful journey podcast, a podcast to
inspire and equip women to passionately pursue beautiful biblical truth on their journey as
women of God. When you choose truth, you're choosing joy. Typically, I’ll be joined by either
Jocelyn or Alexandra, but for our first full episode listen as all three of us discuss the topic of
Main passage: Ephesians 6:4
Janet: Welcome back to our second of three in our series on parenting. my name's Janet. And I'm
back here with Jocelyn again.
Jocelyn: Hi there.
Janet: If you didn't listen to our last episode on parenting, that was really parenting foundations.
So I would encourage you to go back and listen to that. But based on that, Jocelyn is going to
share with us today, on a more practical way based on that foundation, how do we bring them

Jocelyn: So today we're going to look at one verse in Ephesians six to study what the goal of
parenting is and how to do it. So if our goal in parenting is that we honor God in parenting. Like
if you don't know specific passages to obey, that could feel a little bit mystical.
Janet: How will I know if I'm honoring God?
Jocelyn: What does that mean? I feel like it's honoring God, like, you know, so what does God
say about parenting, so that we can obey it thus honoring him. And it's funny that I'm teaching a
parenting topic. I think this, every time I teach anything parenting in mom to mom or in
counseling or anything, because parenting has not been super easy for me. We never had some
like spiritual revelation where we were like, and now we are ready to parent.
Janet: I don't know those people.
Jocelyn: We got pregnant because we'd been married five years and that's what you do when
you're married five years. You go to church, everyone around you is having kids.
Janet: Hey, we should too.
Jocelyn: Okay, we should too. Like we had not babysat before. We didn't really, we didn't have a
Janet: Did you know how to change a diaper?
Jocelyn: No. We had nothing.
Janet: Oh. funny.
Jocelyn: And our like foray,
Janet: Why God gives us children is amazing.
Jocelyn: I know. Our foray into parenting was like, we got pregnant after being married five
years. And had never even gone to our childbirth classes. And I ended up becoming deathly ill
and they had to deliver our baby at 27 weeks. And so I remember the day that we were in the
NICU, we'd already been in the NICU for like a month and the parenting class that we were
registered for, toured the NICU. And I was like, that was supposed to be us. Look, we're already
parents. So we didn't ever get educated. We didn't have the end in mind. We did not have a goal.
We didn't know what we were doing. We didn't know why we were doing it. And it's not like at
any point we magically were like, oh, now we know. We learned a lot over time as we studied
God's word and attended a good church that taught us from the Bible.
Janet: So can we say hope right there?
Jocelyn: Oh yeah.

Janet: If you didn't start out knowing what you're doing. God is just a gracious God.
Jocelyn: And even at certain points along the way, like when I retired from my job to stay home
full-time with my kids, because they really needed it. It was for us, it was meeting a need. I
remember like the honeymoon phase for the first six months, I was like, oh, my word, I have
made supper every single night for six months. This is so blissful. Everyone is so happy. And
then around nine months I was like, are you kidding me? I have an education. I have an
education for this. You know what I've done today? Folded 40 million socks. Like what were you
doing this for again? And so the stuff that I've learned from the scripture has helped me change
my mind about parenting from this thing that I was enduring until my kids would be successfully
grown up, into something that I cherish. I love my kids.
Janet: It's almost like moving from being a martyr. I gave up so much, but I'll do it for Jesus.
Jocelyn: Yes. Look what I did for you.
Janet: To seeing it as an awesomely, amazing privilege,
Jocelyn: It's such a privilege.
Janet: And one of the things I so appreciate about you, Jocelyn, is number one. We're all real.
We don't like start our parenting typically, just thinking I just want to be like Jesus in this. But we
want to help other people get there faster than we did. But the other thing I know about you is
you are passionate about the word. So it's like, okay, what does the word say about parenting? I
need to study this and know it. So now we get to benefit from that.
Jocelyn: And this passage is like-- I love it that it's only one verse. Because you know what?
Moms are busy. You got a lot to do. You've got a lot of socks to fold No, ain't no matter if you're
staying home. Full-time if you're working full time, this passage teaches all parents how to
parent so that we can say, and in this parenting I have honored God. So I've done what God
asked me to do as a parent. So let's think about the context of Ephesians six. It's the last chapter
in a book. So there's a lot of stuff that's happened before that. Ephesians was written so that we
would have a really clear understanding of the gospel. And I love parenting because so much of
parenting,, at least parenting successfully, like now with confidence and I feel victorious in doing
it. It's really making these daily connections to the gospel over and over and over, like, we do this
because we love Jesus. We do this because God loves us. Look at, we've been reconciled to God
through Jesus. That's why we live this way.
Janet: And I just want to say, I love that you said successful parenting and that you do it
victoriously. And if you didn't listen to the last episode and that's not because your children
always obey.
Jocelyn: No, no, absolutely not.

Janet: It's because you're honoring God.
Jocelyn: I know that I'm doing my part correctly.
Janet: Yes. And I love that. So we can have that.
Jocelyn: Absolutely. So Ephesians chapters one through three. we're not going to talk about them
today, but they're the foundation of what we're talking about, so it's important to know them.
Those are an explanation of what the gospel actually means. It's important to know that. You
can't apply the gospel to parenting if you don't know what the gospel means. So if you don't
know that it's really important to study it. And then chapters four through six, it's just lots and
lots of ways to apply that gospel truth and real life situations.
Janet: Which is what I love about Ephesians, that chapter four starts with therefore. So, basically
because of one to three is true and you've been studying that. So please listeners study that, be
amazed by one to three and then get to chapter four and go, what should I do? What would that
look like? Therefore,
Jocelyn: So all of the rest of Ephesians four through six is like this major if then statement. We
homeschool our kids. And so like, I have become way more proficient at English than I ever
thought I would be because
Janet: I never got there.
Jocelyn: I did it with them. Oh, there's so many areas where I'm not proficient, but I do know
grammar. So if then, like, okay, if all this stuff about the gospel is true, then here's how it affects
your life. All these settings, that are in every single one of our life. This is how it's going to be
affected by the gospel. So in chapter four, first of all, we're going to conduct our lives in a way
that's worthy of the gospel that we've been called to believe we're going to be super active in
growing in humility and gentleness and patience. We're going to bear with each other and we're
going to be super eager for unity. And then secondly, in chapter four, we're going to use these
gifts that God has given us individually to benefit this greater group of believers and make all of
us more capable of doing the good works that God saved us for. He redeemed us because he had
a bunch of stuff he wanted us to participate with him.
Janet: Yeah.
Jocelyn: So third, I'm going to be transformed. I'm not going to think this fuile, dark, ignorant,
ridiculous, hard-hearted way. I'm going to be convinced of the truth that is found in Jesus. And
then my life is going to be shaped by that truth, because I'm going to do a bunch of daily things
that I really believe and look, and act and think in a holy, righteous way, like God. I'm imaging
God accurately. So that's chapter four, chapter five says this. So because we've become imitators
of God, we're going to begin to walk in a love that is fashioned after the self sacrifice of Jesus.

So I'm not going to think in these old ways about things like sex or coarse, joking or deceiving
each other, the way that any old person would, because that's thinking about myself, and asking
other people to lay down their life for me. So, I mean, I'm already thinking parenting
applications. Like I'm not living in a way where these little kids are there for me. I'm living my
Janet: How do you make my life easier. Clean the house.
Jocelyn: Exactly. Or like quit making me irritated. So instead I'm living like a child of the light
and I'm learning how to think carefully about doing things in a way that pleases God and is wise.
It's also like I'm really, I care about being fruitful and expedient. Like I want to do things that are
effective and efficient because I'm living in this evil world. And I don't want to become
corrupted by it because I was changed by the truth. So then this is so cool. Paul explains a bunch
of ways that God's people living here on the earth are going to relate to each other. So Christian
Wives are told how to relate to Christian husbands. Super important passage. Should read that.
Christian husbands are told how to relate to Christian wives. Then Christian kids are told how to
relate to Christian parents and Christian parents are told how to relate to Christian children and
or to really, to any children. That's what we're going to look at today.
Janet: Yes.
Jocelyn: And the last instructions are, how do Christian employees relate to their bosses? And
then how do Christian bosses relate to their employees? It's like, it's just relationships all over the
place. So here's all this truth now live it. So that whole chapter ends with teaching about how
specifically to apply the gospel in those contexts as if we're actually soldiers in this spiritual war.
Janet: Because we are.
Jocelyn: Because we are against all these crafty schemes of the devil. So the spiritual warfare is
lived in the context of relationships. So take that truth. Think about it in parenting. Parenting is
not a small thing. It's not a, oh, it's just 18 years. I just need to live through it. And then one day
I'll be, I'll get back to my normal life. Like parenting is the context for spiritual warfare.
Marriage is the context for spiritual warfare. So what happens inside of those relationships
matters. It matters that
Janet: For eternity.
Jocelyn: For eternity, it matters. So today we're going to look at one little section over that
relationship part in chapter six. And that is where parents are trained how to relate to their kids,
which is so cool because all new parents always joke, if only my baby came with a manual.
Dude, it did. That baby has a manual. Ephesians 6:4. It's easy to sometimes take that one little
verse out of context and maybe treat it like a standalone passage where like, if I apply this

formula, I will pop out a perfect kid. That is not what this is about. It's an application of gospel
truths, not a formula. If you do this perfectly, you will not perfectly raise awesomely 100%
obedient children. It's not a formula, it's an application. And the point of the instruction to
parents is that out of my gratitude for my salvation and basically the complete reorientation to
living in God's world, like he created us for him. Then I'm going to see the concept of parenting
as he designed it. So we have to keep reminding ourself parenting is not us thinking through the
situation and coming up with the best plan. It's not like saying, okay, I hope this will work. God
created us for him. So God's goal for parenting is the generational replication of his creation
mandate that was designed to do this, fill the entire earth with his glory. So he said be fruitful and
multiply back in the garden of Eden. he had a point in that. He wanted the entire world to be
filled with his glory. Which meant that his people knew him. They knew how he thought. They
knew how he functioned. And then they mirrored that in their context. They imaged him in their
conduct. So parenting ultimately it's about God. We can't forget that. And also, ultimately
parenting is for God.
Janet: I love it. It's not for just my children.
Jocelyn: No.
Janet: Or for me.
Jocelyn: No, it's not to even to have the next generation know what they're doing. Parenting is for
God. He is the one that made it up. He designed parenting and ultimately parenting is for God's
glory. Which is so cool because if our goal in parenting is to honor God with our parenting, then
it is bringing him glory when we obey his way of doing it.
Janet: Yes.
Jocelyn: That really is helpful for me because I don't like doing something that I know I'm going
to fail at. I don't like knowing, like, there's no way you can possibly do this and win, right? Like
how miserable would that be? I don't also have to dream up new methods. Like it's not, oh my
goodness. It's 2021. How do we parent in COVID? Like, we parent the same way we've always
Janet: The practicals might be different.
Jocelyn: Right, right.
Janet: But the goal didn't even change.
Jocelyn: No. My goal is to honor God with a way that I parent these children, because they're his.
Parenting is his idea. And I need to know what he thought about it.

Janet: Yep.
Jocelyn: So one of the things that helps me, and I think about this pretty much every day, is this
sentence: I was created by God for God. And if I can remember that, it takes the pressure off of
creating some purpose for myself that I think will satisfy me. If I was created by God, then he
had a purpose. And if I was created for God, then what I do matters to him. And I don't have to,
you know, dream up how I think I'll probably be able to get through life and be successful.
Janet: So I just, as an aside, as you're saying that, I just think back to when I was a new parent,
that is one season of my life where I sought out probably more guidance than I can remember,
because I don't know what I'm doing. And it feels very weighty. It is very weighty.
Jocelyn: It is. Yeah.
Janet: But, the temptation is. What worked for you? What worked for you
Jocelyn: Methods. You're asking for methods.
Janet: Yes. And to think about when I understand this, I was created by God for God. I still have
questions. It's not that I shouldn't have them, but I'm going to people who are not interested in
just coming up with methods. They're trying to help me honor God. And they're trying to help
me learn how to create an environment that honors God. I think it would totally change who I
talked to. I think it would have changed my questions.
Jocelyn: And how frantic they were.
Janet: Yes. And I think it would have changed how I evaluated their answers.
Jocelyn: Yes. Absolutely. Also on my best days, I also remember my kids were created by God
for God. They are not mine. That really helped me. it helped me with some methods, but it also
helped me with my frustrations. And,
Janet: They're not my kids, they're yours.
Jocelyn: But also like so much pressure, like so much pressure to get it right, because this is your
one shot at making a mark on the next generation. They came from my body, but they are not my
children. They belong to God. And if I follow the truth, that's found in God's word, I should be
able to do God's job with God's people God's way. And I keep on going back to like, this was
God's idea. He dreamed this up. It's not something new. It's not something scary. It's his. So if it's
his, ultimately, then we're accountable to him. We answer to him. So he's going to care that we're
doing it his way.
Janet: One of the many things I love about God is he's clear.

Jocelyn: So clear.
Janet: I can know that I honored him.
Jocelyn: Yes.
Janet: It may not get the outcome that I desired, even a good godly outcome that I desired, but I
can know, and he doesn't change his mind. He tells us.
Jocelyn: Yes. So when we look at Ephesians six, four, this passage teaches us that the primary
thing that we're shooting for in parenting is to bring them up. Which is, oh, don't you feel like
that's so clear. It's like, God is saying at some point I would like them to be mature, brought up
human beings. So essentially the goal of parenting is to complete the project of helping them to
grow up successfully. And when I'm doing that, I'm honoring God. So Janet, why don't you read
for us Ephesians six, four, and then we're going to talk through some of the keywords in that,
verse together,
Janet: Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and
instruction of the Lord. One of the things I love about that is you said the goal is just is to bring
them up. And then God tells us in what way.
Jocelyn: Yeah. How.
Janet: Yeah, we don't get to decide how do I want to bring them up?
Jocelyn: So the first thing that I want to point out in this passage is that the audience is fathers.
And when you look at that word in the original Greek, it talks about how it's the male ancestor or
the father, the natural father, and then it could apply to both parents, which is true. But I do want
to point out that this command was given to fathers specifically like the male leader of the
family. And then by application, it's shared with the mothers. And you know, there's going to be
all sorts of relationships represented in the people that listen to us. Some are in a biblical
marriage where both the husband and wife are focused on obeying God. Some are going to be
single moms. Some are going to be widows. Some are going to be moms who are married, and
the moms love the Lord, but the dads don't, or the dads are not involved.
Janet: Yeah.
Jocelyn: So, I want you to not start off by being discouraged. The command was given to fathers
in order to be shared with the mother, the vision for the family is shared with the mother.
Janet: So I think thinking about the father is the one held accountable,
Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: But if you're in a situation where the father is not doing that, you are an authority and now
you're accountable.
Jocelyn: And you can do it.
Janet: And now this is for you and you don't just sit around. You can still do this, but the ideal
would be-- and honestly, whether the father chooses to bear the weight or not, he will be held
accountable for it. But if he's not. It is not hopeless. Now you're the authority. And so you do it.
Jocelyn: Right. So speaking to the ideal, the ideal is that it's a team approach with the dad
leading the vision, and the mom joyfully participating in a way that produces results. So one of
the applications of that is that neither parent should be off doing their own thing. There needs to
be conversations. There needs to be communication. Like we shared in the last episode, there
needs to be shared goals. So this is a group project headed by the father. And then the next,
section that I want us to look at in this verse is the phrase do not provoke your children to anger.
So one of the things that I love about this phrase is if you think about why would that be in the
word of God? It's because it's possible to provoke your children to anger.
Janet: And it must be a pretty big temptation that God knew was going to happen.
Jocelyn: It must because you know, every single father has been addressed. Do not provoke your
children to anger. So when you look at the, we're looking at keywords. So when you look at the
original language that the Bible was written in, in Greek, in this passage, that word provoke
means to rouse to wrath, which means like an explosive kind of anger, to provoke. And when I
think about that, I think about my kids standing there poking me like over and over: mom, mom,
Janet: Yeah, that's provoking.
Jocelyn: Exasperating. Enraging. An application of this is we can assume that our kids can be
provoked to anger by our actions or inactions. that's a really big responsibility. We're instructed
not to provoke our kids to anger. Something that we do or don't do is possibly making their life
more difficult.
Janet: The other thing that made me think about based on your example with your kids doing
that, God, doesn't say kids, don't provoke your parents. They're going to.
Jocelyn: Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child.
Janet: They're going to, so we shouldn't be so surprised that our children try to provoke us. We're
the ones commanded, don't be provoked and don't provoke them.

Jocelyn: So another application is that we can impact them, not being provoked to anger, which
is really cool because I think anger is a pretty common issue that most parents have to deal with.
Like being a little kid is tough. There's a lot of learning. There's a lot of circumstances that are
challenging. And our actions toward them really can impact how they respond to things. And
possibly if we disobeyed portions of this verse that we're getting ready to look at, that might be
why they're being provoked to anger. There's a book that I reference in the show notes called the
heart of anger by Lou Priolo. I really like that book.
Janet: Such a good book.
Jocelyn: Because it's very straightforward. There's a list of reasons. Like here's why your kid
might be acting out in anger.
Janet: We give that list of 25 things about you as a parent, we use that in our parenting
conference all the times. The whole book is worth that, though is the whole book is good.
Jocelyn: The whole book is great. So, if you do have a child that you would say is habitually
prone to anger. There's, you know, it might be some sin issues in their life, but it might be
because of the way that you're parenting them or non-parenting,
Janet: Are you provoking them?
Jocelyn: Or whatever, you know, are you doing things that provoke them to anger? We're not
going to make any extreme 100% statements either way. But the instruction of this verse is
fathers do not provoke your children to anger. And here's the key word: but. So instead. So think
what that means. However, or contrary, here's what you should do instead: bring them up. So
when you look at that phrase, it means to nourish up to maturity. So you're taking these little
incapable babies that literally cannot keep themselves alive.
Janet: Right.
Jocelyn: And you're bringing them to the place that they are mature, independent, autonomous
individuals capable of standing on their own. Obviously never independent from God because
why God made them for him.
Janet: And they're growing in dependence on God and independent from us.
Jocelyn: Some of the other meanings behind that phrase are things like to nurture. And so that's
quite different than the way that you would think about a animal raising their young. Like they
feed them until they're capable of
Janet: Instinctually.

Jocelyn: Right. They feed them until they're capable of going and hunting their own rodents or
something. So there's a, component of bringing the next generation up that is different than an
Janet: Right.
Jocelyn: There's an element of nurturing. This is a component of this definition that I love, that
really changed my experience of parenting. And that is part of bringing them up means to cherish
them. And that was, that's kind of a new thought because I was a professional person, very, very
devoted to doing what I was doing. And I was successful at it, and I believed I was
accomplishing good for the world. But when I was looking at my children, I wouldn't say that I
generally always cherished them. I thought of them as a responsibility that I was very faithfully
Janet: Just like your job. Invested. Doing it well.
Jocelyn: Doing it, doing awesome. But one of the things that God changed in my heart over the
time of parenting was that I learned to cherish my children in a way that better reflected the way
God cherishes me. And that has been a joy to learn. It makes the daily experiences of parenting
so different.
Janet: And it may help you understand a little bit more of how you're cherished by God.
Jocelyn: Oh, that's true.
Janet: As you're learning to cherish.
Jocelyn: I think it's really cool that loving our kids is a main motivation for bringing them up.
Because otherwise you can just see it as a job that you have to get through.
Janet: And I want to grow in excellence.
Jocelyn: When I finally I'm done and I can go back to my real life. Well, it's not just a job.
Bringing them up is the main goal of parenting. I can know that when I'm doing the actions of
Ephesians six, four, I am succeeding. I'm honoring God with this job of parenting. And part of
doing that job is to cherish my children. So there's a couple of things that I just want to take a
pause on the Ephesians six, four, and think about. There's a couple really, strong beliefs that will
motivate me to cherish my children more biblically. If I realize that it starts with having a right
view of children in general. Our society really thinks that kids are a nuisance. They're irritating.
They're something that you just have to put up with until you can get back to your real life. And
that is not what we see from scripture. Psalm 27: 3 through 5 says behold, children are a heritage
from the Lord. The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like a reward, like a gift, a prize. Like arrows
in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver

with them. He'll not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. And so I think
it starts to be able to cherish them, which is a component of bringing them up. It starts with
having a biblically right view of children in general.
Janet: And I know that we think this, but I just want to be clear. It says the fruit of the womb is a
reward. Every child is the fruit of the womb, whether it's your womb or not.
Jocelyn: Yeah, absolutely.
Janet: This is any way that the Lord blesses you, and allows you to be a parent is a privilege. And
this truth is there. This has nothing to do with, are you the biological parent.
Jocelyn: Exactly. And another side of that is, every fruit of the womb is a reward, not just the
healthy ones, not just the ones that you enjoy being around, not just the easy ones, every,
Janet: not just the ones who are as capable or as independent mentally.
Jocelyn: That really focuses my vision. When I'm looking at my children, when I think you are a
reward. You're a blessing. It is a good thing that you're in my life. It changes my view from being
like irritated all the time that I have to deal with them
Janet: A hindrance to my life.
Jocelyn: You're not a reward. You're something in my way. I think that also a component of
cherishing children, which would influence me bringing them up is having a right theology of the
family in general. And so one of the things that you see in scripture is that honor and respect that
leads to individual and national blessing is taught within families. In the Old Testament, Exodus
20:12 teaches the Israelites to honor the father and the mother that your days may be long in the
land. So the key to having, when the Israelites were going in to possess the promised land, the
key for them to have a stable society was reverence and respect for parents and their authority.
And what God was teaching them is in the borders of your territory, when you're going into
possess the promised land, God expected them to not tolerate juvenile delinquency. At the heart
of juvenile delinquency is disrespect for parents and authority. And so one of the things that
helps me to be willing to do the hard work of bringing my kids up is to believe that biblically
functioning families is a good thing for our society. It helps me to be willing to invest the hard
work, because it is so much work.
Janet: Right.
Jocelyn: To repeat myself over and over, to reteach the same thing, you know, just to reinvest so
much time.
Janet: And while again, only God is responsible for the results,

Jocelyn: Right.
Janet: We see in this passage, I think too, we have to at least ask the question and it is not always
the case. And I know that. If there is a lot of juvenile delinquency, is there also provoking our
children to anger.
Jocelyn: That's possibly true.
Janet: So as I'm thinking my responsibility, he ties that together. And now we can do our part and
everyone still makes their choices. And we see that. But, it's sobering.
Jocelyn: It is. And the Bible tells us that the family is the place where children learn how to have
a good life, which really ties back to what you talked about in our previous episode. Like, so if
our goal is to honor God in our parenting, some of the goals that we build within our parenting is
to help our children be successful.
Janet: Yes.
Jocelyn: So the good life from God's perspective is tied to knowing how to honor your father and
mother and have a right view of family. We can see a big tie into lawlessness. So people that
don't have a respect for authority will also not respect God's authority. So they're going to do
whatever they want to do because no one is stopping them. But if I am teaching my children to
highly value authority period, but especially God's authority in their life, they're going to be
generally very excited to live under the protection of the law of the Lord and to live within the
blessing of his knowledge, and how it's rightly applied to their life. And then another thing to just
to think about families is that care for humans most naturally takes place within the families.
That's not a job for our government or right, or for the state or for the school. God said families
are a good place for babies to be born because that's a great place for care to happen. And every
time I look at my child, or my children, in my case, it's an invitation to remember what God
thinks about kids. They are a blessing. They're a reward. They're a fruit and they're valuable and
properly trained, they can accomplish a lot. And so I'm participating in doing what God says. He
is responsible for the results of this. I am faithfully, or I should be faithfully doing what God says
in Ephesians six, four. He is going to work out the results of that how it pleases him to do so.
And the way I think about my kids is also a reflection of the way I think about the value of
families and their place in society.So am I willing to do the hard work of bringing up my children
to maturity? I'm going to be way more willing if I believe that families are important in God's
economy and that they really influence society. So do I want to see society change? Yes. That
will really give me incentive to focus the work on training my children. And even in other
contexts where I get to influence other children like in children's ministries or counseling or
something, like I still look at those kids and say, you are a blessing. It's worth investing in your
maturity. I'm participating with your parents in bringing you up in a way that honors God.

Janet: As you say, that even brings me back to, you know, when we've talked about our purpose
in life and the creation mandate, why we're here, it's to represent God, which means I'm going to
value what he values. So if he values families, if he values children, if he values parenting, then I
will too.
Jocelyn: Because I want to reflect him.
Janet: Yes.
Jocelyn: So, I am willing to do the work of bringing them up the way that God prescribes in
Ephesians six, four, because I cherish them. There's such a connection. And I just want to really,
Beg moms out there and grandmas out there to think about the cherishing aspect. Because in the
nitty-gritty every day, it's so easy to forget that the point behind all the millions of things that
you're doing is because you cherish your children. We can get so task oriented we forget that part
of it.
Janet: Yeah.
Jocelyn: If I'm not willing to bring up my kids to maturity, it might be an evidence of lack of
biblical love for my kids. And I think it might be our temptation to be like, how horrible. How
could someone not love their children? Okay, dude, it is hard to parent.
Janet: I don't always love my kids.
Jocelyn: I don't always love my kids. And I think we just need to say, you know what, I need to
be willing to be real about that. That sometimes I don't do it right because I just do not feel like
loving them.
Janet: No, I love me right now.
Jocelyn: Yeah. And you're getting in the way of me.
Janet: Yes. And there's hope for that.
Jocelyn: So when we talk about honoring God with our parenting, especially by applying,
obeying and applying Ephesians six, four, there are two main things that I want to point out. Two
main tools, if you will, that God says to use in the bringing up to maturity of our children. The
first one is discipline, and the second one is instruction. And they do not just mean what you
think. So I'm going to delve into the words a little bit, and we're going to explore this. But I also
want to point out that neither of those is optional. Those are the tools that God says to use to
successfully parent children that belong to Jesus. The children who belong to Jesus should be
parented this way. So discipline. This is not optional. And what this means is the whole training
and education of children. And that really relates to the cultivation of their mind. It relates to the

cultivation of their morals. It employs a couple of things like commands. Like you will do this.
Admonitions, you will not do this. It includes reproof. It includes giving them consequences. It
also includes training and caring for their body, like their physical body. I mean, we've all had to
teach our kids had to go pee pee in the potty. And how to, you know, grow up and know how to
take care of their body. So it's education or training. And by implication of that, it would include
disciplinary correction.
Janet: I love that because of course we think discipline is always correction and I think it's good
to say really the word is more appropriate to use as training, which of course includes
encouragement when you're doing right, explaining what you don't know, correcting, and the
disciplinary part that we think of in the correction. But it's really training.
Jocelyn: Right. And I think we're, short-changing our parenting efforts and we're not loving our
children when we only think of discipline in this verse as corrective discipline, like spanking or
timeout or something like that. One of the things that I love, from the book For the Love of
Discipline by Sarah Wallace,
Janet: Such a good book.
Jocelyn: Where it's the number one book I'm recommending on discipline, which you will find a
link in the show notes. She says, disciplined kids means disciplined to parents. And so you're
not going to be able to train a child god's way, if you have not been trained God's way. So you
can't expect your children to be more disciplined than you are, which I have done so many times.
Janet: I know. I have definitely done that.
Jocelyn: Why are you not doing your chores every day? Because I don't do my chores.
Janet: But that's, but I'm the mom. It doesn't matter. You do yours.
Jocelyn: So when you think of discipline, it's not a single method. It's an overall heart applied a
million different ways and application to your kids' needs. And we have to remember what the
scriptures say about kids. Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child. Kids are by their very
nature ignorant. They need wisdom.
Janet: Yes. And we shouldn't be so shocked that they're ignorant.
Jocelyn: Right. So one of the things that I appreciate the parenting class that you and Pastor
Aucoin have taught, and that I've been able to sit in on and multiple times is you have a lot that
you need to teach your kids, but you cannot share that wisdom with them until they are under
your authority.
Janet: That's right.

Jocelyn: They have to be under control for them to be able to learn and hear the wisdom that you
have accumulated as an adult. And so, until the kid that I'm parenting until the child is under my
authority. I'm not going to be able to teach him much. And there are a lot of things my kid needs
to learn to be a successful adult. To be taught, I have to be sure they're ready to listen and obey.
And to be safe, I have to be sure they're going to be willing to keep themselves under my
authority even to be provided for, I have to be sure they'll accept my provision. So when you
think about, you know, we have to help our children to be under control so that they can stay
under our authority, cause I have a bunch of stuff to teach them. What are some things that your
kids have needed to learn, Janet, over time for them to be considered a successful adult?
Janet: Oh. That's funny. I mean, you go so many directions with that. I think just on a practical
level, they needed to learn how to make decisions. So they were going to need wisdom. So they
needed to learn, how do I consider something and make a decision. If I'm going to be
independent of my parents, dependent on God, I have to have a decision tree in my head,
whether I have it written down or not. How do I decide things? They're going to need to learn
how to be responsible. They're going to need to learn a lot of different skills. They need to learn
how to do a budget. My son was so cute when he was, he is now married and about to graduate
from seminary, but when he was interested in a young lady, just planning for marriage. And he
was like, I mean, how much do you really need to make to be able to support a wife? So he
started, we started putting a budget together, and he goes, it's expensive. Yeah, it is. But because
he was willing to listen to this, we could talk through, what is that going to look like? If you're
going to be an adult on your own, you need to know how to do these things.
Jocelyn: I mean, when I think about all the things my kids need to learn, it's super duper
practical. Like, first of all, they needed to learn how to go potty in the potty, not in their pants.
Janet: Oh, funny.
Jocelyn: Like, you know, that was like one of the first learning challenges was how do I teach
this child to go pee pee in the potty?
Janet: Right.
Jocelyn: And not in their diaper. Or like my favorite, these children need to know how to keep a
clean house. How do I teach them how to clean a bathroom, and then make it their job for all
Janet: I know. And you know what, I'm sorry to tell you one day they'll leave.
Jocelyn: Don't tell me that.
Janet: I know, but it was a great season.

Jocelyn: But even like right now, we're learning how do you teach a child to drive? Like that's a
skill. It has to be taught. And you know what? I do not want to hand my keys over to someone
who is not under my authority, because I could die.
Janet: Right.
Jocelyn: It's not like a little thing. I could perish if they are not willing to listen to me while
they're driving.
Janet: And if, you can't be confident that while they're driving and you're in the passenger seat,
that they're not going to listen to you.
Jocelyn: Right.
Janet: So we need to have them under our authority and self-controlled before we can do that.
Jocelyn: But even like, there's so many things, like, how do you talk to somebody? How do you
talk to a peer? How do you talk to a grownup? How do you iron a shirt? How do you work hard?
Janet: Do you really have to know that?
Jocelyn: Yes, I iron clothes every day, lady. Okay. So discipline means the whole training of a
child. And I like to think of it kind of like a gymnastics analogy. There's going to be some things
that you teach a person who is wanting to do gymnastics, and then they're going to have to go
practice that.
Janet: That's right.
Jocelyn: And then the coach is going to stand there and watch them do their routine. And they're
gonna say, okay, the way that you pointed your toe is not correctly done, or the way that you did
that beam routine, here's how to make it better. So it's not like I taught once, and then they
perfectly applied it. It's like I taught, I watched, then I corrected. Then like they fell off their
apparatus and they got hurt. And then they learned from that. So it's like an ongoing approach.
Janet: And I think that reminds you as parent. I don't need to be frustrated that I've taught. Why
aren't they doing it perfectly? I should expect, I teach. I need to give you an opportunity to
practice and I need to expect that you're going to need more help.
Jocelyn: And you need to expect that I'm going to have feedback. You know, I'm watching what
you're doing. And my goal is your success. It's not to harp on you.
Janet: Which means how I do it needs to communicate that.

Jocelyn: Exactly. So discipline was the first part of this verse and then instruction is the second.
And I want to point out that the Greek word for instruction is actually a word that I think about
all the time as a biblical counselor. It's the word nouthesia. And it's what we used to call
ourselves as biblical counselors.
Janet: Nouthetic
Jocelyn: Yeah, nouthetic counselors. And what that means is, I come alongside someone and I
kind of walk through life with them and I share truth in a way that helps them to mature. So it's
more than just like lecture instruction, it's life on life instruction. So it includes admonition,
exhortation. It would also include an element of calling attention to something, or mildly
rebuking or even warning them. So in general, we could summarize that word to say counsel. My
job is to counsel my children and I can only teach my children the truth that I've learned from
Jesus. That's what Ephesians 4:21 says, the truth is in Jesus. So there's a lot of stuff my kids need
to know. I need to know that what I know is founded in truth. So some ways to apply this are
going to include outright instruction as well as corrective counsel. We have a lot to teach or
correct from the truth that we've learned in Jesus. So we talked about a whole big list of things
that our kids need to know, but why do I teach my kids financial wisdom? I teach them that
because the scriptures talks a lot about finances. And it's not just some, you know, nebulous
topic. It's very practical.
Janet: I want them to see money the way God sees money.
Jocelyn: Right. I want them to understand truth about planning and spending and tithing and
earning and budgeting. Jesus has a lot to say about that. We'll need to initially learn from his
truth and then be lovingly corrected in application of his truth. there's a lot of ways that all of us
are growing. All of us should be having this kind of openhanded approach to receiving corrective
feedback. Like I need to teach my kids how to think about relationships, how to speak in
relationships, how to act, what to want. And the reason why I want: it's not just so they're not the
weird kids who don't know how to have friends. It's because Jesus taught us a lot about
relationships. And I teach them how to care for their material belongings. Not because we're, you
know, so frugal, we never want to buy more stuff. Although we are pretty frugal.
Janet: And I don't want to buy more stuff.
Jocelyn: I don't want to buy more stuff. I want them to be hard workers because Jesus talked
about that. I want them to handle authority because Jesus says there's truth about that. Or how to
talk to their boss. Like that's not just
Janet: So it sounds like we need to know a lot about what Jesus has to say.

Jocelyn: A lot about what Jesus has to say. And here's how we'd bring this back to Ephesians.
The phrase of the Lord is a reminder. That the discipline and the instruction that we're using to
help our children be brought up to maturity is from the Lord because he owns us. He is the
Supreme authority. He's the person that everything belongs to. And he's the one that has the
power of decision-making over. So he's the one that said here's truth. And I want you, created
beings, to live according to this truth. And that really helps me to remind myself all the time,
these are God's kids. They did come into our family. We have four people in our family, but those
two kids, those are God's. They're not mine. I don't get to talk to them however, I want. They're
God's. So they should be being raised with God's methods because they're his. They should be,
thought of God's way.
Janet: And communicated with that way.
Jocelyn: They're God's. They're not mine. And so all of parenting comes down to this reminder
in my head, I was created by God for God. My kids, those two unique kids, God custom created
them for him.
Janet: Yes.
Jocelyn: by him. And if I follow the truth that's in God's word, I will be able to do this job that
God has given me with these people that belong to him his way. So that's how I know. How do I
honor God, I honor him by obeying the word that he's given me about how to parent. God's goal
for parenting is generational replication of the creation mandate. He wants the entire world to be
filled with his glory. So parenting is about God. Parenting is for God and it was designed by God
and it is for his glory. And when we think about it this way, It's easier to remember that there's
this goal behind parenting. It's to bring them up, to bring them to this place where they're mature
and they're successfully ready to be adults.
Janet: Now, knowing if I am bringing them up in the nurture and instruction of the Lord. They
may or may not be successful adults.
Jocelyn: Right.
Janet: That part is on God.
Jocelyn: That's God's responsibility.
Janet: I can know that I have honored God by following what he has said.
Jocelyn: And he told me how to do it. So I'm just responsible for doing it his way. He's
responsible for what that looks like. So just like Janet shared in our last episode, one of the
applications for parenting that is very helpful for me is to keep the end goal in mind all the time.
And actually I'm including a really helpful tool that I learned in my biblical counseling training

that helps me to visualize this because I'm a very visual rememberer. If I can see a picture of it,
I'm way more likely to remember something that I just heard. But there is a really cool chart that
was developed by I'm sure, super smart people that taught me biblical counseling. I'm including
it in the show notes.
Janet: We will cite that super smart person.
Jocelyn: So on the X plane, you can see the years, zero to 18 and on the Y plane, you can see
percentage of effort from zero to 100%. And what you'll see is that over time as a child goes
from age zero to age 18, what's getting more and more and more full of effort is your instruction
of them. And what is getting less and less my effort is the discipline of them. Because the goal is
that they are learning to be self disciplined. And they're opening their ears to receive my
instruction. Because when baby is little, they're like, you're just saying don't touch a hot stove.
And if they do you slap their fingers possibly because it's super crucial that they don't touch a hot
stove. They're going to be burned. You don't say my dear, I would like to explain the
Janet: how heat works
Jocelyn: engineering of electricity and how we've plugged this plug into the wall and it heats the
coils. And if you touch it, you'll have a third degree burn and will need to have a skin graft. Like
you just say, don't touch the hot stove. So when they're little, that's what they can understand. But
the goal is over time as they are controlling themselves more and more, you don't have to control
them. Your energy can be invested into training them, to teaching them. And one thing that I did,
I actually, I would say about the age of nine, because it was exceptionally difficult at that age for
one of my kids. I drew this graph on the Blackboard in my kitchen, and I said, babe, I want you
to see where we are in parenting. So we're about halfway through and what you should be doing
about half of the time is controlling yourself. And what I should be in about half the time is
teaching you. So you tell me, how much of our effort is spent with you controlling you so that I
can teach you super cool stuff. And she was like, probably a lot of time is spent you controlling
me because I won't control myself. It was very eyeopening for her.
Janet: That's actually great.
Jocelyn: It was very eye opening for her, and she has actually referred to this chart multiple times
as she's grown up. Like, remember the chart we talked about in the kitchen. I think about it all
the time. I am now 16. I have so many things I need you to teach me, please. Just, I'm going to sit
here, please teach me. And so it was a really helpful visualization for me.
Janet: And it helped her understand why. It wasn't just control yourself just because.
Jocelyn: Right. and it's not like this
Janet: Look, there's a blessing.

Jocelyn: It's not like this line is like 100% control until the day you turn 18 and then you're free
as a bird. Go fly. It was like, we're supposed to be cooperating as a team on this. Like, if you can
control you, then I can spend my effort teaching you so many things that you need to know. I
also ask myself whether this individual decision is fitting the end goal a lot, like you talked about
in our previous episode. Like if the end goal is for them to grow up and be mature, is this thing,
you know, meeting that goal, is it going to help them to meet maturity?
Janet: Help or hinder them?
Jocelyn: Right. And it reminds me that these little daily decisions I make are either keeping me
on the path of the end goal or they're steering me off. Just like you talked about last episode. Like
we can think that we have to do everything. Well, that might be making it harder for them to
control themselves.
Janet: And I think to realize there are no decisions that are not on a path.
Jocelyn: Right.
Janet: You're headed somewhere,
Jocelyn: somewhere.
Janet: So if it's not helping you, it's probably hindering you.
Jocelyn: And for us, one of the really big reasons that we decided for me to retire from a job that
I really love to stay home, to raise our children as my full-time job was because we saw that the
daily decisions we had to make were steering us off of the path of them being more mature. So it
made that job much less emotional. Like I'm doing the thing that's right. I'm sad about it,
Janet: But you were confident.
Jocelyn: I was confident in it. So for me, I like to think of kids like little birdies. I'm preparing
them to fly. I definitely don't want them to think of themselves as independent. I want to remind
them all the time, like Matthew talks about the little birdies, the creator cares for them. He's
intimately involved in their life. They're utterly dependent on the creator. But they were made by
their creator for their creator, but they're autonomous in their relationship with him. And so they
are responsible for their relationship with God. And so what I'm doing over time is preparing
them to give an account to that God who created them for him. I'm raising them up with the goal
that they're going to know how to love him, and how to live for him on their own. What they do
with that is their business. I want to make it as easy as possible for them to see how it's a blessing
and a good thing. If also I believed biblically about the ultimate goals for parenting, it's going to
eliminate a couple of really challenging things like helicopter parenting, where my goal was not

really, for them to grow up to maturity. My goal was maybe that they wouldn't struggle through
hard stuff.
Janet: Which will stunt their maturity.
Jocelyn: Yes. And it's going to make me feel crazy because I have so much to control and make
sure it turns out a certain way. It would also eliminate things like indulgent parenting, because in
that case, my goal was not children who are mature, it's children who are always happy. And so
I'm going to give my kids everything they want because that'll make them happy. Well, was that
really my end goal? Their happiness? Or was maturity my end goal? It would also eliminate the
other ditch of that, which is hyper restrictive parenting. Because in hyper restrictive parenting,
my goal is that my kids are never going to fail. And when. If my goal is to help my children to be
mature, they're going to fail a lot. That's I mean, that's part of parenting.
Janet: That's what matures us.
Jocelyn: We mentor our kids through those, you know, bad choices or difficult decisions, but
sometimes they're going to fail. Taking the opportunity to fail away was not helpful. It's also
going to eliminate things like blasé parenting, like whatever. I don't care. Because in that, my
goal is probably mostly my comfort. Like, it's hard work to parent. I don't feel like doing it. In a
few more years they'll be gone, I don't need to worry about it. Then I'll be done. I'm sure it's a
phase. And they'll be somebody else's problem. It would also eliminate things like hands off
parenting. I hear more and more in the circles that I run in, which are kind of like natural living
circles. Like the goal of raising children is for them to be free and independent and to experience
life on their own, which is maybe not the circles that everybody runs in. But I hear that a lot in
the Facebook groups that I'm a part of, and Instagram posts and stuff that I follow. My goal is my
children's maturity. It's definitely not their independence, because that is the worst thing that they
could experience. Independence from God will ruin them.
Janet: Yes. They were not designed for that.
Jocelyn: They were made for God by God. So I'm excited that I got to share this with our
listeners today because learning this practical truth really revolutionized how much I enjoy
parenting. I love parenting. I love my kids. And I praise God that he's really given us great
blessings in being parents. But even if I was struggling and the results were difficult, it's so
helpful to know that this is what God says parenting should look like. That I should be not
provoking them to anger by refusing to do what he said. And what he said is, discipline them
train them and instruct them, counsel them, so that they know how to live in God's world God's
way, and that they would enjoy a relationship with him. I've included three resource
recommendations in our show notes. One is For the Love of Discipline by Sarah Wallace. Janet
and i are in love with this book right now. We just really want everyone to read it. Shepherding a
Child's Heart by Ted Tripp, kind of a foundational book on parenting. And then The Heart of

Anger by Lou Priolo. I don't think you have to only have an angry child to read that. I think it's
pretty good to read before you have an angry child, because it would help prevent some
problems. But those, if you have to buy three books on parenting, those are my top three picks.
Janet: As we hear all of this, and this is I think hopeful, though, some of you are probably still
trying to say, how do I get my mind around that? Which is why these resources, I think will
really be helpful to you. One of the takeaways is that no matter what we're facing in our
parenting, we can be confident that we've honored the Lord. But then I'm thinking there are so
many complicated situations that I'm still gonna want counsel.
Jocelyn: Oh. Definitely.
Janet: I'm still gonna want advice. But here's what this will do for me. When I seek counsel, I'm
not seeking, what advice do you have to get my kid to not be a prodigal? To fix it. What advice
do you have so that my kid will get caught up. Now it is, how can I honor God now, in this
complicated situation, because sin complicates things, things that ought to be obvious are not
obvious to me right now. I know. I want to honor God, but in this situation, I don't really know
what that looks like.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: So we're still going to need each other.
Jocelyn: The how. Yeah.
Janet: We're still gonna need counsel. But I think it changes what we're asking.
Jocelyn: Absolutely.
Janet: And now it's, how do I honor the Lord in this situation, which would provide the best
environment for my child to want to honor the Lord, whether they do or not.
Jocelyn: And what would it look like to love this child who struggles with this area, with this
goal in mind? I want them to be brought up to maturity, but I want them to know that I love
Janet: Yes. And I can do all of that and they still might walk away. And then my heart breaks.
And then I may still need to say, what do I do now? But all of it is not how do I fix my child? It's
how do I honor the Lord? Because I cherish them.
Jocelyn: Right.
Janet: So I love that. I love that. Hopefully, these episodes have been an encouragement to you,
whether you're a parent or not, can we all not relate to so many of these principles? Next episode,

I am really excited that we're going to be interviewing, a special friend of ours. And talk about a
category of parenting that can be even more difficult, special needs parenting. So even if you
don't have a child with special needs, a lot of what we're going to talk about in the next episode is
how can those who don't have a child with special needs come alongside and support and help
Jocelyn: Love and encourage.
Janet: and strengthen a parent with a special needs child. So I hope you'll come back and join us
for our next episode.

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Janet Aucoin


Janet is the Director of Women's Ministry at Faith Church (Lafayette, IN); Host of the Joyful Journey Podcast (helping women learn that when you choose truth you choose joy); ACBC certified; teacher in Faith Community Institute; Coordinator of FBS seminary wives fellowship, retreat and conference speaker; B.S. Human Resources, University of South Florida.