I'm never one to be braggadocios regarding my kids, in fact, usually when you say the first word about your kids it's going to doom you.
Our children are not the result of some mad parenting skills that I or my wife care to share with you. When someone comes up and asks us how or tells us how Justin or Sarah did this or that, we always come back with words like "it's by God's grace" or "praise God" or "we're just praying that we're not screwing them up." :)
I'm not taking away from the grace of God or the actions that our kids display but sometimes it is hard for me to receive compliments. They are great kids and they struggle in the day to day just like any of us would. I don't want them to feel like they need to live up to compliments or feel disparaged when they don't get the compliment. Can you imagine trying to live like that in this world? So, we try to compassionately point them to the cross, where the gospel is displayed in compliments or concerns.
Now, I know the Gospel is the real reason why we even like our kids or want them to succeed. So I was trying to think of a way to express something that I find sometimes inexpressible when someone approaches us. We do read the Bible, we pray, these are huge and I would always recommend those things, get into a good Bible reading plan and let your kids see you reading and read it to them. Reading to your children is a gift that will keep giving even when they get to the ages our kids are now.
We haven't read any parenting books deeply or even gone to classes that promote good parenting. Not that any of those would've been bad mind you, it is just that we never have put that as a priority. So God gave me a sentence that revealed to me, in our weakness and for His glory, what our parenting plan is and I think it encapsulates the gospel...
"Treat them like God's gift to you, not God's gift to the world."
There was only one child born that was God's gift to the world and His name is Jesus Christ, the center of the gospel. When we put our kids in that place we are not honoring the one Name that is given among men whereby we can and must be saved. Children are a blessing from the Lord, they are designed for your family, be kind, gracious, loving, compassionate, forgiving - just as God is to you. Share in the brokenness of your own sin it will be a grace to them that will help this focus, ask for forgiveness, when you've done wrong, and love one another deeply.
Still praying for our kids to have that goal, we're not there by a long stretch but only by God's grace will we be.
Your boasting friend,