A Parenting Manifesto

This week I am privileged to once again preach (through a translator) at Betanie our church here in Brno.  This summer we are going through Paul's letter to the Philippians.  I will preach on Philippians 3:12-21. 

Once again I have been struck by Paul's all out pursuit of Jesus.  Paul was consumed with pursuing Jesus in every area of life.  In other words, there's a way to worship and follow Jesus in everything (Col. 3:17).  

My time of study and preparation has also served as a catalyst to realign my pursuit of Jesus as related to Jennifer and I being parents to four girls.  The question we asked ourselves was this: "In light of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus, what is our ultimate goal as Christian parents, and how will we pursue that goal?"

We turned the answers to those questions into an Oshman Parenting Manifesto.  We then called a family meeting after dinner last night to work through each point with our daughters.  No doubt many people will disagree with our goal and approach, but I thought I would post it here to at least spur on your own vision for God's call on your life as a mom or dad.  Feel free to leave a comment or suggestion as to your own goals and approaches as a mom or a dad. 

Oshman Parenting Manifesto

  1. We believe Jesus is the most valuable treasure in the universe.

    1. The surpassing worth of Jesus is reason to give our lives to the pursuit of Him (Php. 3:14; Hebrews 12:2). 
    2. All of life is about Jesus, from Jesus, through Jesus and to Jesus (Col. 1:16-17; Rom 11:36).
    3. Without knowing, worshipping, loving, and pursing Jesus, life is meaningless (Matthew 7:21-23).
    4. As your parents, God has entrusted us to disciple you and point you toward him (Proverbs 22:6).


  1. Our goal as your parents: To provide opportunity and encouragement to know, love, worship, and pursue Jesus. 

    1. Our goal as your parents IS NOT...
      1. That you would get a good job and make a lot of money.
      2. That you would get a great education.
      3. That you would be really successful in the world’s eyes.
      4. That you would have all the great stuff of life and Jesus too. 
      5. That you would have a great husband, kids and family. 
      6. That life would go smoothly for you or that you would be “happy” 
    2. Our goal as your parents is...
      1. That no matter what you do, you do it in pursuit of Jesus.
      2. If you want to become a doctor, great! - How will that pursuit lead you to a greater experience of Jesus? If you want to wash dishes, great!  How will that pursuit lead you to a greater experience of Jesus?
      3. If you want to become a lawyer, or chef, or missionary, mother, etc... how will you make Jesus the center of all of those activities?


  1. How we will pursue this goal:

    1. By providing a home where excercising our faith, prayer, worship, study of God’s Word, repentance, and reconcilliation are normal activities for us individually and together.
    2. By continually asking you important questions... like:
      1. How will certain decsions affect your spiritual life?
      2. Who are you going to surround yourself with, and how will you affect them and they affect you spiritually?
      3. What does/will worship in that situation/calling/school look like for you?
      4. How are you using your time, talent, and treasure to maginfy Christ? 
      5. What ways are you currently pursuing Christ?
      6. How does the gospel affect the decision you will make...?
      7. How are you/will you be an active participant in the body of Christ?
      8. What struggles are you currently facing? How can we pray for you in those struggles?  Is there anything we can do to help?


  1. “What if I don’t want to follow Jesus?”

    1. We will continue to love you, pray for you, and encourage you toward Christ. 
    2. We will not do anything that we feel will contribute to a lifestyle that rejects God. 
      1. As you become adults, you will have to make adult decisions.
      2. We will not enable you to sin or live a life that rejects God’s good will for your life.