You don’t have to be around me very long before you will hear my usual spiel about the need for parents to be the main disciplers in the life of their children. Long term, this is the most important voice that they hear and the one with the most lasting effect (Deuteronomy 6). However, there is another voice they need to hear as well, other adults. Your voice needs to be loud and clear, but like an echo in the room, there should be other godly men and women who reverberate the same messages to your kids. These echoes will put their own spin on it and come from a different angle but will be invaluable in their day-to-day world.
Proverbs says, “In an abundance of counselors there is safety.” (11:4) and “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” (15:22)
We often see this verse from the individual’s perspective or wisdom for leadership structures, but this is a good word for parents. It’s a charge to build around our children a network of godly men and women who, when the time comes, will be in place to give wise counsel.
One such person for my boys is a man named Ryan Bowen. He is a man of many talents and one of them is woodworking. Several years ago he asked if I wanted to bring my two older sons over so he could teach them woodworking. Uh, Yes, absolutely! They have whittled spoons, begun wooden benches for mom and recently carved rubber stamps for their sister. More importantly, they have built a relationship with Ryan that I pray will last through the years. Someone I trust to model for them biblical manhood and give wise words that match up with my own.
The truth is, as my boys grow to be teenagers, there will be times that they will not want to hear my words, but I know that they will have men like Ryan (who also teaches children’s Sunday School) to echo godly wisdom. In those moments when my voice is being tuned out, there are similar words permeating the conversations they are having with men and women who know them well and love them enough to speak truth and encourage them toward holiness.
As you raise your kids or you feel as though your teenager is tuning out your voice, I encourage you to surround them with godly adults you trust, men and women who will be your echo. Find them a mentor, partner with other moms and dads and make an intentional effort to get to know each other’s kids. Make sure they get to know their shepherding elder who is already committed to praying for them.
As parents, we must take seriously our role as the primary discipler. We also need to not forget that the Lord has given us a greater church family full of secondary disciplers. Many of which, stood up at their baptism and promised to help raise your kids in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
So, who will be an echoing voice in the life of your kids?
Author: Rev. Wes Andrews