4D Parenting

Preached by

Raising successful, well-adjusted children is one of the most important yet challenging tasks any parent will undertake. While society bombards us with conflicting advice, research increasingly shows that a few key principles can help guide children toward lives of meaning, purpose and strong relationships when they leave the nest.

This talk will explore a simple but powerful framework proven to foster healthy development from toddlerhood through adulthood. By establishing clear destinations, facilitating open learning, expressing genuine care, and setting wise expectations, parents have the ability to empower their kids for lives of their own design.

  1. The four D’s of parenting – Destination, Discipleship, Delight, Discipline. Destination refers to the goal of parenting which is for children to be independent of parents but dependent on God.
  2. Discipleship means following Jesus and teaching children to also be followers and learners of Jesus through intentional parenting both formally and informally throughout daily life.
  3. Parents must delight in their children by showing affection, being liked by their children, and expressing joy in who they are to give children security.
  4. Discipline comes last and is most effective when preceded by the other three D’s – destination, discipleship, and delight. Discipline should start strict and then loosen over time with few consistently enforced rules. It requires discerning between childishness versus sinfulness in children.
  5. Parenting is challenging but worth it as the goal is for children to have a relationship with God even when independent from parents as adults. Grace is needed for imperfect parents. The most significant thing parents can do is raise children to know and follow Jesus.

In the hectic pace of modern family life, it’s easy to lose sight of what really matters most. But making our children feel truly known and supported sets the stage for them to spread their wings with confidence in their own abilities. While there will undoubtedly be bumps along the way, remembering our higher purpose of cultivating independence, wisdom and compassion ensures that the challenges of parenting become its greatest rewards.

No parent is perfect, but with commitment to understanding our kids’ unique gifts and keeping lines of caring communication open, together we can help the next generation take flight toward a brighter future of their own inspiration. The investment is well worth it.


Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Luke 15

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