57: Kristen Hatton | Redemptive Parenting

Kristen Hatton

Kristen Hatton is the author of The Gospel-Centered Life in Exodus for Students, Face Time: Your Identity in a Selfie World and Get Your Story Straight.

She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Professional Counseling at Liberty University, and runs Redemptive Parenting – an online ministry and podcast.

Kristen resides in Edmond, Oklahoma with her pastor husband. Together they have three children- a college daughter and two high school sons.

Kristen and I chat about redemptive parenting.  What is it? How it is different from moralistic and behavior modification parenting? We also chat about allowing your kids to see your sin nature and the value of apologizing to your children.

Redemptive Parenting Podcast

3:30 Will you share a little of your faith journey with us?  When did you come to know Jesus as Savior?

“The way I see growth now is totally different than what I might have said before. Growth is NOT sinning less and less and getting better and better and doing all the right things, as I might have thought in the past. It is more about seeing our sin rightly….Seeing our sin is a good thing, because it drives us to know more of our need for a Savior.”

6:57 What is redemptive parenting?

“Redemption is a slave trade term.  So when a redemption price was paid a slave was set free, which is exactly what Jesus did for us.  He perfectly obeyed all that God required and then gave up His life in our place giving up His righteous record. So, He paid the price for what our disobedience and sin deserved.”

Mark 10:45

Romans 3:24

“We were set free, but not without a price.  It was God’s grace to us.”

“A definition [of grace] I really like is God’s goodness to the guilty.”

“Seeking to live redemptively, or redemptive parenting, I see it as seeking to give grace as we abide in His grace.”

“When we think about giving grace, that does not mean that we excuse their sin or that we don’t discipline. That is not loving.  Hebrews 12:6 tells us God disciplines those He loves. But as God does with us in our sin, it means He doesn’t hold it over us.”

“Redemptive parenting is dealing honestly with the root causes or the idols underneath the behavioral sin and looking through a gospel lens to interpret all of life.”

10:05 As a parent, one of the hardest things for me is parenting from a place of grace and love vs. moralistic or behavior modification parenting.  Will you break that down a little, so our listeners first understand the difference between parenting from a mindset of redemption vs. parenting from a mindset of behavior modification?

Behavior modification doesn’t deal with the heart or what’s driving the behavior.

Matthew 15:8

“Jesus said to the Pharisees, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me,’ Our kids may do all the right things (at least when we’re watching), but only because they have learned to play the game. It’s not obedience to the Lord, because they want to live pleasing to Him. It’s they want to avoid punishment.”

“A few things that happen with a moralistic mindset. Kids learn to be sneaky and not tell you what’s going on with them or their friends and we may falsely assume they’re doing great…Another thing is we neglect the heart level conversation and we never get to the root underneath the sin. And we present to our kids that we have it all together.”

“The very high statistics of kids leaving the church upon college and adulthood (it’s 70-80%), but I’m convinced that what these kids who grow up in the church and very often are super involved in the youth group are abandonning is moralism. They are tired of trying to live up to the standard put before them and they feel guilty, because they know they haven’t, so they leave. What they often don’t know….is the true gospel. For them, Christianity has always been about living holy, it’s been all about behavior. They have heard Jesus died on the cross for me, but they haven’t been captivated by the grace of Jesus and understand that He not only died, but He lived for them. God accepts them, because of Jesus’ record, not our own, which means we are free to come to Him even in our sin and brokenness.”

16:31 What are some practical ways for parents to replace behavior modification parenting with redemptive parenting?

Begin talking about idols when kids are young.  Give them the category, so as they get older, they can think through what is driving their behavior.

Help them point out their idols (ex. fear of man)

Don’t hold their sin over them. Show compassion.

Confess and apologize to your kids for your mistakes.

Be transparent about the idols that rule you.

23:38 This type of parenting takes a lot of time and intentionality.  I am sure you hear this often, so how do you encourage the parent who is exhausted and feeling guilty about their struggle to parent in this way?

“Thankfully, we’ve never blown our chance. God is a God of redemption. He is over us.”

“A great starting place is where we see we have failed, acknowledge that to our kids.”

29:55 Do you have any resource recommendations to assist those of us desiring to make shifts toward redemptive parenting?

Paul David Tripp’s books

Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens, Second Edition (Resources for Changing Lives)

Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family
Shepherding a Child’s Heart

Child Proof by Julie Lowe

31:54 Besides salvation, what is an area or situation in your life where you have experienced or had to cling to God’s grace (unmerited favor) the most?

Kristen shares a story about an event her daughter walked through while away at college that affected their whole family.

33:37 If you had the opportunity to sit down with your great grandchildren and offer them some wisdom, what is something you would like to share with them?

Gospel self talk

Constantly remind yourself what is true

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