Effective Christian parents:
1. Assume that parenting will not be easy, but that the rewards will ultimately make it all worthwhile.
- Effective parents don't expect a cakewalk. They assume it will be difficult but that the end result--delightful Christ-centered adult children who are married to mates you actually like--will make it all worth the effort.
2. Are willing to hold God's sovereignty and their responsibility in tension.
- Yes, God is sovereign. But there is a parallel truth: God uses means. God gives children parents to draw them to himself. He can use other means, but he prefers parents. The point of this book is that God normally exercises his sovereignty through parents who faithfully practice biblical parenting.
3. Assume an offensive mindset; They pursue their children's hearts.
- Effective parents equip their children to overcome the world--not by changing and controlling their environment, but by going after their children's hearts. We change their hearts by teaching the gospel, modeling the gospel, and centering our homes on the gospel. The gospel, rightly understood and modeled, makes Christianity attractive. Effective parents make the gospel so attractive that the world cannot get a foothold in their children's hearts.
4. Are shrewd about the new birth.
- New birth is known by its fruits, not by a decision. The most important fruit is hunger for God himself. Effective parents assume this, and patiently wait for sustained fruit before they render a verdict.
5. Labor to focus their families on God, not their children.
- In a God-centered family, everyone serves God by submitting to the authority over them. The husband focuses on pleasing God, not his wife. The wife focuses on pleasing God by submitting to her husband's authority rather than pleasing her children. The children please God by honoring and obeying their parents.