We are looking forward to our parent panel, “Discipling Children through Milestones and Transitions,” which will take place at our 2023 Rooted Conference next week. We asked each of our panelists what it means to them as parents that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8). Check out their answers below, and join us in Franklin, TN next week!
Dawson Cooper, mom of three, freelance writer, and lead floral designer at Marigold Designs.
“The times they are a’changin” wrote Bob Dylan in 1964. With three different boys at three different stages and three different schools, I seem, like many parents, to have a front row seat at just how the times they are a’changin’. Whether you are buying diapers today or driving dance or football carpool tomorrow, time does not stand still. My children’s needs even vary from day to day. A day of chattiness, warmth, and sharing is followed by a day of sullen silence and a well-played side-eye.
What does not change is Jesus. In a world full of change, “Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb 13:8). The writer of Hebrews offers ancient and modern readers a truth about who Jesus is that provides comfort and an anchor to changing times and seasons. Jesus is the same when you are rocking a baby to sleep as when you are teaching the same child to drive. For a parent who is weathering their child’s developmental changes and needs, what a comfort to know that the same Jesus who was with God from the beginning will indeed be consistently good, consistently sovereign, and consistently present to his children—both those parenting and those being parented. As believers, God graciously gives us stories of his faithfulness yesterday, that buoy our courage to face whatever today may bring. He who was faithful then, will be faithful now and forever.
David Brashler, father of four and Associate Pastor of Saving Grace Church in Milwaukie, OR.
In our ever-changing world of new models, revised editions, and planned obsolescence, I’m so thankful for the unchanging nature of Jesus! He never devolves, and he never improves. Jesus is as perfect and faithful as he’ll be forever. I’ll never wake up in a world where Jesus ceases to be my good Shepherd, my atoning sacrifice, and my eternal rest. As a parent, I can take comfort that my Savior will always be there to supply help in my time of need, endurance for my weary hands, and renewal for my wandering heart. My efforts to model Jesus for my children will never become irrelevant because Jesus never changes. The lifestyle of imitating the faith of those who went before us (described in Hebrews 11-13), is true for me as a parent and is true for my children because Jesus is not a “moving target.” He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Praise God that he is our unshakable rock!
Terrence Shay, father of three and Family Ministry Pastor at FCBC Walnut in Southern California.
The unchangeable nature of Christ brings comfort and hope to me on both ends of the parenting relationship. Knowing that Jesus has carried me through a lifetime of growth and setbacks means that he will never leave or forsake me no matter how many mistakes I make or how often I need his intervention to break through. HE IS NOT DONE WITH ME! On the other hand, even though I am totally different from Generation Z, they need Jesus just as much as I do. There is no greater gospel because there is not a more satisfying Savior in our ever-changing world. HE IS NOT DONE WITH OUR CHILDREN! “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” Amen and Amen.
Syler Thomas, father of four and Student Ministries Pastor at Christ Church in Lake Forest, Illinois.
The fact that Jesus Christ being the same yesterday, today and forever as a parent means that I don’t have to spend time worrying. It doesn’t mean that I won’t worry because sometimes you are only so powerful against persistent worries. But if I take the time to stop and really lean into the reality of Jesus being Lord of all of human history past, present, and future… I can reasonably take myself off the hook for worrying about my failure or success as a parent.
Anna Meade Harris, mother of three and Senior Director of Content at Rooted Ministry.
When I was a younger mom, nothing gave me a pit in my stomach faster than the oft-repeated parenting wisdom: “kids need consistency!” I was only ever consistently inconsistent. Patient and cheerful one minute, annoyed and grumpy the next, I forgot to follow through on consequences, bent the rules when it suited me but kept the letter of the law when I wanted to, and fell victim to my people-pleasing sin more times than I care to admit.
So for me, one of the things this verse means is that Jesus is consistent with me and with my kids. He is never at a loss, exasperated beyond endurance, or unsure about what we need from him in the moment. In all of his dealings with us, Jesus remains unhindered by foolishness, selfish gain, or personal comfort. Jesus always has his eyes on the prize of conforming my children and me to his perfect image. Neither sin nor death will stop him from reclaiming his beloved sisters and brothers and restoring us to perfect union with the Father and each other.
Who knew that everlasting sameness could be such a glorious thing?
Join us in Franklin on November 4 by choosing our one-day parent option for the conference!