Pastor Daniel talks with longtime friend and fellow Washingtonian, Jason Sanchez, Director of House of Blessing Orphanage in Bachiniva, Mexico about parenting. Jason and his wife (and co-director of the orphanage) Jackie are parents of a seven year-old daughter, Ayantu. Jason shares about his own experience, both being parented and now parenting. How do we pursue and proclaim Jesus in raising up our children? What does the Bible say about parenting? “The Bible is very clear about parenting. We are to raise our children in the ways of the Lord.” The Old Testament book of Deuteronomy, in speaking of the ways of the Lord, says, “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise…You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:7-8) That pretty much covers every area of life. How is that accomplished? What does this look like practically, in daily living? Ayantu loves to memorize scripture, so that is one way Jason and Jackie have taught her the ways of God. Children have a great capacity to memorize, and this is a natural way to plant God’s word in their heart. Consistently going to church together is another way. After church, talking about what they have heard and what they learned from it. Communication is essential, both talking and listening. What is the role of grace in parenting? Obviously it is not just about memorizing rules. Jason shares the importance in each situation of “knowing their strengths and weaknesses and thinking it through, asking, ‘What is really going to teach them?’” Each child is unique and it is our responsibility as parents to know them and learn how they think, who they are as a person. It is critical to demonstrate a balance between the law (their obedience) and grace and mercy, a balance which Jesus modeled perfectly. “Sometimes He would just say it: Do it this way. Other times He would talk it through: Why are you acting this way? What is in your heart? One of the greatest benefits of parenting is seeing God’s grace from a different perspective. “Seeing your child go through grief, or any difficult situation, and wanting to do anything to take that away. That’s how much God cares for us.” God knows and we can absolutely trust that God intends this pain for something greater. What are some things that have helped you as a parent? Mostly, for Jason and Jackie, it has been time (and the experience that comes with practice) and talking together as parents. The powerful alliance of husband and wife in parenting is a great gift and benefit God has provided through the family. What are some things you appreciate now, as an adult, that you learned from your parents as a child? Jason was raised in a Christian family and went to church each week—not going was not an option. At the time it may have seemed grievous, but it establishes a habit of life that is priceless. Also, a good work ethic. “You want something, you work for it.” Plain and simple. Final thoughts? “Parenting is hard. It’s challenging. You cannot do it in your own strength. You must be seeking the Lord. It’s a huge responsibility. Don’t take it lightly.” Well said.