Rev. Jonathan Bourman

Home congregation: Peace, Aiken, S.C.

Family details: I’m married to Melanie nee Rathje now for more than 10 years. We have a young daughter named Elliana. We also are the happy owners of a Goldendoodle named Callie. We love to read books together, sing songs, take walks, and have dance parties in the living room either to Cold Play’s It’s a Sky Full of Stars or basically anything from Taylor Swift’s 1989 album. Yes, it’s ok to admit that as long you do it only because you have a daughter . . . right?

 What are your parenting philosophies? We work very hard to provide a stable, loving environment where Elliana can sense she is safe and loved. We know that starts with her having two parents who first love the Lord and then each other. Within that context, we work to apply law and gospel consistently and immediately with the goal that she first knows who she is (God’s redeemed child) and then reflects that with her emotions, thinking, and behavior.

What portion of Scripture do you refer to most often as a parent? All of the portions that tell Elliana who she is in Christ like Galatians 3:26. Before bed the last thing I tell her is, “Elliana, you are God’s redeemed child.” Then I kiss her goodnight.

What’s the best piece of parenting advice you’ve ever received? My Dad not only said, but lived the truth that as a parent you represent the heavenly Father to your child with all his unfathomable holiness and love. That will always influence how I approach my daughter, who is finally a trust to me from her ultimate Father.

Other thoughts you want to share with the column’s readers: It’s never too early to start teaching, praying, etc. with your child.

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