Rev. Rob Guenther

Name: Rev. Rob Guenther

Home congregation: Grace, Kenai, Alaska

Family details: My wife, Becky, and I met in college and married almost 6 years after we met on July 27, 2002, which means that we’ve now been together longer than we’ve been apart. God has blessed us with four wonderful boys: Josiah, Jacob, Judah, and Joel. We also have a family cat named August who loves our boys, but me . . . not so much.

What are your parenting philosophies? If I had to sum up my philosophy in a single sentence, I guess it would be, “Go see your mother.” Just kidding! (Well, mostly kidding.) I do try to read a parenting book each year. Why reinvent the wheel? Or as Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Learn from the mistakes of others; you’ll never live long enough to repeat them all yourself.” So, I guess my philosophy is to read a lot. Pick up parenting techniques from those who have been there and done that. Always evaluate what you read with the Word of God, of course, but learn from those who have gone before you.

What portion of Scripture do you refer to most often as a parent? Ephesians 6:1: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Okay, maybe I use that one too much, but I do think about Jeremiah 29:11 a lot: “ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ ” I know God has plans for my boys. That’s a comfort to me when I’m messing up and doing this parenting thing all wrong. It’s a huge comfort to know that they’re not really my kids. They’re his kids. And he loves them waaaaaaay more than I do. He won’t let me mess them up too badly.

What’s the best piece of parenting advice you’ve ever received? “Rob, just let me deal with this.”—Becky Guenther (my wife). That’s sage wisdom right there. But seriously, my parenting skills come from the way that I was raised. My parents not only had a good balance between law (stern discipline) and gospel (plenty of love), but they gave me a love of reading. (I remember seeing them read Dr. Dobson’s Dare to Discipline with a bit of dismay because I knew discipline was coming my way.) J

On what parenting topic have you always wished you could find a good article? I guess, being a dad of four boys, I’d like to see more articles on how to raise godly boys to become godly men, in a society where roles of men and women aren’t always God-pleasing.

Other thoughts you want to share with the column’s readers: I’m certainly no expert in parenting and I’m sure I get it wrong just as often as I get it right. But I’m looking forward to learning from the other contributors and from you, the readers, in the comments you add to the discussion. I pray that God would bless us all in this frustrating, joyful, messy, painful, grace-filled, glorious calling of bringing up our children in the way of the Lord!

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