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On this episode of The Disciple-Making Parent Podcast, we have the privilege of speaking with Dr. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

Dr. Mohler shares his personal journey of faith, from his childhood and early influences to his current views on the future for parents and church leaders. We discuss the importance of grounding children in the gospel and the challenges parents face in today’s cultural climate.

Additionally, Dr. Mohler offers valuable advice for young parents and reflects on the joy and responsibility of raising the next generation.

Join us for an insightful conversation that aims to equip and encourage parents and grandparents in their mission to pass on the gospel.

Be sure to check out my newest book Launch: Biblical Help for Moving Your Teen or Young Adult into the Real World.

Resources From This Podcast
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
The Briefing podcast
Christianity and Liberalism, by J. Gresham Machen
Ask Anything, with Al Mohler

Topics Covered In This Week’s Podcast

02:39 Dr. Mohler’s upbringing in the faith
10:50 Advice for parents of young children, and new challenges in the current generation
17:28 Exhortation for fathers
24:00 Balancing responsibility to provide with parenting
28:10 Talking points for addressing gender confusion
33:23 Being a disciple-making grandparent

Episode Transcript

Chap: I’m Chap Bettis and you’re listening to The Disciple-Making Parent, where we seek to equip parents and churches to pass the gospel to their children. What if you could talk to one of America’s leading evangelical voices about his own journey of faith as a child and what he sees now for the future?

Hi, my name is Chap Bettis and I’m the author of The Disciple-Making Parent. And today’s guest on the podcast really needs no introduction to you, my listeners. I recently had the privilege of spending some time with Dr. Albert Mohler and invited him on the podcast. Dr. Albert Mohler is the president of the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He’s just passed the 30th year in serving that institution, and was really the anchor in seeing it return to biblical faithfulness. And that’s happened within my lifetime. He hosts The Briefing, which is a daily podcast with analysis of the news and events from a Christian worldview. And he’s also the author of really numerous books, too many even to list. He’s a prolific author.

In our time together, I wanted you to hear about his own childhood faith, as well as what he sees on the horizon for parents, and I wanted to give him a chance to speak to parents and church leaders in the audience.

Well, before we start, I want to remind you to check out our newest book, Launch: Biblical Help for Moving Your Teen or Young Adult into the Real World. And this is a quick read book, you can cover it in about an hour. You know, I found a lot of resources helping teens and then later in college years, but I didn’t find any for the parents. And I remember that that was such a confusing time for me when I was raising my own children. So in the book Launch, I lay out some foundations that can guide our thinking in the teen years, and then I apply those to three different scenarios: leaving for college, staying at home after high school graduation, and staying at home when maybe they shouldn’t be. So the book is Launch: Biblical Help for Moving Your Teen or Young Adult into the Real World. And starting to read this when you have a teen is not too early. Launch is available in our bookstore at thedisciplemakingparent.com or on Amazon. But for now, let’s listen in on my conversation with Dr. Albert Mohler.

Dr. Mohler, thank you for taking time to be on The Disciple-Making Parent podcast.

Dr. Mohler: Chap, I’m glad to be with you. Thank you.

Chap: Well, I know you’re often asked to comment on a wide range of topics. And today I want us to speak on the subject of the podcast. So we’re thinking about what we can do as parents and grandparents to pass the gospel to our children. We want them to not only be disciples, but disciple-makers. So I wonder if you would start by telling us a little bit about your own childhood and coming to faith. When I heard you speak in Jacksonville, Florida, you spoke about your own coming to faith there and how that influenced you.

Dr. Mohler: Well, I’m very thankful, first of all, to say that I was born to incredibly faithful Christian parents who loved me and raised me in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. And so I just need to start with God’s grace in my life through my parents and, frankly, through four grandparents. And a very intact family situation everywhere you could look. And lots of cousins, lots and lots of cousins and aunts and uncles. And church life and the Christian life was very much a part of our family life.

And not only that, but my parents- now both with the Lord- they were faithful Southern Baptists. So I was pre-enrolled before I was born.

Chap: In the cradle roll, right? Or whatever that was called.

Dr. Mohler: Well, pre-cradle roll. Which means you are a fetus. And then you’re enrolled as a baby. And look, it’s just very sweet. I have those certificates now. And it’s just a part of the heritage the Lord gave me. And so I was at church all the time. And that really means all the time, you know, three or four days a week, one way or the other. My parents were both deeply involved and so I just start out by saying I was surrounded by the things of the Lord, taught the scriptures, and raised in a context of warm-hearted evangelical Baptist Christianity.

Now, the other thing I want to say is, that with all of that, I was still lost. And so the gospel was preached to me all the time, but I heard it when I was in Vacation Bible School at age nine. And by the way, I was one of several children, the oldest. And I went to several vacation Bible schools during the summer, and they kept me busy, at least in part. But you know, there were so many wonderful evangelical churches around and I went to their Vacation Bible Schools.

It was on the Friday assembly, and the church is not my own church. I’d gone to our Vacation Bible School. Well, this was in another church. And the bi-vocational preacher preached the gospel, and the Holy Spirit took it in my heart. And I was convicted of sin, and just trusted Christ. And I did that with the simple faith of a child, but I believe it was a genuine conversion. I knew myself to be a sinner in desperate need of a savior and Christ was preached. I clung to him, but it was in the situation of very warmhearted piety of a local church. So, in other words, if the liberal idea of Christian nurture were true, it would have been true in my case because I was grounded in Christian nurture. The Christian nurture doesn’t save, the gospel saves, Jesus saves by means of the gospel, and I had to come to a personal knowledge of Christ. And so I’m very, very thankful for that.

And then when I was a teenager, I was surrounded by wonderful Christian influences. My father had been transferred to another town in Florida. We were in a different church. But again, warmhearted gospel piety, the scripture was preached. And just to say at this point, and I’ll stop as a teenager, I was in a very difficult social context in south Florida, which was a laboratory for social change, much like California. And I had deep apologetic questions. And so the big issue for me when I was a teenager was the big questions about the truthfulness of Christianity. And I’ll just say, thankfully, the Lord brought very good influences into my life, but I look back and I realized what a crucial juncture that was for me.

Chap: That’s great. And that’s really helpful because you’re describing both a genuine conversion, hearing the gospel, but also questioning later on. And then didn’t you also have a period there afterwards, being influenced by liberalism as well, and being having to come back from that?

Dr. Mohler: Well, that can be overblown, but I will tell you this. So in other words, I was influenced as a teenager and just trying to figure these things out. Deeply involved. I mean, I’m worked for Ronald Reagan in 1976. As a matter of fact, I’m trying to figure out all these big questions and without some of the help that young people can have now. And so one of the people came into my life at that time was Francis Schaeffer. And in particular, as channeled through D. James Kennedy, who was a Presbyterian pastor down the street from our church, and became a big influence on me, and a conduit for other people to have influence in my life.

And so I never questioned the basic truthfulness of Christianity and consistently would have defended it. But when I went to seminary, it was at a time the seminary was under very liberal influence. And so I struggled with some of those big questions. I now look at it in retrospect and see it was God’s providence to confront me with those things. But I can tell you, I tasted firsthand the seduction of that kind of liberal theological method, that kind of liberal theological mood. And you know, it’s very attractive. It’s very attractive. If you’re going to invent a religion, you’re going to invent a religious liberal one, and that’s exactly what the Protestant liberals did in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They invented a new religion and someone with the clarity of the conservative theologian, J. Gresham Machen, the Presbyterian, that’s what he really called out in his book written a hundred years ago last year: Christianity and Liberalism. It’s not a new form of Christianity. It’s a new religion.

But I’m very thankful. If I hadn’t seen that firsthand, if I had not been a student during a time when there was a liberal faculty, I wouldn’t have known what needed to take place. And frankly, it forged my faith in that fire.And so I have to say I’m thankful for it, but my job is to make sure that doesn’t happen. And instead, young men training for the ministry are trained in the undiluted, unquestioned truth of God’s Word, and by the way, prepared for the defense of the faith in every way.

Chap: Well, that’s very helpful because in one sense, you’re also saying, even though I was sort of still in the church, I was still having questions. And so we need just a re-encouragement to say, we still need to reiterate.

Dr. Mohler: Yeah, absolutely. And you know that one of the major events I do is called Ask Anything. I go to college campuses, USC, UCLA, University of Arkansas, wherever they’ll have me. And in a lot of churches, too. And these are big public events. And you know, the whole point is Christianity is not imperiled by questions. Christian parents, by the way, had better consider every question a child asks them as a rare privilege. So you want to encourage questions, you just want to be very clear about the answers. And then as children get older, help them to develop the power of Christian biblical reasoning.

Chap: Well, that’s great. Let’s transfer that thinking about now. Before we talk about teens, so that might be where we go, but I want us to think about fast forward. You have three grandchildren. What would you say to parents of children the age of your daughter? In other words, you and I are of similar age, we’ve seen changes over the years, and thinking perhaps more about parenting before we get into the sort of the worldview attacks. If you could just talk to young moms and dads of young children, what are some things you’d say?

Dr. Mohler: Well, number one, you can sleep later, at a later stage in life.

Chap: Okay, a lot of work.

Dr. Mohler: Yeah, when I’m around grandchildren, I’m reminded that the Lord gives children to younger people. And my wife and I enjoy every single second, but we wear out faster than we used to. And I say that with joy and with respect. And you know, my wife and I had the joy of seeing our daughter, our firstborn, raised and bring us such great joy. But now we have the joy of seeing her as a Christian mom. And, oh my goodness, is that sweet. And I just get to watch her in amazement. And our son-in-law as well, Riley, I just look at them in just an absolute amazement at their faithfulness as parents. And you see that in their children. And for that, we’re very, very thankful.

Chap: Well, that’s good. What about some of the challenges- thinking about maybe whether parents have young children or even teens now, if we want to talk about that. We live in a time of incredible cultural change just attack some anthropology the nature of man. What is it to be a human being? What advice would you give to young parents as they are seeking to raise their kids to follow the Lord that perhaps you and I didn’t have to face when we were growing up?

Dr. Mohler: Yes. I think that’s such a big question. I’ve got some particular points I would want to make, but a part of it I need to introduce by contrast. I want to say to young parents, look, when I was a child, when I was a boy, when I was a preschooler, when I was in elementary school, my parents could pretty much accurately expect that what I was taught at home, I would be taught at school. I will be taught at the Boy Scouts back when the Boy Scouts were boys and scouts. I knew what that meant. In other words, every sector of society in which I was engaged basically taught the same ontology, creation order, the same morality certainly, in general structures. And so my parents for all those years of my life, their firstborn, they could assume safely that what they taught me at home was being affirmed elsewhere.

What my own parents didn’t know is that that stopped when we moved and I was in the public schools in south Florida, and it was a very different situation. And it’s hard actually to exaggerate how different it was. But, you know, I walked in as an eighth grader. I walked into the public school, and frankly, it was values relativism. It was it was anti-realism. It was Marxism, it was everything, and atheism. I had two atheist teachers and the fact that I knew on like the first day of class they were atheists tells you something. And so I was really pretty shaken by that experience. Thankfully, I was surrounded by the means of grace and I was a believer and I had Christian parents and was in a wonderful evangelical church.

And I don’t mean to criticize my parents, but I just want to say that they were wrong when they didn’t realize how much this had shifted. And they caught on with my younger brothers and sisters. But I want to say to Christian parents now, you have no excuse for the illusion that what we believe to be true in creation order and in morality and the most fundamental issues of the Christian worldview, you have no excuse for believing the world is going to affirm that in any way. And instead you have to understand that what the world is doing, because this is what the world has to do, is seduce our children into their worldview and their way of thinking.

And, you know, I point out this from time to time, and I say, look, that’s one of the reasons why secular liberals don’t have many children. It’s because we do and they think they’re going to get them. There’s a professor in a major university who actually said, I don’t have children, but you know what? A minivan brings kids to my door as freshmen every year and dumps them out and they’re mine. So we just have to know that’s what we’re up against.

So what I want to say to parents at every level is just understand that if your children aren’t raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord in the most substantial way at home, then they’re doomed. They’re just going to become secular worldlings. But beyond the family, and I’m sure we’ll talk more about that and the responsibility of parenting directly, it’s faithful Christianity in faithful gospel congregations under the authority of the word of God.

One of the most precious things about my grandchildren is the fact that when they sing, they’re singing gospel songs, even when they’re just little. When they think about the big people in their lives who have such influence, they’re all faithful Christians, from the context of a very faithful gospel church there in Washington, D.C. And they go to a classical Christian school where, quite frankly, it’s pretty much the same people doing the dishes. As they see it, church and a couple of other faithful evangelical churches. So I just want to tell parents, you have no excuse for being surprised at the challenge the world is presenting to you. They want your children. And not only that, but the secular world is pretty confident they’re going to get your children. And so we just have to understand what’s at stake here.

Chap: Well, I think you’re also saying- and again, we’re of somewhat similar age. Our parents could assume it was going to be reinforced. And now, one of the good things is you don’t assume that. You know there’s going to be attacks. You must assume the opposite. You’ve got to make choices based on that preparing your children. . .

Dr. Mohler: And I want to say my parents weren’t wrong until the world changed and they didn’t know it. In in the first through the seventh grade, quite frankly, I was taught at public school by people who could have taught Sunday school in my church. That was just radically changed and quite frankly, it’s changed everywhere now to some extent because of the way education works.

But even now, it’s not the same thing everywhere. If you’re in Manhattan or in rural Mississippi, it’s not necessarily the same thing. The problem is, Manhattan is calling the shots nationally and not Mississippi.

Chap: Well, Mississippi has their phone. And so the, the ideas of Manhattan get to Mississippi.

Dr. Mohler: It’s all there. Yeah.

Chap: Yeah. So let’s just take a moment here. Scripture calls the fathers, particularly, to shepherd. I just wrote an open letter on Father’s Day to dads about gentle parenting, urging them to take the reins, lead their homes. So again, thinking really a range of young children all the way up to teens, how do you exhort? I mean, you’ve got young fathers in the seminary. How are you exhorting them?

Dr. Mohler: I have to say, I think this generation of young Christian adults, of young Christian parents, certainly the ones showing up here, and we’ve got thousands of them here. But the ones showing up here, they are so much more intentional about many of these things than my wife and I were at the same stage in life, because they’re facing challenges and have already faced them that we didn’t face for quite a while. And quite frankly I think they’re so seriously minded about this. But they also just show such joy in it. That’s the other thing that’s just so sweet is that, it’s very hard if you’re a young married couple here not to have babies because there’s so much joy all around you in these little children and these lives given to God and these couples. And so it’s extremely sweet.

And so you asked me the advice. I mean, obviously we have the whole council of God that we want to share in advice. Dads your age and mine, we’ve got a lot of experience to talk about, but you know, I just have to say, I have incredible confidence in this rising generation. I want to say that very clearly. I’m just encouraged. I want to encourage them, but honestly, I think I may be even more encouraged by them.

Chap: Well, I think that’s good to hear because, with the previous exhortation to say that the cultural supports have crumbled, then there can be this fear of raising our kids, fear of messing them up, fear of getting them messed up. And yet we have the confidence in the gospel. And the Lord is on the throne.

Dr. Mohler: And we have to be very careful about biblical promises. In other words, God does not promise that every child we raise in the nurture and admonition of the Lord will come to faith in Christ and remain faithful. But we are told that if we do not raise our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, they are going to become worldlings. That’s an assured fact. And the fact is that I look at the young people on this campus, I look at the local church in which I’m a part, I look at my entire Christian experience, I want to say, the Lord is so faithful to Christian parents. Not with every single child and not without episodes of heartbreak, but the Lord is so faithful in showing the goodness of his gift of marriage and family and children that it really is infectious.

Chap: That’s great. Every parent looks back and wishes they did some things differently. Do you have a couple of things where you’re like, looking back, praise God for his grace, but man, looking back, I would have done this differently.

Dr. Mohler: No, I have to say, I think my wife and I did it perfectly. So we feel pretty good about it. No, the fact is, is that I do find that a bit vexing in that I don’t want to say to young parents, you’re probably messing up the way that other families, other couples, other dads in particular, messed up. So I look back at my parents and I think, yeah, they undoubtedly, made a bunch of mistakes, but I don’t think I can name them by God’s grace. And I’m sure my wife and I did too. And I can look back at things saying, you know, I think at certain points, I wish I had known then what I know now. But by definition in the way God orchestrates our lives, I could not have known then what I know now. And so I could always say, I wish I were more patient at every single moment. I wish I knew how to interpret some of the things that were going on in the behavior and questions and other things that come up with my own children. But I have to say, overwhelmingly, I think of it as a sweet memory. And I pray that my children do as well.

Chap: Well, I think it’s just helpful for other parents to hear that because in the intentionality of the younger generation, there can be this worry of I’ve got to get it perfect. So to hear what you’re saying, which is, yeah, of course we mess up and, and life goes on, and they’re fine.

Dr. Mohler: Yeah, you’re probably going to get grandparenting better than parenting.

Chap: Well, okay, I’m going to ask you about that in just a second.

Dr. Mohler: All I mean by that is we grow in grace and we grow in knowledge. And quite frankly, some of that comes by experience, even as the authority is scripture. And so I look back and I think, because I hear people say, I hear dads say, I wish I’d spent more time with my children. Well, of course we do. And at the same time, I had a job to do and a role to play and my children needed to understand that as a part of my love for them. And I think they do. So I appreciate that. As adults, I think they do. So all I want to say is that I find that if there’s any one thing I would I would say, I mean this from the heart, it would be just enjoy every minute as much as you possibly can, because it’s over faster than you could imagine.

I look at a dad walking down the hall, just as happened to me yesterday, and he’s got a couple of little boys walking beside him and he’s got a baby in his arms and I’m just thinking, man, you, you are king of the world. You may not sense it. And you may have more money later on, and you’re going to have more time later on, but you’ll never have more joy later on.

Chap: Yeah, that’s a good word. I have two younger pastors and I’ve told them each Christmas, enjoy this Christmas because pretty soon, you’re giving something to a 20-year-old. It just happens so fast.

Dr. Mohler: Before long she’s got a different last name. That’s the way this works. And that’s to the glory of God too. So just enjoy every single minute.

Chap: Yeah. I want to just to follow up on what you were saying. Our children need to understand, especially as men, that we’re an example and we’ve got to provide. And a mentor said to me as I had all these opportunities to do things with kids. And I said, “How did you balance them?” And he said, “I wanted my children to know that I live for something greater than them. I live for the Lord. And yes, I love them and welcome them.”

Dr. Mohler: Can I say something here that may be helpful to some dads in particular?

Chap: Absolutely.

Dr. Mohler: My dad wanted to be at every important thing in my life, but he missed a ton of them. And it is because he was working so hard, and frankly, he was working for a company and the company decided when he worked. And that’s just the way of the world. And I think you can probably look at your dad’s generation- that’s just the way things were, and companies were a lot less flexible on things like that. But I never questioned that my dad wanted to be at everything and he was at everything where he could possibly be there. And when he was with us, he was with us totally. So I hope that makes sense.

I want to say to young men, there are people who speak hypothetically about these things, as if work is a small thing in your life that you can just kind of manage so that your children never even know you’re doing it. And I just want to state that is not the way the world works. And quite frankly, we don’t need Christian men retreating from the world. That is not going to help the cause of Christ. And we need boys and girls growing up, knowing what it looks like for work to be a part of our calling and responsibility.

So everything in proper proportion, yes. And there are people who are, to use an overused term, workaholics. No doubt there are, but I’ll tell you, I think right now the bigger danger I see is a lack of understanding as to how work positively is to fit within our lives.

Chap: I think that’s an excellent corrective. That even as pastors, pastoring is hard work. It is work.

Dr. Mohler: Well, can I give you a concrete thing? And I appreciate the fact you say that, just the way you said it.

Chap: I don’t know if you know, I planted and pastored a church for 25 years up here in Rhode Island. So, yes, it is hard work.

Dr. Mohler: Fantastic. No doubt, God bless you. But I had a young pastor say something to me the other day. He said, I spend a lot of my time kind of apologizing to my children for the interruptions of ministry that come. And I said, Wait just a minute, I kind of know what you’re saying, but I just want to flip the question a little bit. God called you to be pastor of this church when someone’s dying. That’s not just an interruption.And obviously this can come at a time that’s inconvenient for us, and there’s some hard decisions that come to some pastors.

That’s one of the reasons why you need a plurality of elders. You need a healthy church with healthy leadership that isn’t just one person. But you know what? I’m president of a very big institution, of a seminary and a college. And I bear other responsibilities. I’m also very, very much a part of our local church with my wife. And you know I preached just about every Sunday when, in fact, unless there’s something unusual, I mean every single Sunday. And that means I had to travel a lot to do this. And I just want to make sure my children understood ministry is not a prison to which I’ve been sentenced. It’s a privilege to which I’ve been called.

And also I wanted my children to understand you are paying a price for this, but you also gain advantages and blessings that can come only because you are [serving in this way]. People at church love you and you’re prayed for and cared for, and you get to see things that that other children don’t get to see. Wonderful things, gospel things. And so I just want to turn that question a little bit, if I may, and just say it works both ways. But ministry is not a sentence we’ve been given by a hostile divine judge.

Chap: That’s really good. I think that’s a good corrective. Well, let me let me finish up with two questions here. I know you’ve written so much about it and talked so much about it. Give a parent just a few talking points about this gender craziness. Just give a, give a few helps to actually maybe prevent, you’ve got a tweenager going into those years or something.

What are some talking points you might give them?

Dr. Mohler: You know, I think we have to start with God as creator and just say, the world as we know it and we as human beings within it, we’re not cosmic accidents. We are the gracious creation of a holy God who made us in his image and made us male and female. And so this is so basic. It’s in chapter one of the first book of the Bible, which I think is just so crucial for us to understand. In other words, that’s so much a part of creation order. You can’t get past the first chapter of the Bible without understanding that. And yet we also understand that in a sinful world, there are people are going to confuse everything. And they’ve now reached the point of confusing gender.

But I also just want to point out- and I find the increasing traction when I talk to Christians this way. Frankly, in some circles, when I’m talking to non-Christians, I say, “I don’t even actually think you believe what you’re saying. I just don’t believe you actually believe what you’re saying. I understand there’s a cultural script you think you’re supposed to be following right now.” And some people are deluded and, and they deluded themselves and they’re there. You know, when it comes to LGBTQ, the T is different than all the rest, and everybody knows it. And so it’s the one issue.

Just this week a major think tank came out with a study saying there has been a regression in progress on the transgender issue. Because, again, people are just understanding that that’s not true, and it doesn’t work. But I guess one of the first things I want to say is that we have to raise our children to believe that God has revealed his plan for them in their bodies. That we don’t discover our identity. We are gifted with that identity. It’s not plastic for us to make, it’s not assigned to us. And this also means that for the Christian, the body is really important and that is exactly what Genesis is talking about. It’s how the body male and female created them and the functionality be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.

But the point I want to make is that we can be confused about any number of things. It’s the reality that has to correct the confusion, not the confusion that’s going to change the reality, because reality is not changing. I was in a debate on this years ago, and they said, Look, on the transgender thing, we win. I said, No, I win. And they said, no, we’re winning. I said, No, no, I’m going to win this one. And they said, What do you mean? A court decision? You know, a cultural correction? I said, No. I said, I pray for the right kind of court decisions. And obviously, as a Christian, I mean that eschatologically, but no, I mean it like this: If the Lord tarries, and an archaeologist comes to excavate your town, he’s going to divide or she’s going to divide every single set of human remains by XX or XY. It doesn’t matter your transgender agenda, it doesn’t matter what you claimed, it doesn’t matter your personal pronouns or anything. Biology is going to show up in your generation the same way it showed up with Adam and Eve. And so all I want to say to Christian parents is just to understand, we have to raise our children to understand how good God’s plan is and also how clear it is.

Someone told me the other day, let’s just say when you have a transgender story in the news or gender confusion story in the news. You just look at the picture and you pretty much have already figured out what’s going to follow in the death. In other words, the creation order, it cries out and there’s more to it than that. But I think that’s just a sign of God’s plan. But you know, our understanding of gender goes far beyond the mere existence of male and female.  It goes to the fact that to God’s glory he created us as the one referring to the other. And this is why marriage is so central and all the rest. And then there are biblical teachings that make very clear God’s plan for even an order within marriage and an order within the family.  And I just think we have to raise our children, not just to know that it’s true, but that it’s good.

Chap: Yeah. And I, and maybe even also just the history. We used to say lobotomies were good. We used to put leeches on people to heal them. Just give it some time. And this is, Lord willing, going to fall apart.

Dr. Mohler: Well, but with horrible human tragedy, like with lobotomies. It’s just a moral scandal beyond our imagination.

Chap: Yeah. We get to the part that I think you want to know. Tell us how to be a disciple-making grandparent. Tell us how you’re enjoying your grandkids.

Dr. Mohler: They’re just so sweet.

Chap: You guys were down in Jacksonville, Florida  enjoying some fishing time when I was with you at that event.

Dr. Mohler: You know our grandchildren are eight and six and three. And they’re such sweet ages, and they don’t stay there, but my heavens, from the first time I held that first grandson you just realize it’s just undiluted joy and undiluted glory. And our daughter and her husband are so, so kind and sharing them and wanting them to know us and for us to be very much a part of their lives. You know, my wife and I come from two very different backgrounds in that respect. And I had riches and she had poverty. And it was just because of family circumstances, patterns of immigration and other things, that she really didn’t know her grandparents all that well. Meanwhile, I never knew a family situation in which there weren’t two sets of grandparents right at hand. I mean, I could ride my bicycle between their houses. And that was a very different world. And I wanted our children to have that world and I’m thankful our daughter wants her children to have that world.

And you know, it’s also true that your job really shifts. Now I don’t really know how to speak as a Christian grandparent to other grandparents whose children are not Christian and they’re not raising their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. That would be a very different context. But our children, our daughter and son-in-law are very much raising their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. So we’re not in the position of being parents. We’re grandparents. And so we get to back all this up with great joy. And, oh my goodness, it’s just the happiest thing.

I want my children, grandchildren to think of me the way I think of my grandparents. And you know, my relationship with one of my grandfathers is so close there’s hardly a day I don’t think about him, and he’s been dead for nearly 50 years. That’s the kind of legacy which I think is biblical. I just look back and think of so many experiences I had with my grandparents, and I just thank God for them. And by the way, they weren’t spectacular. They were just faithful, wonderful, loving grandparents. In one case, they had an enormous family, 63 first cousins in one generation. An enormous family. And so at times it was, “Hey, you!” I’m exaggerating a bit, but it was just kids everywhere, especially when you got the extended family together. And then on the other side, it was smaller.

It wasn’t so much spectacular as it was: I lived in a small world, especially as a small child, surrounded by wonderful Christian parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins and every single one of them was a gift to me and my wife and I just want to make sure we are that to our grandchildren.

Chap: Well, I think what you’re highlighting is that grandparents do have a huge role. So even with the prodigal son or daughter, their children only have two grandparents.

Dr. Mohler: Absolutely. That’s right. And I know of fellow church members, for example, who have grandchildren and the parents aren’t Christians. And that’s a strategic role to play, and one that has to be fulfilled very faithfully, and I think with great prayer and tears at times. But what a gift that those children do have Christian grandparents. That’s an enormous gift and who knows what impact that will make.

Chap: Yeah. Timothy had Eunice and Lois.

Dr. Mohler: That’s right.

Chap: The impact on his life. So, well, Dr. Mohler, thank you for your time. Appreciate it. It’s been interesting. You are so such a gift to the church in many other different ways, but it was also fun to get to know you on a little more personal level and your advice to parents and grandparents. So, God bless your ministry.

Dr. Mohler: Well, it was a great privilege to be with you and there are a few conversations that I know at the time are as important, I hope, as this. So God bless you and your ministry.

Chap: You’ve been listening to The Disciple-Making Parent podcast. For more information about the book, The Disciple-Making Parent, visit thedisciplemakingparent.com.