Beth Moore: Parenting goal focused on Jesus

GRAPEVINE, Texas (BP) -- Beth Moore's primary parenting goal was for her daughters to know Jesus is everything, the popular Bible teacher told the audience at the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission's 2018 national conference.

Bible teacher Beth Moore shares about parenting during an interview with Russell Moore Oct. 12 at the ERLC national conference in Grapevine, Texas.
Photo by Karen McCutcheon
Moore answered questions from ERLC President Russell Moore in an Oct. 12 session during "The Cross-shaped Family" at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. The three-day event attended by about 950 people was held Oct. 11-13.

"The main thing I was after with them was that I wanted them to know that Jesus was everything," Moore said of her two daughters, "that He wasn't just authority and the Big Boss that was just looking for them to mess up. But He was every single, wonderful thing in all of life.

"He was the biggest joy of my life, and I wanted my kids to understand that."

Moore has taught the Bible in conferences in all 50 states and multiple countries since founding Living Proof Ministries in 1994.

Russell Moore -- no relation to Beth -- observed her adult daughters "don't seem to be cynical at all," in contrast to some children of church and ministry leaders.

"I think that the huge explanation for that is -- in just basic terms -- the pure grace of God," Beth Moore responded.

Her husband Keith and she have always dealt with reality and talked openly with their daughters when they experienced hurt from outside, Moore said. She acknowledged both Keith and she came from "such hurt and brokenness" -- she as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and he as someone with extreme post-traumatic stress disorder.

Moore "never acted like everyone else had it together because we didn't," she said. "[W]hat [her daughters] weren't cynical about was Jesus, because Jesus did come through just exactly the way He promised He would."

Author and speaker Beth Moore said the main thing she wanted her children to learn was "[Jesus] was the biggest joy of my life."
Photo by Karen McCutcheon
The Moores will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary in two months but not because they successfully followed the right steps, she said.

"We had such complexity inside our home that I would long to hear somebody speak to: 'What if it seems like none of it works the way that the steps were supposed to go?'" Moore recalled regarding an early marriage conference she attended.

"The steps didn't work, but Jesus did," she said of their marriage. "We flat out made it and are making it on Jesus Christ."

In their home, the signal that she needed to speak out was when she saw their daughters were not flourishing, Moore told the audience.

"You can flourish under a lot of hardship, but if somebody's getting crushed, that's when you start speaking up," Moore said, adding she tried to figure out "what does submission look like when there are times when you feel like, 'Man I don't think my kids are flourishing under these conditions and in this situation.'"

Sometimes, a fight appears necessary, Moore said.

"I feel like a fight is worth having if a fight is for us instead of with us," she explained. "I didn't mind fighting with Keith if I was fighting for our marriage. I didn't ever mind fighting with my children if I was fighting for them."

Her teaching ministry was not as complex when her daughters were children as it is now, Moore said. She is grateful "God was building the ministry at the same time my family was growing. And so the ministry grew up with the kids," she said.

Moore "studied like a maniac" during the girls' school hours but served them as a typical mother, she told conference attendees and the live stream audience. After the Bible conferences began, she would be gone two or three nights a month while Keith cared for the girls when they were young, she said.

Her daughters are her best friends -- but not because she prioritized being their friend over being their mother, Moore said.

"I was not afraid to be Mom," she said. "Either one of them would tell you, 'Mom could get fire in her eyes.'"

Tom Strode is Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press, the Southern Baptist Convention's news service. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists' concerns nationally and globally.
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