Thank you. The only place I can find explicit parenting instructions in the NT is Paul noting in 1 Timothy 5:4 that biological family is a place for followers to “put their religion into practice…”

You have Wisdom. You pray and learn. That’s the teaching. But there is most certainly no effort to impose gendered templates on child training, and the NT scriptures do encourage a dislocation out of ordinary thinking.

There is to be freedom from biological gender (cf. Gal 3:28; Rom 12:2), as you’re prompted to experience the full range of human qualities. As God is both energies you become that as well, so a mother doing fathering, and a father mothering, would be a NT instruction.

Note Jesus’ speech in Matthew 12:47–50:

And pointing toward his disciples he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Note the absence of a father. The human father is a problem in NT theology. When Jesus says not to call any man ‘father’ in Matthew 23:9 — I think he really is saying that human fathers, who try to situate their children in clan and community, with social role, aren’t really needed here.

In his self-descriptions, Paul moves from woman in labor (Gal 4:19) to a nurse weaning (1 Thess 2:7), to a weaning mother (1 Cor 3:2), to a father (1 Cor 4:15; 1 Thess 2:11), to both parents (2 Cor 12:14). Fathering and mothering are both helpful, but we get these instructions not through old family human connections, but newly through God, and they flow through male and female humans.

We might remember too that in NT theology, the human follower has been orphaned, then adopted by God (Gal 4:5; Eph 1:5; Rom 8:15). Your human parents would become your Christian brothers and sisters. Your children would belong to God. They are trained to listen to Wisdom and to love and be present in this world.

This value system is different than ordinary thinking. Many Evangelicals might be better described as Confucianist — which believes in male order, stable families, social order and hierarchy. A totally understandable and coherent system. But not the Jesus teachings.

religion. sex. facts.

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