WHAT ARE YOU TEACHING?
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6 New King James Version).
It is a struggle to raise children today. There are many things in society, with its moralistic views, in direct opposition to biblical teaching, contradicting the guidelines God has given us in His word. Our parenting is not limited to our natural born children; it also includes our spiritual children. God has placed those in our path who are spiritual babes in Christ, and He has charged us with the job of making disciples out of them. Children are a gift from God, and we should raise them as such. I’m not a parenting expert, having challenges of my own, but I can tell you challenges are what make parenting interesting while drawing me closer to God. When we are given children, whether natural born, adopted or spiritual, we need to conduct ourselves as worthy to be called followers of Christ because children learn from our example. We must be more aware of what our actions are saying, and whether or not they are in line with what we are professing from our lips. We cannot be judgmental of others and expect our children to do otherwise. We cannot expect our children to avoid gossiping, to not be argumentative and to be respectful if we ourselves are not. We should not blame our children for non-Christian behavior if we do not show them Christian behavior. We cannot expect new born babes in Christ to have love for others if we ourselves do not show love, or if we show love in partiality. Children tend to adopt the mindset of their parents because of the influence we have on them.
As Christians, we are works in progress. It is by Christ living in us we are able to do what He has called us to do. When He has given us children it is our responsibility to raise them up in God’s word, to help them discover who He is, to encourage a personal relationship with Him. It is imperative we teach our children to be obedient to God, and listen when He speaks no matter how difficult or out of the box it seems. We need to be accountable to our children for our sinful examples and tell them when we are wrong, and have done or encouraged something not Godly. Our children need to see humility, repentance, love, and they need to see our faith lived out.
I have seen many young people and spiritual babes turn their nose at Christian brothers and sisters because their parents or spiritual parents did; showing partiality and judgment. My family, in the past, had been snubbed and cut off from those who profess to follow Christ but couldn’t bring themselves to let go of their judgments and conclusions, and our children have been hurt by those they called friends. Do you think this is what God wants? We damage our children and hinder their spiritual growth when we teach them how to be partial, how to be judgmental, how to limit themselves to associating with only those in our circle, and to not share the love of Christ with others outside our church walls; we are failing them when we neglect to put into practice what we preach and teach from God’s own word. We have to allow for our children to make their faith their own, we cannot impose our beliefs on them; we can only be the example that Christ calls us to be.
Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, You are God, You are holy and just. You are the perfect example of a loving Father, and one in which we strive to emulate. It is not easy today to be a perfect living example of You, but we praise and thank You for giving us Jesus and that by His residing in our hearts, we can grow more each day to be like You. Father, forgive us for not being the parents You would like us to be, forgive us for teaching our children how to be judgmental, gossipy, selective and partial. You have told us to be salt and light on this earth and we have been to partial and selective of where we go to season and brighten, that we have hidden ourselves under a basket. Please forgive us and grant us the courage to seek forgiveness from our children and spiritual children, help us to forgive those we feel have wronged us and therefore we have disassociated from. Father, grant us grace to become as the father of the prodigal son, teach us to never give up on our Christian brethren, our children and our friends. Teach us to be unified as One Body, Your Body. We have become so divided as a Church that we have erected walls to keep out that which does not conform to our way of thought, but You tell us that Your thoughts are not our thoughts and Your ways are not our ways, help us to tear down those walls and embrace our Christian brothers and sisters as Jesus embraced us. We thank You for listening to our prayer, we thank You for Your forgiveness, we thank You for Your Fatherly love towards us. We give You all glory and honor and we come to You in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.
Today’s Attitude of Worship: I encourage you today to ask God to help you examine your parenting skills. Have you been the example God has desired? Have you taught your children how to love, how to be humble, how to be compassionate? Have you shown them how to be forgiving, how to let things go? Have you encouraged your children to grow in the Lord? Have you shown them what obedience to Christ really is? Take some time today to sit at His feet, bow down before Him and seek His forgiveness if you have not been the most Christ-like example and ask Him for strength and courage to ask forgiveness from your children for not being a Godly example.
Additional Scriptures: 1 John 4:11; Galatians 6:3; 1 Corinthians 12:12
The children will follow the example, instead of following the advice.” ~Lord Palmerston