Dear Fellow parent…What is your objective in raising your children? What would you like them to be? Happy? Accomplished? Well behaved?
Well…if your objectives look like the above let me ask you to think for a moment about what you might be doing. You might end up raising a well behaved, morally good, accomplished, UNBELIEVER in your home.
God, when He entrusted us with the stewardship of our children wanted something different. The bible, I believe would say that He wanted us to raise children who fully grasp their need for a savior, come to Jesus in faith, surrender to His will and live a life of submission to Him.
Yes, dear fellow parent, the call on our life as parents is to raise up our children to be fully devoted followers of Jesus.
There is no secret recipe that will guarantee that our children will develop a sincere personal faith. Everybody, including them, makes their own spiritual choices. Forcing our faith on our children might not always end well but, there are some things we can do so that God can get his perfect will done in our home.
1. Have a bible based “parenting goal”: Start by giving an honest answer to the question “Do you want to raise good children or godly ones?”, “Happy accomplished children or fully devoted followers of Jesus?”. Well. God I believe, would want our parenting efforts to be directed at making our children disciples of Jesus. Thereby, the ultimate goal should be to help our children relate to God through Jesus and find their part in God’s agenda. If not, we end up missing the point and the end result might be “good” children who are not “god’s children”
2. Have a biblical idea about “life-change”: Many parents try to discipline their children into becoming good. I am not against discipline and I believe it is necessary. But we need to ask ourselves “Will my children still be good if I wasn’t around to discipline them?”. Many parents around us would answer this question with a resounding “NO”! The bible teaches us that the “life-change” we are looking for will manifest only when we allow Jesus to work on the inside of them. We need to help our children encounter Jesus and cooperate with Jesus by constantly praying for them and teaching them His word.
3. Help our children fall in love with Jesus: Parents of children who have walked away from the faith often tell me with tears in their eyes “We regularly brought them to church, they were very involved while they were growing up”. Let me share with you my understanding of the issue. Too many children fall in love with the church, the youth group, the Sunday school, the picnics, the activity – but not with Jesus. They like the group experiences but don’t get to know Christ. The result…at a later stage in life when they see something that looks better in their eyes…they walk away from Jesus…towards that.. ! Because they simply do not know Him well enough to love Him and the eternal consequences of walking away from Him.
The best way for them to learn this would be by watching us. They will learn what Christianity looks like by seeing our Christian life in action. If our life doesn’t regularly reflect joy in our relationship with Jesus, our children will find it hard to embrace Him themselves