What are the most important principles for good parenting?
Of course, number one is you’ve got to be a Christian yourself. If Jesus is not your Lord, don’t expect your kids to grow up and serve the Lord. If you’re lukewarm and half-hearted, and Jesus is kind of like a hobby that you dabble in every once in a while, guess what? Your kids are going to be just like you.
First thing is, to look at your own life, and make sure that you are serving the Lord, with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and Jesus is the center, that you’re very excited about the things of God, and His word, and serving, and following Him, so that your kids every day see what a Christian really looks like.
Then, along with that, as I said, in a previous lesson, don’t be a weirdo, bizarre, nut-head Christian, who follows some goofy little cult, or cult-like teaching, that just some tiny little minority is following your rules, and they’re so proud ’cause not only they have the truth. Oh, my goodness. I’m so sick of those people. Those people who are parts of little groups, tiny little minorities, and actually proud. They think their minority status is an indication that they’re right. Oh, my goodness. As if nobody else in the world ever had a brain, or had read the Bible. So, we don’t have to listen to any of those people. Our little group, we found out the truth.
Well, your kids are probably smarter than you, and they’re gonna run like crazy, as soon as they get the chance. So, don’t be a weirdo, and teach your kids by precept as well, in the Bible, every single day, or most days that you possibly can, and again, this is a part of the bigger picture too, because if the only time you talk about the Bible, as any relevancy, is at bedtime during the devotions, and there’s no other application about the Bible and the Word of God throughout the day, that’s not so good, right?
So, you want all of it. God said to the people of Israel, “Put my word on your doorpost, and talk about it when you’re walking with your children on the way, and so forth.” So, what He was saying is the fabric of your life, ought to be, the Word of God is woven into every single aspect. There are situations that we all face, practically every moment. That may be a little bit of an exaggeration, but throughout every single day, a lot of times, when we have to make a decision. Am I gonna follow God, or am I not gonna follow God? Am I gonna apply live biblical principles, or am I not gonna apply?
So, every time you face those things, it’s an opportunity to teach your kids about why you’re doing what you’re doing. Bring the Word in to your life, and meditate on it. Like the Bible says, “Meditating on it day and night.” Talking about, that’s part of the meditation process. It coming out of your mouth. If you need help, which I don’t really think everyone needs that much help, but I did actually write a devotional for Christian families. It’s called, Family Style Devotions, and if you look for it on davidservant.com, you can subscribe.
Then, I have a couple of questions. It can be a spring board for a discussion, there in that devotional, and there on a kind of a kid level. Not really so much on a teenage level, but you can adapt them, but more for a kid level. So, that could be a help to you.
Then, one other thing that I wanted to add, that I haven’t said in this little four-part series on Christian parenting is, don’t make the mistake that most Christian parents make by relying completely on the church, to do the job of inculcating biblical truth, into your children’s lives, ’cause that’s been a proven losing strategy, because the large majority, this has been proven by studies, the large majority of kids who grow up in evangelical households, who go to church every week and so forth, and go through the youth programs, and go through all that stuff, when they leave the nest, the large majority turn their backs on Christianity and the church, and that’s the end. So, that doesn’t work.
I’ll tell you one reason it doesn’t work, is because we’ve got this consumer Christianity these days, and people church shop until they can find something that they like, and as they drive home from the church they just tested, they inevitably ask their kids, “Kids, how did you like the Sunday school?” “Oh, we loved it. It was so much fun.” And then, Mom and Dad say, “Great. This is a great church, ’cause my kids like this church.”
Well, they never asked, “Did you learn anything at all, from the Bible? Are you being challenged, to follow Jesus Christ, as your Lord, being his Disciple, or is it all just about your social relationships, and having fun, and being cool, and doing all these fun activities?” Right? Right. Churches that are leading people down the road of that lie, I’m telling you, I feel so sorry for those churches. When they’re sending a message, “Hey, just drop your kids off here, and leave the driving to us. We’ll make sure that they love Jesus.” Oh, my goodness. What a deception that is.
Taking your kids to church for one, or a couple hours a week, is basically, amounts to very little, and they need a lot more than that. So, don’t think, “Oh, if I just take my kids to church, and they go through all the Sunday school, and they go to youth programs, they’re gonna serve the Lord when they get older.” No. Chances are they won’t, serve the Lord. That’s what statistically, has been proven. So, you, Mom, Dad, have to put in the effort, and again, I take my hat off to every single parent, who is prioritizing that in their lives, and the family comes first, before everything else, except your own personal relationship with Jesus, which of course, raising your children, and the nurture, in the abolition of the Lord, is part of serving the Lord Jesus. So, you can’t separate those two things.
So, those are a few of the principles that I wanted to cover in successfully raising your children, and is there an absolute guarantee that if you do all the right things, that your kids will absolutely serve the Lord as adults? Absolutely not. I’m sorry to tell you, and you can say, “Well, I thought the Bible said, train up a child, in the way he should go; And when he is old, he won’t depart.” Yeah, it does say that, but the Bible has a lot more to say, about people being free moral agents, and people who are raised by great parents, who went the wrong way. People who were raised by bad parents, who went the right way, and so forth.
So, you do your best, but the final analysis, you influence all you can, but still, your kids can make their own choice. So, they can make the wrong choice, and that doesn’t mean there’s no hope. I’m gonna talk about our next little lesson, about what to do if you’ve got a prodigal child. Hope to see you then. God bless you.