Why Is It So Hard to Raise Your Children to Follow the Lord?

A Little Lesson

Read the transcript of this video below.

Why is it so difficult for Christian parents to raise their children to follow the Lord? Discover the most important thing to remember when raising your children to follow Jesus in this episode of Little Lessons!

Picture of rebellious teenager ignoring her mother

Hi, welcome to today’s lesson, and today’s question comes from a dear friend of mine, a godly women, a dear saint, a servant of Christ who’s got a ministry in the African nation of Uganda. And I’m not sure if she’s asking this question on her own behalf, or on behalf of other Christian families whom she has observed, but she actually phrased her question in two different ways.

She wrote, “Is it God’s plan that Christians struggle with bringing up their children in the “Christian way”? And then she rephrased it and said, “Why do Christian families face more challenges bringing up their children in the “Christian way”?

So, these are great questions and reflect the concern of all genuine Christian parents. Naturally, they want their kids to follow the lord, and they’re all doing something to try to bring that about. We know that the scripture tells us, as Christian parents, to raise our children in the nurture and in the admonition of the lord. And so, the responsibility falls squarely on the parents.

Now, if you’re a Christian and your children have all left the nest, there’s nothing that I’m gonna say in this lesson that’s gonna be very applicable to you. But if you’ve got a prodigal who’s out there, I’ll address that in a future little lesson, but let’s see if we can address those who have kids at home right now.

First of all, the earlier you start the better. And if you’re raising a little toddler who you allow to be a temper tantrum throwing brat, well, sooner you correct that the better. And there’s lots of good help out there. Here’s something I always tell Christian parents, take note that God made you a lot bigger than your kid. See, kids don’t start off five feet or six feet tall. They start off pretty dinky. I think God’s sending all of us a message there.

We’re the ones who are supposed to be in charge. And parents who are flustered and frustrated over their kids, and they’re not enjoying being around their kids because their kids are such demons, there’s help, that there are practical solutions to those problem. And I just feel so sorry for christian parents who don’t know some of the basic stuff, so don’t feel bad, just educate yourself.

A book that my wife and I read when our kids were real small was the classic book by Dr Dobson, who’s one of our great heroes when it comes to teaching on the family. It was called Dare to Discipline. I think he wrote it way back in the ’60s, and then he revised it a little bit to adjust for the times a couple of decades later.

But still, same book, Dare to Discipline. It gives you basic principles that will help you to not raise little temper tantrum throwing brats, and how to make life with kids actually pleasant because they respect you, as they should, and they listen to you, and they obey you, as they should.

Again, it doesn’t happen automatically. No, if you let what happens automatically happen it can be a little taste of hell. But Christian parents who figured some of these basic principles out, oh man, it’s just a blessing. Their kids are a blessing to be around. Their kids listen.

Again, because they’re not reinforcing behavior that they don’t want to recur. So, when their kid throws a temper tantrum they ignore them to teach them that’s not how you get our attention. It doesn’t work.

And they don’t interrupt in the middle of conversations, if they wanna get your attention they have to walk up and put their hand on you and just pause and patiently learn to wait until your done with your current conversation, so you can turn your attention to … These are just real basic things, and it’s just tragic the number of good Christian parents, who so desperately would like a little bit of sanity in their lives, just don’t know the basics and it’s really not all that difficult once you learn.

Okay, so my advice is learn and get some books out, Christian books, classic books on Christian parenting and it’ll go a long way to help you. Okay, so the Christian parenting job gets … is easier if you start right. The later you start, the tougher it is, particularly if you’re not a Christian and you’re raising your kids.

Let’s say that they grow up to be teenagers without the benefit of Christian influence, or Christian nurture and admonition, and then you come to Christ and actually want your kids to come to Christ as well. But man, now you’ve got a job if they’re already in the world. And that is basically the answer why, the answer to my dear friend’s question about why it’s so difficult. Because the world, and the devil, and the flesh are all the enemies in this battle for raising our children to serve the lord.

And God hasn’t taken away the freewill of anybody, including our children, and even though the scripture does tell us, “Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” I mean, that’s a serious scripture. That’s … Certainly there’s … It’s truth, but yet is truth that needs to be tempered with all the rest of what the Bible talks about when it comes to the subject of raising children. There’s some good folks in the Bible that their kids didn’t turn out so good, because they had freewill and they didn’t follow the good example set by their parents.

There’s a passage in Ezekiel chapter 18 that talks about the righteous man who serves God with all of this heart, mind, soul and strength, who has an unrighteous son and God doesn’t credit the son with the father’s goodness. And then, reverses that and says there’s an unrighteous man who’s wicked and evil who turns up having a righteous son.

We all know cases like this. Horrible parents who raise ungodly children, sometimes those children ultimately come to the lord and they go from wicked to righteous. They just think, “Well, I raised my kids to serve the lord and they were serving the lord, but then they turned their back on the lord.” And so, that’s the problem with freewill. People have their choices.

And so, if I was gonna give one piece of advice in this couple of minutes of this little lesson about parenting, I would say that for most you wanna teach your kids not just rules and regulations and religion and so forth. You want to teach them about the person or Jesus Christ. That is unique, because that’s where it all starts.

A lot of parents are trying to get their kids to have certain character traits and values and so forth, and that is all good, but what sets the course for all those character traits and values in all of our lives, hopefully, is the fact of what we believe about Jesus. And He’s like no other, He is, he claimed to be the son of God.

Scripture teaches us that He preexisted from eternity passed, and then became a man, then His incarnation, and He lived, and He taught, and He said things and it was God speaking, as it were. And He ultimately died for our sins, so those basic facts, if they are believed then that has ramifications in everything else that we do and think, and the course that we decide for our lives.

So I’ve run out of time on this little lesson, so I think I’ll carry on here in the very next little lesson. Because, man, parents do have a tough job in this day in age and we’re gonna talk a little bit more about that next time. Thank you so much for joining me, God bless you.