What can I do in raising my children to guarantee that as adults they’ll serve the Lord? Find out in today’s episode of Little Lessons!
Hi, welcome to today’s little lesson. This is a continuation of our previous little lesson when we talked about the struggles that Christian parents find themselves facing in raising their children to serve the Lord in a world that’s going the other direction.
And that is the challenge, you know, parents are competing for the attention of their children as the world and the devil and the flesh are all vying for that child’s attention as well.
And of course, it’s fairly easy early on when those kids are little and very impressionable and extremely trusting and still very much child-like in their nature. But as they grow and when they get into those pre-adolescent and adolescent years and start thinking for themselves and they’re making the transition from childhood to adulthood, well, then they got to start thinking for themselves.
And they’re not just believing everything that mom and dad say, they are going to have to reach a place where they have to make a decision themselves, whether they are going to make Jesus the Lord of their lives.
And so the challenge for every Christian parent is to prepare their children, to help them as best they can to make the right decision when that time comes. So, what do you do?
Well, first of all, it does take time. And it does take effort. And I said in our previous little lesson that the main thing you want to impart to your children is who is Jesus.
You want your child understanding that Jesus is a unique person of history, in fact, he transcends history because he pre-dates history. He has always existed and he is God and he is the Son of God and he is coming back again and one day he’s going to rule and reign forever and ever.
And so, that puts him in a position like no other and so rather than just teach our kids Bible stories and try to teach them so they know the Bible and know, you know, develop good character and good values. Those are all important things, but fundamentally, this is where I think some parents miss it, they’re missing the most basic facts of what is the life changing, life course setting, you know, reality and truth, and that is who is Jesus.
Okay, so we want to talk about Jesus and show your respect for Jesus. And point out to your kids who Jesus claimed to be and this is why mom and dad believe that he is who he claimed to be. And even answer, you know, objections, kind of in anticipating that they’re going to run into some of those objections later on in life and you build a good biblical foundation in solid truth of the person of Jesus Christ.
Okay, so that’s tantamount. Then, secondly, you know, do that as much as you possibly can. Now, I made a lot of mistakes over my lifetime and in my adult lifetime. I wasn’t perfect in raising my children. But I’ll tell you one thing that I think that my wife and I did do right and that is we had watched so many other children of ministers go to the world and go to the devil. And I remember so many times in gatherings of pastors, back in the day when I was pastoring, the number one prayer request of pastors, if you would say, “What can I pray for you about?” They would often say, “Pray for my wayward children.”
And it just really caught my attention that there were so many in the ministry, you know these are the servants of God, these are the people who their whole life revolves around Jesus and yet their children were leaving the faith and going into the world.
I thought, “What’s going wrong there?” And I pretty much concluded that one possibility was that their parents were so dedicated to their ministries that their children often took second shift, as it were. And whenever mom and dad didn’t have somebody else that needed their attention in the church or whatever, the ministry they’re involved in, then they got around to taking care of the kids.
And we all know these horror stories of, for example, missionaries. Dedicated missionaries, I mean they’re leaving their nation, leaving their own relatives, you know, leaving the comforts of their own home and going to foreign nations to live in a different culture and so there’s an incredible amount of devotion and dedication exemplified by their lifestyle.
But then, goodness gracious, putting their kids in boarding schools! This was standard operating procedure years ago in the mission world. I think it’s less common now, but the horror of that! And the revelation of the priority, the wrong priorities, you know, of those parents saying, “Well, we’re sending our kids, our little kids, to boarding schools for nine months out of the year and then they come and live with us.”
See, here’s a principle that good Christian parents and successful Christian parents understand, this takes a lot of effort and a lot of time and you want to be the primary influencer in your children’s lives. And that means time. And if you’re going to let the TV set influence your kid for two hours a day, you know, of course I realize there could be godly programming, sure, okay.
So, let’s just not make generalizations here, but you know what I’m talking about. There’s so much garbage that’s available streaming through television sets and the internet and so forth these days and too many parents let that be the babysitter. All kinds of things going into their kids’ heads and minds and God never wanted in their precious little brains, you know. And then the parents wonder why the kids don’t want to follow Jesus. Because you’re sending them to Satan’s church for a couple of hours.
And so my wife and I decided that we were going to do our best to avoid making that mistake with so many other ministers, good people, had made by making a commitment to school our children ourselves. In the United States we call it homeschooling. It’s pretty much spread around the world, back in the day when we were doing it was not so common. But today it’s much more common and a lot of people, millions of people are doing it.
The benefit of it, one benefit is that your kids aren’t around other kids all day long, being influenced by them. They’re not being taught by people other than yourself. You’re with them a lot and you’re one of their, if not their closest friend, certainly in their younger ages, their closest friend, closest associate.
And so you have the most influence. But when you’re sending your impressionable little children off to school, now I realize there’s variations on that too, I think Christian school would be better than secular school. But Christian school costs a lot of money, not every Christian can afford that. It’s not available everywhere.
So I would strongly urge Christian parents to at least look into, investigate the idea of homeschooling. And if not for all the years, all the way through high school, at least through the elementary and middle school or junior high school days just to get that extra edge on influencing your children so they’re better prepared when it comes time to make that decision whether or not they are personally going to follow Christ. Then they make the right decision.
More to say about this on our next little lesson. Thank you so much for joining me. I hope to see you next time.