As a couple that recently started bearing children, you may have heard that many young people from Christian homes are growing up into full-fledged worldly lifestyles, contrary to what their parents propagate which is, committed service and loyalty to the Heavenly father, the Lord God Almighty.
Now, you are already panicky as to how to groom your own children in the way of the Lord. God, in his word, has provided the best approach through his instruction given by Moses over four thousand years ago.
“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9).
This commandment provides the key to effective spiritual training at home. Praying with your children each night and taking them to church is not enough, even though family devotions are important. As a parent, you are expected by God to live the principles of faith throughout the day. References to the heavenly father and his perspectives on every matter should permeate your conversations and interactions with your children. Your love for Jesus should be understood to be the first priority of your lives as a couple, by your children. You must not overlook any opportunity to teach with your words and your actions.
Dad and mum! You need to understand that the world has a lot of messages for your children in the days ahead and that the messages could take them to failure and destruction if they are not counterbalanced by firm spiritual foundation at home. You just cannot afford to be lackadaisical on the task.
“Jesus answered: Don’t you know me Philip, even after I have been among you for such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, show us the Father? (John 14:9).
The first way to introduce your children to the character of God is by introducing them to the Jesus Christ in you if he is in you. Your children can only serve your God if they discover him in you at the tender age. Children do more of what they see in parents than what parents say. If you are a “do what we say and not what we do” couple, prepare for a possible family crisis at old age; an old age of police cases, unwanted pregnancies and so on. May this not be your portion in Jesus name!
If as a couple, you have the lifestyle of always quarrelling with and defrauding each other or other people in presence of your children, a bleak family future looms.
If as a couple, you lack self control to the extent of having sexual intercourse right in front of your children or you are living adulterous lives involving your children in the sinful arrangements, there is trouble. Do not expect your children to honour your heavenly father that you do not honour.
If you are a couple that lie to each other, lie to your children or lie to other people, you are selling to them, the nature of another god, different from your heavenly father.
If as a couple, you live a life of prayerlessness in every endeavour, how do you expect your children to be prayerful? If as a couple, you are regular late comers to church, you are telling them that this God can be disrespected without any consequence. You are telling them that punctuality to their school and other events is important. But as for the house of your heavenly father, you can stroll in whenever you like.
For your children to grow up serving your heavenly father, you must be an example to them in “what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith and your purity” (1st Timothy 4:12).
As parents, you have been given the awesome responsibility of representing God to your vulnerable children. You must not make the mistake of failing in this responsibility because such will be translated into spiritual problems for the next generation. For instance, it is tough for the sons and daughters of oppressive or abusive parents to perceive God as being loving and compassionate. Permissive parents (that permit just any conduct in the name of love) make it hard for children to understand the justice nature of God. Representing the nature of a God of both love and justice is one of the difficult tasks mothers and fathers face. Showing your children love without authority is a serious distortion of God’s nature, just like presenting an iron-hand authority without love.
To guide your children towards serving your heavenly father in future, they need to see your heavenly father in you. Children listen closely to discover just how much their parents believe what they preach. If there is any form of ethical confusion in the parents, the children are very likely to magnify it. The job of building up your children’s character into godly nature is more tasking than giving birth to them.
May your children turn out well and may your marriage and family be a testimony. May your children turn out well, serving your heavenly father in