If you are serving the heavenly father and you want your today’s little children to serve him tomorrow, some critical elements that you as a Christian couple need for your children’s character upbringing apart from reliance and faith in the word of God, is effective cross generational communication skills. You must first, believe that it is possible to breed godly children even in a world infested with polluted characters.
If it is working for a particular couple somewhere, then it can work for you if you use the word of God as your operating manual. The only weapon for resisting pressure against your consistency in practice of godliness in this wicked world, is your personal marriage to the word of God and its power.
“Let not your heart ne troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in me” (John 14:1). Times are changing and approaches to doing things are changing, even though God’s expectation and standards cannot change.
So, a couple has to seek modern ways of communicating godly character to their children. For instance, foul language and broadcast of obscene musical videos is in vogue. Having known that this absurdity is the trend, why not prepare their hearts for self regulation by creatively communicating the dangers that originators and patronisers of obscenity stand to suffer in future?
Because of growing patronage for idleness among young people and the scarcity of character role models in the society, amidst increase in profitability for football professionals, there has been over the years, increased passion for football among young people. A couple can use this sport for counselling sessions with their children if such children are among football lovers.
Addiction to this sport by your children also has to be checked to avoid uselessness. This implies that parents who look forward to children that will turn out well in terms of character MUST discard excuses of economic challenges and career pursuits and give adequate time to such children. If you put your mind and heart to it, you can give your children the understanding they need. You might even get a better grasp of God’s nature. It is true that some children from godly homes have later turned out badly character wise, due to the massive messages from the world’s influences such as wrong association, environmental influence, the social media and so on.
The truth is that they allowed it. As a couple, this trend should not be to you, a call to retreating from a battle with Satan for your future. Your children are your future. I have heard parents who observe negative traits in their children say: “Well, children of these days are like that. There is nothing we can do about it”.
Apart from being a lie from the father of all liars, (John 8:44), such response to your child’s signs of straying from godly way, is a defeatist attitude and display of irresponsibility as a parent in the eyes of God. There is a brief period during childhood when young people are vulnerable to religious training.
Their concepts and understanding of right and wrong are formulated during this time and their view of God begins to solidify. Such opportunity must be seized when it is available. There is a saying by the Catholic Church that goes thus: “Give us a child until he is seven years old and we will have him for life”.
This is very correct because permanent attitudes can be instilled during these seven vulnerable years. It is also true however that the absence or misapplication of instruction through this prime-time period may place a severe limitation to the debt of a child’s latter devotion to God.
When parents withhold this training from their youngest children, allowing them to make too many decisions for themselves, such parents are almost guaranteeing that such children will decide in the negative. For instance, if as parents, you leave an under 10 to decide whether or not he or she should attend your church on Sundays, and to choose where to go on Sundays, the child might be glad to pick the option of sitting down at home on Sundays, going nowhere but simply playing games with a computer or phone.
After some period of enjoying this premature freedom, anything can happen. The child can decide to hang around on Sundays with folks that have nothing to do with God, church or Christianity and later gravitate into prostitution, smoking, drunkenness and cultism even as a teenager.
Well, the issue here is not about going to church. The point here is transmission of character. Irrespective of how wealthy you are as a couple, your primary school pupil of a child cannot be allowed to order your adult driver around as regards choice of car to be used for school run, for instance. When you allow this, the child becomes ignorant of respect and humility and grows up becoming a problem to the society and the next generation.
It is dangerous for your children to hear you preach humility and forgiveness in church and at the same time, refuse to forgive the wrong done to you by your spouse or neighbour.
When you live a different life and teach a different thing, you are telling the children that life in church is different from life outside the church. They form and develop the understanding that hypocrisy or two-faced life is not just permissible, but should be a norm.
What I am saying here is that if parents want their children to have a meaningful faith, they must avoid misguidance. 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. 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 Jesus name.