What will be our legacy as 21st-century Christian Parents? While we cannot control what our nation chooses to do, we each choose the direction in which we lead our families. The battle for the hearts and minds of our children doesn't begin in the schoolyard. Success cannot be found in a pew cushion. If we want a shot at winning this war, we prepare for the fight on our knees. God is not going to force us to be good parents nor will he force our children to robotically obey him. He will, however, equip us with the strength and wisdom to guide our families in the right direction.
"Am I joyful, patient, and faithful?" Hmmm. If I'm being honest with myself, those would be checked off on my report card under the "needs improvement" category.
The ancient Israelites showcase the rewards of following God and the pitfalls of apathy. We would do well to learn from their mistakes. The above passage from Deuteronomy, while addressed to the Israelites, holds a very important principle for parents and teachers alike: actively teach your children about the Lord and His commands. In this series on training GenNext Christians, we have covered two of our 6 E's---Engage and Exemplify. This next string of posts will cover E number three: Equip: Teach and Train.
No matter how old you are nor how long you've been a Christian, it's your job to be a good example whether you are with Christians or non-believers. Your choices and lifestyle reflect what is in your heart. Do these things encourage or discourage your fellow Christians? If we want to see the church stand firm tomorrow, we need to be a solid example of faith today. How do we shine our light to each other?
Children are keen observers and imitators. Compliant children will try to do what their parents do in order to make them happy. Strong-willed kids amy try to be little rebels, but even they have a tendency to imitate their parents to some degree. They are always watching how we handle our circumstances. What we do has a greater influence than what we say. Is your example one worth following??
Several years ago, there was a commercial on TV in which a young boy was following his father everywhere and attempting to imitate him in every way. The commercial concluded with the Father smoking a cigarette and the son trying to mimic the action. The shock of that concluding seen was intended to discourage parents from smoking, because children would ultimately do the same. Our example shouts louder than our words. When we become a Christian, we are born to a new life, adopted by God, and endowed with a new name. We have to re-learn how to live in order to resemble our new Father.