This article is part of the series “Raising GenNext.” You can read the previous post by clicking here. Edify comes from the Greek "oikodomḗ" meaning 'the act of building.' We often use this word as a reference to spiritual encouragement. Edification is more than perfunctory praise; it is the endeavor to construct something strong. To date, we have covered the first… Continue reading Edify: Building a Strong Generation
This article is part of the series “Building GenNext.” You can read the previous post by clicking here. Somewhere in the past, someone concluded the primary reason children were leaving the church was somehow related to it's boringness. There was a slow movement toward making entertainment more important than education and edification. And yet, in spite of the hyped up… Continue reading Entrust: Involving Children in the Important within the church (part 2)
This article is part of the series “Building GenNext.” You can read the previous post by clicking here. It is a valuable exercise to read books such as Little House in the Big Woods and In Grandma's Attic. These stories reveal how children used to be entrusted with so much more than cleaning up their rooms. They had cows… Continue reading Entrust: Involving Children in the Important (part 1)
Elisabeth Elliot has mentioned in multiple books how her family had devotional time every morning. Corrie Ten Boom noted that her father read a chapter from the Bible every morning. In both cases, all the children in their families grew up with a love for the Lord. That tells me that consistent, active teaching is of great value.
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.
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??
A Barna Group study reported in 2013, states, "Seven out of 10 Millennials who dropped out of church did not have a close friendship with an adult and nearly nine out of ten never had a mentor at the church." Furthermore, they report "Those who stay were twice as likely to have a close personal friendship with an adult inside the church (59% of those who stayed report such a friendship versus 31% among those who are no longer active). The same pattern is evident among more intentional relationships such as mentoring—28% of Millennials who stay had an adult mentor at the church other than their pastor, compared to 11% of dropouts who say the same." As that study indicates, relationships are not a guarantee that children raised by Christians will remain in the church, but it is apparent that meaningful relationships influence that choice.
Many parents squirm over the prospect of their children dating and marrying---and for good reason. We who have been through that stage of life are well-acquainted with the pitfalls, dangers and temptations. We have observed (or experienced) them and are more than a little reluctant to let our kids face that particular gauntlet. Because we live in a society in which people choose their marriage partner, it is absolutely vital that we actively teach our children what marriage is and what to look for in a spouse.
Children teach us a lot about God...
It is not easy to instill in children a deep, abiding love for the Lord. Not every child will readily take it to heart. Yet, like everything we do as parents, we have to be persistent in teaching and fostering their growth. How do we help our children know the Lord?