Occasionally I make a post that gets a person or two a little stirred up. It is never my intention to make someone mad or to antagonize a few folk with my blog. However, it is always my intention to share the truth of God's Word as I feel I am led by God's Spirit. I do understand that not everyone sees things exactly the way I do - thank God! But my desire is that through this vessel with limited capabilities, and depending on the only One who extends my capabilities with His, everyone can at least see the point and understand my heart.
Here are a few subjects I would love to write on, but don't because they really get people rubbed the wrong way, and who could ever get the true point while they are all worked up at me! Here we go: Halloween, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and The Easter Bunny. (I could name 40 or 50 more!) Now...I am not afraid to write about these subjects, but it is usually futile, because people are very, very defensive about these subjects. I feel it is much more effective to address the parents of young children more directly about how they raise their children in general. So...here goes!
Paul writes these words, "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord." (Ephesians 6:4) The last part of this verse is what I want to key on: "Bring them (your children) up (raise them) in the discipline and instruction of the Lord." Here is a key question I want to pose to Christian parents of young children: How much of the kingdom of God do you invest DAILY in your children? The only way to bring up your children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, Christian parents, is to daily discipline and instruct your child or children in the things of the Lord. How often do you teach them from the Bible? It will not be enough to let the children's church or Sunday school teach your children once or twice a week. Between these outings, how much of the world is being programmed into them by the TV, internet, videos, cell phones and movies? How about all the "extra-curricular" activities of school? I'm talking about those things that keep you parents running so furiously you don't even have time discuss the day around the evening dinner table. I'm not fussing, I am truly concerned. Christian parents, how can your child or children change the world for Jesus, if they are raised being filled with more of the world than of Jesus? To me it just doesn't seem complicated.
Another question: How much time do you spend DAILY with your children in prayer? Are they learning to pray and confess the Word of God over and in every situation? If you are too busy to invest God's kingdom daily in your children, don't expect them to be in love with Jesus. If they spend more time watching/hearing from a worldly character (good or bad) how can they fall in love with Jesus? The truth is, if you are investing God into your children, then you truly are walking with Him. But if your are not, it is evident that your own walk needs some tweaking, and it will directly effect your children!
Listen to me carefully. Nothing and no one can take the place of daily discipline and instruction in the things of Jesus Christ! Somewhere along the way many Christian parents have taken up the false idea that kids will be OK with no maintenance until they are grown. Then...they can learn about God...because they are older and understand more easily. Jesus said, "Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all." (Mark 10:15) If Jesus uses a little child as an example even for adults, it seems to me that little children are really the most fertile ground of any!
Christian parents, seek God about this. Your children are you most important responsibility. They are ripe for the harvest. Talk to them about Jesus if you haven't. Lead them to Him. And then make them your daily ministry to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. And finally let me say that there are truck loads of tools and helps available today from Christian bookstores to ween your child off of the world and at the same time invest the kingdom of God into them daily. If you need help, seek out someone who is successful in raising their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. I am praying and looking for a new generation of young people who live counter-culturally because they have been raised in the discipline and instruction of the Lord!