In our last bulletin I introduced to you the idea of not just raising your children, but raising
them with purpose. Just as we donít haphazardly hit the open road in hopes of making it to
grandmaís house by randomly taking turns along the way, we cannot expect our children to find
success in lifeís journey without providing them with a plan, with direction. If we hope to pass
from this life knowing that our children are safe in Godís hands, then we need to prepare them
for the life that they will have to live when they leave the comforts of your home.
Perhaps the biggest and most important lesson you can teach your children is to be a
person of faith. This seems simple enough. We bring our children to services every Lordís day.
We say our prayers before dinner and we encourage our children to say their bed time prayers.
And yet, as young people leave their childhood home, they often leave their faith behind as if it
were something mom and dad made them carry and they no longer need it. Statistics show
more and more young people are not remaining faithful. More and more young people find
church as something their parents did or something their grandparents did and that ďeducatedĒ
people donít need religion. So, what can we do to assure that our children donít merely carry
around our faith, but that someday, they carry their own?
What is the center of your life? Years ago I heard a preacher share a story of an
expedition I believe in Antarctica that did not go so well. Shortly after the men had set up camp a
late blizzard came out of nowhere. While they were prepared for the cold, wind and snow, they
werenít really ready for a full blown blizzard. One of the men on this expedition was less
prepared than others. He ventured out of his tent. For the life of me, I canít remember why.
While he had not traveled far, by his own estimation not much more than 15 yards or so. When
he turned around, realizing that there was no way to get to where he was going, he couldnít see
his tent. What he did next saved his life. He took a rod which he had with him to feel the snow in
front of him and drove it into the snow and ice. He then tied about 15 yards of rope to it and
began searching for his tent. We would go out about 15 yards and if he didnít see the tent, he
would come back to the pole. After three of four tries he stumbled upon his tent. Use that pole
gave him a center point. It is what kept him from wandering aimlessly. So I ask you, what is your
center? When at the end of your rope, what do you come back to? Fishing? Hunting?
Shopping? Television? What do your kids see? I recall one conversation with a brother in
Christ who once served as an elder in northwestern Indiana. He talked to me about the
importance of making certain that my children see in me that God is important. In his own life
God was emphasized. The man was appointed an elder. Others could see he faithfully
attended services. He was knowledgeable in the word. But, in his home, behind closed doors
his children saw another master, money. Earning money was important to him. Security in this
life was important to him. He encouraged his wife to work outside the home, even though she
longed to stay at home with the kids. As they were both teachers, they took on extra jobs at the
school when they came available. Coaching, tutoring, sponsoring, etc became second and third
jobs. The kids saw this in their father and when they grew up they mimicked him. God was
important, but not as important as the almighty dollar. Last I talked to him, none of his kids were
faithful and only one grandchild had obeyed the gospel. If you want to lead your children to be a
people of faith, you need to be a person of faith. It is not enough to send them to bible class. It
is not enough to get them ďchurched.Ē They need the word of God instilled in their hearts. They
need to see real faith exemplified. My friends, we need to stop thinking that our kids can be
better than we. How can we expect them to rise above the muck and filth of this world if we
refuse to do so ourselves.
Ron Dunn in this book Donít just sit thereÖ have faith wrote, ďFaith does not put God at
our beck and call; rather it puts us at His.Ē Are you showing this in your life? Are you daily
teaching your children about Godís will? Are you encouraging them to know more of Godís will?
Or do you provide them with distractions of this world. It is time we remember that we are
parents and they it is our job to raise our parents in the fear and admonition of the Lord (Eph.
6:4). Do we encourage them watch more TV than they do reading Godís word? Do we
encourage them to doodle, draw, color, play during services instead of singing, praying and
taking notes (if they are capable of doing so). Do we emphasize secular activities more so than
fellowship opportunities? That is, which we would sacrifice first? Worship time, school time, or
a baseball game? These are life lesson opportunities. Which direction are you leading them?