It’s a good thing that “…children are a heritage [property or possession] of the Lord…” (Psalm127:3). When I think about my parenting skills (or the lack of them), I stand amazed at the way our children are turning out. Paula and I are abundantly blessed and extremely grateful to God for His grace that continues to work in their lives. We have not always been the best examples or provided the wisest counsel, yet our children have far exceeded any aspirations we’ve had. It’s simply the goodness of God; and we know it. We thank God for the work He is doing in their lives.
The past five years or so, I’ve come to realize how important it is to direct our children to Christ Himself. We can’t go wrong by teaching our child to love and follow Christ. I guess it goes without saying, we all have a desire to see him or her avoid the entanglement and subsequent sorrows of sin. We all want them to serve the Lord all the days of their life. And what parent does not long to see their child blossom with Godly character?
At some point, we are confronted with the reality that our children will grow up and begin making their own choices in life. It is a very delicate thing when they become young adults. We can’t smother them with parental authority all of their life. We have got to trust that the Biblical training they have received as a child will guide them as adults.
What can we do as parents to equip our children for a Godly and Christ-like future? We can start by setting the example. By living before their eyes the life we say we have. Do you know and love Jesus Christ? I’m not asking if you love the church. I’m not asking if you have respect for God and holy things. I am specifically asking if you love the Lord Jesus Christ. Have you perhaps left your first love? Religion is not the answer. Good morals provide no lasting power. Certain rules and regulations in the home might provide some temporary peace and order, but do not guarantee sincere devotion and commitment to Christ.
A deep, intimate, personal, and growing relationship with Christ will stand the test of time. When our children know Him, they can endure the storms of life and triumph over the temptations to do wrong. The best way for them to know this truth is for them to see it in our life. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). When the book of Proverbs exhorts us to train up a child in the way they should go, let’s remember that Jesus Christ is “the way” they should go (John 14:6). Point them to Christ and they’ll hit the mark.
(Top row left to right, Joshua, Erin, Jonathan and bottom, Sarah Beth.)