That's not to say that our children will grow up and never backslide. Our goal, our duty, is to teach them God's Word and HIS standards, not with the Bible alone, but by example. We cannot simply carry a "do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do" attitude. That is our goal. The reality is that often even godly children backslide as they find their way through their teenage years and early adulthood. We cannot burden ourselves with blame. They do have their own mind and ultimately will stand on THEIR own faith. We must trust that the Spirit of God will continue to work in them and lead them back.
I have heard of many cases where the children grow up, go to college, are confronted with the theories of evolution and such, causing these godly children to question their faith. There's nothing wrong with having questions. I love hearing stories of kids that went on to do their own research on their faith, only to conclude what they had already been taught: that the God of Israel, the Lord God Almighty of the Bible, is the One true God. For them to reach their own conclusion is priceless and needed. Some just find it in a way that takes them longer and causes parents much pain. Let us rest in the assurance that God loves them more than we could ever love them. They are in His hands.
My boy is only 9 years old, but I have in my care, my niece, nephew, and quite a few other children that are part of the ministry, that God has given me the honor of being in their circle of influence. Now, if we're truly honest with ourselves and are serious about our walk with the Lord, truly seeking to honor Him in every area of our lives, then compromising is NOT an option. We MUST know the Word of God, we MUST accept and live by HIS standards instead of ours or the world's. The fact that the world has become so desensitized to vulgarity and immorality should not affect God's people. Remember, God doesn't change; people change. His Word stands firm and so do His standards. We have no excuse. None.
Every area of our lives needs to be surrendered to God. We will struggle, indeed. God sees our hearts and our intentions. He also sees our useless excuses. So do our children.
Are we teaching our girls to dress modestly? Not because their body is something to be ashamed of. God made us beautiful, in His image. We dress modestly out of respect to our Heavenly Father, ourselves, and as to prevent others to sin by lusting.
Are we teaching our boys to respect ladies (even those that don't act very ladylike)? What are our kids learning from the shows they watch on t.v. and the movies we take them to see? Many don't see it as a huge deal, but the reality of it is that kids are influenced far beyond what we can even imagine. T.V. shows these days are teaching children that disrespecting their elders and taking revenge on friends and siblings is funny. They also promote an unrealistic, extremely accessorized, perfect wardrobe for kids, whom are now idolizing such fashion. The rude remarks that pass as comedy and this poor excuse for entertainment, should not be taken lightly. It does not honor God. That goes for us as well. We have no business watching anything that does not honor God. No excuses. Whatever we do, whatever we say, we must do it as representatives of Christ. What we allow in our homes, what we allow in our kids' minds, should be getting all our attention when deciding what to do. Our homes are to be holy, set apart for God. What we allow, we condone.
Many are the lessons we must pass on. We have our manual; God's Word. We must teach our children to:
- Love God with all their heart, soul, and mind.
- Love others and treat them with respect.
- Not love money or become focused on it.
- Hold to God's truth and standards
- Stand firm in their faith.
- Put on God's armor
- Make the Bible their authority
- Not compromise with evil
- Take the Great Commission to heart
The world has an enemy disguised as self-sufficiency, self-centeredness, and self-entitlement (just to name a few). It's a "me" and "microwave" kind of generation. We want it, we "deserve" it, and we want it now. The media exceedingly promotes such a way of thinking. We must guard our hearts, minds, and mouths with the Word of God and everything we do and allow, should be filtered through it.
We are parents, we are teachers. Don't focus on trying to be their friends as to avoid being disliked. You have a divine calling and responsibility of bringing up God's children. They are HIS and we are honored with the partnership God offers us in bringing forth the next generation for His Kingdom. Let's not waste this blessing He has bestowed upon us. Tomorrow may never come. We have TODAY. Let the reality of such a great responsibility make us tremble to the point of repentance of our sins and weak excuses, and propel us to the next step we must take. Surrender every area of your life to God. Let's examine our hearts and rejoice in the mercy of God. He is willing to forgive and strengthen us. And let's pray for one another, for the world, for the media industry and those involved, that their families will surrender to God and honor Him with the talent they were blessed with. Then they can be good, godly role models for our children.
Don't get discouraged, the Lord is with us.