This is a continuation of an earlier post.
The final and most important job a parent has is discipling. Another way to describe discipling is to engage in “intentional faith development” which I think is a good way of putting it. Faith development involves modeling and instructing, and is the most important thing you can do for your kids. Why? Because it has eternal implications as well as affecting the quality of their lives right now. Let me mention a few key aspects of faith development when it comes to your children and grandchildren:
●Instruct them, and then model good moral and ethical behavior.
●Watch what you say so that your speech is consistent with your teaching.
Kids are listening, and they don’t miss anything that smacks of hypocrisy or inconsistency.
●Model the spiritual disciplines of regular attendance at worship, Bible study, and prayer.
●Familiarize them with the Bible, especially the Bible stories and some of the parables – as appropriate for their age.
However, they shouldn’t just learn the story but also the principle or moral that the story is illustrating. The child’s response is to take learning the Bible and learning about God. Then you put your faith into practice by the way you live.
III. Help Is Available
Our kids are constantly exposed to values that we might not agree with. When they get to college, they will be bombarded with all kinds of philosophies and opinions. If they haven’t been adequately trained, they will fall victim to the pressure to conform to things that go against biblical teaching. The good news is that there are some organizations that want to partner with you to teach your children good values, morals, and ethics.
1. Sunday School
One obvious partner is the church or synagogue. Through Sunday school and VBS the church reinforces the values you are already teaching your children.
2. Boy Scouts
The Boy Scouts is another organization dedicated to teaching kids good values through instruction and modeling. They learn a lot more than how to build a campfire.
3. Girl Scouts
I’m not as familiar with the Girl Scouts, but I assume they also impart good values. If you have a daughter, check them out.
4. Campus Organizations
Campus Crusade for Christ and Inter-Varsity are two Christian ministries that are on most college campuses. Encourage your college-bound student to check them out when he or she gets to the campus.
Hopefully what I wrote makes it clear what “Bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” means. May God bless you in your journey of parenthood – always an adventure, never dull, but infinitely rewarding. And finally, men: remember this, if nothing else I’ve said this morning:
One hundred years from now, nobody will know the position you held in the company, how much money you made, or what kind of car you drove. They are all wood, hay and straw, and will not last. Your real legacy will be what you left your descendants in terms of:
-faith in God,
-your example of love and caring, especially towards your wife, and
-the godly instruction and modeling you provided your children.
What you modeled and instilled in them will be passed on from generation to generation, enriching the lives of many. It is your gift to future generations that will live on long after you’re gone. That is the kind of legacy you want to leave. So go for it.