By Terry Hoskins, Director of Oasis Counsel –
Parenting isn’t for the faint of heart. Parenting is one of the most challenging and awesome positions God places people in. As a result, it requires both discipline and intentionality if we are going to be faithful servants of God. Think of it this way; God entrusts little souls into the parent’s care for the sole purpose of training them to love and glorify God. God’s Word explains we are to, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:5-9, NIV) God’s Word reveals here that we should be very intentional on how we raise our children.
Godly parenting means we:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart…” (Deuteronomy 6:5, NIV)
To pass on the love of the Lord to our children a parent must first love the Lord themselves! One cannot give them something he or she does not already possess. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15, NIV) Biblical love leads to action, and Christ says here that the love one has for Him will result in obedience to His will. Love will result in actions and behaviors. We are either loving God or something else.
Children can answer these questions about their parents. They know what is most important to them, and they see what their parents are passionate about because we cannot hide what we love! Passing on faith to children starts with the parents having a properly focused relationship with God!
Here are some helpful questions to help determine the object of affection:
- What is most important to you?
- What do you think about most?
- What do you have passion for?
- What do you have that you could not live without?
“These commandments….be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children.”
(Deuteronomy 6:6-7a, NIV)
Where are the commands that parents are supposed to impress upon their children? The Bible says that these commands should be written upon their hearts! As the parent, God is saying that His Word must be implanted in the heart before one can impress them upon his children. That assumes that a parent knows the Word well enough to share these truths with his/her children. God has given parents such a responsibility to be the main examples and teachers of the Word of God. This is not negotiable, if you are a parent you are automatically in the position to train your children to know God or not, but in either case you are teaching something. Many parents are abdicating their God given responsibility, and guiding their children to become fools. Whether we like it or not we are an example, either exemplifying Christ or exemplifying evil. We must impress God’s glorious Word on our children!
“Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
(Deuteronomy 6:7, NIV)
How do parents impress the Word of God on their children? They must live out the Word of God! This means they look for opportunities to train their children in the Word of God. Opportunities to train children include, prayer and spending purposeful time with them on a daily basis. But this is just the start because the above passage says to impress these truths on children when they are sitting down, walking along the road, waking up, and going to sleep. The point is clear all of life as a parent is supposed to be filtered and seen through the Word of God! And it is the job of a parent to train a child to begin to see life, and filter it through the lens of God’s Word.
Help ME God because I am Failing as a Parent!!!
Join the club! Biblical parenting is a task beyond human capabilities! Parenting God’s way will entail faith because we can’t do it on our own. God is clear that He is the One that will actually pass on faith from one generation to the next. God wants us to depend on Him for our strength, which means we will need His grace daily as we will make many mistakes and blunders. God is the Redeemer who wants us to recognize that we need His saving grace if we are going to submit to His Word. God is changing and molding parents as well as children. Parenting is tough, but so rewarding when we see God working through our children as well as us. May we seek and praise God for the awesome opportunity we have to raise and love these littles souls for God’s glory and honor!