raising up children
Back on June 6th, I began following a training program entitled ‘Run for God’ to prepare for a 5K. All summer long, I followed a regimented run/walk plan that began with just 1 ½ minutes of walking and 1 minute of jogging repeated. With each week, I increased the running time until in September I completed not one but two 5K’s plus continue to run 2-3 times a week. Yes, it took discipline, much sweat and determination but I had a plan that if followed would lead to success.
I wish we as parents had such a plan to guide us in raising children. Yes, I know we have the Bible full of wisdom and guidance and I’ve gone to it many times over the years. Yet so many decisions are not black and white. Wouldn’t it be great if we as parents had a checklist to follow and if we were disciplined and focus enough to check off each item on the list our children would turn out practically perfect? But we all know life isn’t that easy… in fact, it can get pretty messy!
Yet to all the parents out there trying to raise your children to love God, I have a word of encouragement from an unusual perspective. After Joshua and the men of his generation died out, we read-
“After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord…” Judges 2: 10-11
How could a generation grow up to know nothing about God? The parents completely dropped the ball! They didn’t share the stories of God’s mighty acts, didn’t teach their children how God had chosen them and loved them, and they didn’t live to serve God as an example before their children. This up and coming generation who did evil didn’t know better because their parents didn’t guide them.
How is that encouraging? Dear parent who is trying to teach your children about God yet worry that you will mess up… the only mess up is to not teach them. No, you are not perfect… me neither! But God has given us the responsibility of little lives to shape and mold and teach. We are going to make mistakes and fall flat on our faces at times… but that shouldn’t stop us from trying our best to teach them about God. Our world has enough problems now… let us not give up on teaching our children about the God who made them and who loves them so much he reached out across time and space to make a way for us all through his Son Jesus!
Even though we don’t have a regimented plan or checklist like my ‘Run for God’ app, we have the truths of the Bible and the Holy Spirit guiding us through each decision and day. Let’s run after God with all we are and teach our children to do the same… ultimately our children must make their own decision but we must prepare them to make their choice.
Lord, help me to be a wise parent! Help me to run after you in such a way that my children are drawn to you. Encourage the parents out there who are feeling weary today… Amen!