Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long.
It breaks my heart.
I hear the sorrow in words of men and women who are in the sunset of their lives and have now grown into a closer relationship with God.
They realize that they didn't understand the importance of discipling their children as they were growing up.
They wonder if they will reach their children for the Lord now that they are grown.
They say their grown children now have no relationship with our God, and regret that they did not lead their children to put God first in everything.
I certainly do not have the right or perfect answers for this because we are still parenting but my heart cries out to try to think about it.
My thoughts run this way:
The church is not your child's parent. You can't expect for them to know Jesus by just having them in bible class and worship one time a week. It is so important but it will not do the job. Yes, having them there every time the doors are open gives you great advantage in molding their hearts and in gaining lasting friendships and habits of worship, but it has to be discipled in the home and from our hearts. Our children will be active and involved if we are active and involved. If our actions show that we love being involved at our church and in other people's lives we will all form relationships that will mentor us as parents and will mentor our children toward heaven.
Church attendance is vital but if we as parents are not modeling a love and commitment to Jesus at home, the odds of our children really seeing that God is real are very slim.
Do our words reflect the love of God?
When our children have problems do we immediately give them comfort with words from God, first?
Is prayer with them and over them our first line of defense?
Do they see us in the inspired word of God daily- and do we talk about it as relevant to our daily walk and life?
Do we talk about the stories of the bible as true and relate them to our lives?
Do we encourage our children's hearts with godly music and fill their minds with what uplifts?
Do we discourage them or point them more to the world with what we watch and listen to on tv and radio?
Does our life tip more toward the world or more toward Jesus in our everyday words and actions?
As parents we must have a concrete plan when our children are young to live a godly life before them and have a plan to take them to heaven with us. No backing off, no being afraid to stand, no bowing to pressure from the world. With great love and joy we can show them how real He is.
We have to believe it ourselves. There is no special way to do this. No easy guideline. It takes commitment and work at first...and always.
Most importantly: Be in God's word. Everyday. Act as if it is your lifeline.
It is. Know His character. Know His stories. Bless them with scriptures that show He is in charge in their lives and that they can find comfort and peace through Him. They won't learn the importance of knowing God through His word if we are not modeling it to them. They won't know the importance of looking for how God is moving in their lives if we don't show them how to look and how to glorify Him through everything.
Pray. Constantly. We learn how to pray by being in the Word.
We can be in love with Jesus.
I have found that the more I commit to being in the Word the more it becomes real and alive to me. Believe me I know what it means to walk without Him. Life becomes dry and weary and terrifying. The more I am in the word and in prayer with God I see how the Holy Spirit is working in my life and how God is moving in my every day.
When they see our commitment to know God and to glorifying Him they will want that joy and promise and hope and it will ignite a fire in our children that will last through eternity.
There have been times in our lives we have not been on the right path and were not leading as godly parents.
When you see this in your life, stop and run toward God.
Don't keep going on the comfortable path in the same direction.
Go against the flow of the world.
The tide can be turned.
Be like the children of God when Nehemiah was leading them back to God and having them to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. They fought for their families.
13 Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. 14 After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
And like Joshua:
Joshua 24:1-2, 14-15-
24 Joshua gathered all of Israel’s tribes together at Shechem. He sent for the elders, leaders, judges and officials of Israel. They came and stood there in the sight of God.
2 Joshua spoke to all of the people. He said, “The Lord is the God of Israel.
14 “So have respect for the Lord. Serve him. Be completely faithful to him. Throw away the gods your people worshiped east of the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord.
15 “But suppose you don’t want to serve him. Then choose for yourselves right now whom you will serve. You can choose the gods your people served east of the Euphrates River. Or you can choose the gods the Amorites serve. After all, you are living in their land. But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”
I think it might just come down to this. Life is not about me or my children.
It is about God. We must seek His face everyday until we see His face, and as we walk this journey no matter the pain or delight He is there in every breath and in every thought with His guidance and comfort and power.
4 Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.
As the picture at the top of the page shows...we must fly like little birds (with our Christian brother's and sister's)- against the normal- with joy and assurance in our hearts because of Jesus and His saving.
Fly through life on purpose with His purpose into heaven.
Let's take our children with us.
Blessings on your day! Amy