I apologize for the video. Let me be clear, I am not endorsing the product and I think the whole idea behind the video is appalling. However, the fact that this commercial was made and that people find it funny or appropriate, perfectly illustrates the point of my next few posts. Many people today believe that kids are generally horrible, that parenting is a huge thankless burden, and that having kids should be avoided. According to many statistical reports that I’ve viewed, the percentage of couples who are choosing not to have kids is increasing significantly ever year. So did God tell us to be fruitful and multiply so we could spend 20 years being miserable? Not! God meant parenting to be a joy not a burden.
I recently started a FaceBook group called 1,000,000 ‘Christian Parents Raising Disciples For Christ.’
I was pleasantly surprised when young pre-parent people started to join the group. A few have joined because they wanted to voice their objection to being raised as a Christian. Needless to say, this has livened up the discussion area. One of the well-meaning, sincere questions posted, asked if raising our children as Christians is a type of brainwashing. My below blog is what I posted in reply to this question.
I agree with you that no one should ‘force’ his or her ideas or opinions on another person. Having said that, I have to ask you, did your parents force you to brush your teeth, go to bed at a certain time, go to school or eat your dinner?
A parent/child relationship is different than a friendship. Here’s Wikipedia’s summary definition of parenting; “Parenting is the process of raising and educating a child from birth, or before, until adulthood.” The article goes on to break down the responsibilities of parents into categories. Here’s what it states under the heading, ‘Providing intellectual development.’
Before I make some suggestions, let me briefly blog about why getting the right Bible for your children in this age group is so incredibly important.
Once we are Christians, the foundation for building our relationship with God is regular time in the Bible and in prayer. Yet how many of us as adults, struggle with this?
My daughter was seventeen when she told me that her and several Christian friends were talking about their time with God and most of them said that they had a real struggle with it. My daughter went on to say that she had not realized that people struggled with this.
If our children are guided through the process of developing a relationship with God progressively, from sitting on our knee right up to doing it on their own, they establish a habit and a relationship that is easy to maintain and difficult to walk away from.
How can I disciple my children when my own faith is a little shaky and when I don’t know enough about the Faith to disciple anyone? (Part 3)
Please bear with me. This entry will be a little longer than most however I sincerely believe that the scriptural principle that you are about to read about is probably the most essential for Christian parents to understand!
Working hard to please God
When I first became a Christian I was so excited. I wanted to know everything, do everything right and experience God in everyway that was possible. I went to every church service and prayer meeting I could get to. I read every Christian book I could find and spent as much of my day every day that I could reading my Bible and on my knees praying. Every minute of the day I was a church service waiting to happen.
Simply put, NO. There is nowhere in the Bible that says that it is the churches responsibility to disciple our children.
The Bible, starting with what God spoke to Abraham (Genesis 18:19) carrying on through God’s instructions to the Israelites (Deut. 6) and moving right up to Paul’s directions to Christian parents (Eph. 6:4), unwaveringly gives the task of raising godly children to parents.
If you think about it logically, parents are the ONLY ones positioned to do the job successfully. There are three legs on the stool we call discipleship. Every Christian, in order to grow in their salvation, must grow in three areas. They must grow in their personal relationship with God (daily pray and reliance on God). They need to grow in their knowledge of God (instruction in God’s word) and they need to grow in living it out.
The spiritual growth program for children is no different; they must be growing in all three of these areas daily. (“Bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Eph. 6:4)