“My daughter has accepted some beliefs since going to college that I don’t agree with,” one mother said. “I know what you mean. My son seems to ignore his upbringing by being involved in activities I would never approve of,” another mom said.
Being a pastor’s wife, I hear these concerns from mothers often. Being the mom of a teenage daughter, I fear repeating their sentiments in a few short years. I’m frightened by the onslaught of worldly, false teachings our children have to endure, and the fact that they are taught to be tolerant to the point of accepting sin. The line between Godly and worldly has been blurred. But, we cannot expect to wait until they are grown to train them in the ways of God.
God gave His commands, and then He made it clear to Israel to teach the next generation.
“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 get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9 NIV
This passage implies surrounding the family with God’s Word – immersion. Our families need to be immersed in God’s Word today so we will not be led astray. Paul warns of this in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV):
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God- having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.”
Paul reiterates to Timothy to continue in what he has learned from Scripture.
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:14-17 NIV
Scripture is God-breathed and equips us for life.
Our children need a solid Christian foundation more now than ever before. Many false teachings exist just waiting to steal their hearts. We, parents, can’t and won’t always be there when our offspring are faced with determining whether an idea aligns with God’s standards. Our only hope is to educate them on how to filter everything through God’s Word. The following suggestions can encourage this pertinent education.
• Read scripture with your child. Explain what the verses mean and their application for life. For example: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29 NIV) This verse can illustrate that we should refrain from using foul language. It may also be helpful when teaching siblings how to talk with one another. God expects us to use our words to benefit others not tear them down.
• Insure your child attends a Bible-believing – Bible-teaching church. Ask about Sunday school lessons and sermons to assure understanding. You might ask: What was your Sunday school lesson about today? How can you use that everyday? What stood out to you in the sermon?
• Encourage your child to read the Bible on a regular basis. This may involve helping them choose a version of the Bible they can understand. There are also devotional guides available for various age levels. Ask on a regular basis if Bible reading/quiet times are being kept up-to-date. Inquire about the areas being studied. The best education for a vital quiet time is modeling our own. Value is ascribed when our children witness our personal times of studying God’s Word.
• Illustrate how to filter all through the Word of God. One way to do this is while watching a television show. Discuss whether the themes, actions, and words align with the truths of the Bible or not. The verse from Ephesians mentioned above may provide a good starting point. Do the characters speak using wholesome words or is profanity present? Do they use the Lord’s name in vain?
• Encourage your children to always filter everything through the Word of God – all they hear and see. Ask them what they are studying in school. Has their science class discussed evolution? Do their friends engage in discussions or activities that make your child uncomfortable? Explain that knowing God’s Word will cause “warning signals” when someone violates the truth. This is the Spirit in us discerning right from wrong. Our children are never too old for us to discuss whether something aligns with God’s Word.
The firm foundation gained from ingesting God’s Word is a worthwhile pursuit which should continue throughout our lives. The more we contain God’s truths, the more we can ascertain a false idea that needs rejecting. God’s Word is a light to our path – the right path leading us in the ways He would have us to go. Training our children to use God’s Word as their light and filter is necessary to establish them on the right path and keep them there.
Materials to further support a Godly influence:
• Christian magazines are available for various ages.
• Devotion books are available at your local Christian book store for your child or your family to share.
• Christian Fiction is available in varied genres and reading levels – science fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, mystery, and romance. Beverly Lewis has books for multiple ages and levels.
• In Christian Nonfiction there are various titles including biographies of Christians past and present.
• 100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know By Heart by Robert J. Morgan.
• Lack of appropriate television shows has prompted us to purchase several movies such as: Love Comes Softly series, Fireproof, Blindside, Facing the Giants, and The Christmas Shoes. We are always on the lookout for clean movies to add to our collection. This includes older Disney movies.
I think you gave some great parenting advice. It didn't come off as preachy but more caring which isn't easy to do. In the beginning when different people are speaking, make sure you have a separate paragraph for each one and you may want to double space between paragraphs to give the reader some white space. You did a nice job with this one. Keep writing.