Kids & Parenting
How to Raise Godly Children, In an ungodly world.’ Part One
by Johnson O.J. Arumona
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I do not claim to be an expert in ‘Children matters’. As a matter of fact I am yet to raise my own kids. But as a ‘Child evangelist,’ representing the constituency – the ‘children ministry’ which I have a divine call to serve, I am delighted to share on this subject that I naturally have a strong passion for.
I must admit that in a jet world like ours, with revolutionary changes, taking place every minute, the task to raise our kids with respect for the things of the Lord do appear pretty difficult. How do we raise our kids in a society where corruption, deceit, wickedness, evil, unfaithfulness, hatred, (to mention but a few) thrives? Crookedness no longer stares at our faces rather it stands by our side, like our shadow- following us every where we turn to.
If we truly and sincerely desire a change in our world, to be a better place, then we need to re-focus our energy to uphold “our children” to shine; as the light of the world. Imagine how peaceful the world would have been, had ‘Osama Bin Ladin’ been saved from childhood- for Christ. Do we really want to depopulate hell? Then it is time to impact the child next door!
* * *
The world is yeaning for peace, liberation and love. The circular world definitions of
‘*(1) freedom and Love’ appears to have negatively imparted our generation with immoral conducts. The efforts made by mankind to have a peaceful world; ‘where all races can live together, in harmony, as one happy family has become a mirage. We all know that it is a wish that may never come true. For if we are true followers of our Lord, what is happening in the world today have been spoken of by the saints of old. ‘The signs of the end time’. But regrettably most of us have been kept occupied clamoring for attention, acceptance, success, and wealth. We spend hours pursuing various goal and ambition to the detriment of our children. .
*(1)(Freedom of work, choice Careers, relationships, style of worship ,love for self, trade, religion, tradition, custom etc,)
We all exhibit the love we have for our kids by showering them with good things; cloths, goodies, providing sound education, etc for them. Sadly, with all the security measures we put around them, we can not protect them from the claws of death. Like Job, he kept offering sacrifices on behalf of his children (perhaps they may have cursed God in their heart, he thought) But the day that calamity came what could he do about it? Nothing! And I am sure that his children shall stand before the Lord too to account for all their deeds. The children that we claim we strongly have passion for having conceived them into this world shall account for their actions just like you and I.
Revelations 20 vs. 11: states: “…Then I saw the dead, great and small alike standing before the throne. Books were opened and then another was opened. The book of the living. The dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the Book.”
Scripturally, it is quite clear that even children will be judged. And for us to allow our children to be carried by the principles of these ungodly world means we shall partly be held responsible for their actions should we fail to raise them in the way of the Lord. Jesus said that ‘we are in the world but we are not of the world.’ How can we fully convince and explain this to our children when almost every aspect of our lives seems contrary? What we hear, what we say, what we do, and the people we mingle around with, the places we go, the news and conversation that we share are not always constructive…
* * *
Today our children have the access to browse the internet. We are all aware of the available and unrestricted kinds of information the internet possesses:
>Free access to phonographic sites. >Demonic sites with attractive computer games.>Chat room. Etc.
What about the kind of people they (our kids) mingled with at schools, our neighborhoods and the mass media? The electronic media (TV/Radio) exposes us to negative information. At homes, we have the ‘home videos/CD/DVD’. Thanks to the satellite and digital technology age for providing 24 hours News/movie channels which provides us with, pornographic, horror, rituals, crimes, tragic and destructive news, and of course the ‘fairy tale and romantic’ scenes. (We could spend hours to watch) At the end of day our subconscious minds (along with our children) get fed with ‘corrupt seeds, junks and cabbage’.
The literatures; books, magazines, comic, cartoons, news papers, and the global society offers us the opportunity to… read evil, eat evil, speak evil, communicate evil, and live evil lives. Like I earlier pointed out, ‘raising Godly children in an ungodly society’ humanly speaking, may sound impossible!
But I am grateful to God. The Bible states: “God can do exceedingly, abundantly; above all we could ever ask for or think…”
The same ‘grace and faith’ that has been made available to us, which has made us to live by faith, conceiving and bringing forth our children into the world is what we ‘strongly require’ to raise our children with reverence to the things of the lord in the corrupt age like ours.
A Friendly and Free Society For Children:
“Fill your mind with those things that are good
and deserve praise,
lovely and honorable…”
- Philippians 4: 8b
When my job took me out of my station (Kano), to Gusau town, the capital of Zamfara State. I remember the first day that I worshiped in a local church called ‘Enternal Life Bible Church’. I was really blessed with the ‘inspiring songs’ offered by two little girls named “*(2) Ruth” and “Victory”. The confidence that those girls exhibited on that Sunday to ‘praise God’ amidst of the entire congregation is worthy to write about. “How do we build confidence in our children for the things of God?”
*(2) (Ruth is Ten, while Victory is Eight.)
What pleases me about children is that they are real people! They don’t wear mask like we adults do. They don’t pretend to be ‘happy’ when they are ‘sad’. They don’t act that ‘all is well’ when they are ‘hungry’. Take a child to a “Bicycle store” or “Snacks/Ice –cream” shop and spend 10 minutes in the shop making a different enquiry. I bet you that if you are friendly with that child, he or she will definitely ask you to “buy one” item for him or her. It doesn’t matter to them whether you can afford it or not. That is to show you their level of sincerity. No pretence!
No wonder that the Lord himself said:
“Let the children to come to me and do not stop them,
because the kingdom of heaven belong to such as these.”
(Good News Bible: Matthew 19-14)
Children are real people and for us to truly impact them and raise them in a Godly way in an ungodly world. We have to be real….men and women of integrity!
In Proverbs 4 vs. 23-27 the scripture states: “(23) Be careful how you think; your live is shaped by your thoughts. (24)Never say anything that isn’t true. Have nothing to do with lies and misleading words. (25)Look straight ahead with honest confidence; don’t hang your head in shame.”
The scripture states that “we should be careful how we think. Our lives are shaped by our thoughts. Let us not say things that are not true.” The bible also states that ‘as a man thinketh in his heart so he is!” Our children are the products of our thoughts and actions. Our world today is filled with men and women who don’t keep to their words. We say ‘Yes’ when what we mean is the contrary. We are so deceptive that we profess negative words before our children. –We complain about how bad our economy has become, with no hope in sight. –We segregate between ourselves. –we admit how difficult our financial situation is. (This tribe or race is better than that…) We boast or threaten each other. But we forget! That our children are not only watching…but their subconscious mind is recording every action of ours.
* * *
I am a supporter for a friendly and free society for our children where they can be free, and be bold enough to share their challenges with our listening parents. Sadly, not all parents avail themselves for their children. We can never raise Godly children when we don’t support our children emotionally. How cam we positively impact our children when ‘children get frightened at the sound of their parents’ voice!” In some part of the world Children get rebuked for asking what papa or mama considered (Thanks to their adult minds) to be silly questions. “If a child says: why can’t papa buy a new car…?” It should be a good time to sincerely explain to him or her reasons. “Maybe I can’t afford it for now. Etc. “
These days we find in our society, children having their own room, tastefully furnished with TV /Video, Music set, expensive toys, computers etc. while they spend Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and home work and crucial times more often with house maids, relatives, or ‘day care centers’ because papa and mama are *(3) workaholic. Other may not be too busy but they simply can’t create time for their children because they are traditionists who feel children are to be ‘caged’. Then on Sundays we hurriedly head for Sunday service. We never for once within the days of the week enquire and help them to review what their Sunday lesson was. It’s really sad, that the faith we profess is not what we practice before our children. That could explain the reason we enter church forgetting to give our children seeds of offerings. And how about spanking them because they are distracting us. …in the midst of our friends?
*(3) (Traders, Civil servants, Doctors, Pastors, Bankers, Caterers, etc))
The Fact Two:
Naturally trying to raise children from whatsoever background in a godless society or world isn’t an easy task for every body, because the mind of children works like adults.
>Children have feelings >they have challenges >they have desires and ambitions > they have their fears >they are very emotional.
Except that what they consider as ‘challenges’ may sound funny to us. Like I pointed out Children’s minds are alive! Their minds are fertile! This is one of the reasons that children could speak three different languages within the same period. Children quickly absolved to whatever we sow into their mind.
A friend of mine an Evangelist in his message, “Who is God” explained:
“…we can prove we love God by the life we live. In the same way “…we can raise Godly children in an ungodly world by the life we live.”
* * *
End Of Part One
© Johnson O.J. Arumona. All rights reserved. 2004
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Enjoyed reading your article, I do believe one of the best tool we pocess in raising our children, is the way we live our lives before them. Blessings, Rita