The Parent Race: Teaching Our Children - Day 1
Lord, give me insights this week as I consider the admonition to “Train up a child in the way he should go,” (Proverbs 22:6a). It is an awesome responsibility you have given all of us who are parents and grandparents. Amen
Read: Proverbs 3:21-23 (NIV)
“My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble.”
The task laid out for us in this week’s sermon is awesome for all of us involved in the lives of our children and grandchildren. This was brought home to me as I have observed what my granddaughter has faced as she has moved through middle and high school. We are blessed that she has a very open relationship with Her mother and so she communicates what she faces each day. In her short lifetime she has had to deal with a close friend who went from Pauline to Paul, being criticized for saying God created the world, told that a fertilized embryo is not a live being, and many other things that challenge her faith. Add to this the rapid communication available through social media and the other features of the web that can lead a person astray.
Our children/grandchildren need to develop wisdom, understanding, sound judgment and discernment to weave their way through these snags (as Pastor Dunham discussed a couple of weeks ago) that can impede their progress to being strong Christians as adults. The Lord in his charge to Joshua gave us the formula to pass on to our children:
“Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:8-9 NLT)
A key way that our children/grandchildren will be able to walk safely and without stumbling is if they have the Word of God firmly embedded in their hearts. This is the task God has given us.
While it is important to have our children in the various programs of the church, the biggest influence on the child’s faith as an adult is the meaningful time parents spend with them. Every parent needs to have purposeful time with their young children every day in the Word and prayer. Studies show that the most impactful time for children is in the first 3 years of their lives. Read Bible Stories and pray with them daily. Establish a pattern of sharing time about their day as they move through school. As they go up against snags, take time to share Scripture and prayers with them that will help guide them through whatever they face.
God, you have given us a monumental task of guiding our children/grandchildren to adulthood and we can only accomplish this with your strength and guidance. In your Son’s name, Amen.