The Parent Race: Teaching Our Children - Day 4
Lord, help me evaluate the kind of Christian environment I am providing for my children and grandchildren. Amen
Read: Luke 6:43-45 (NIV)
“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
A recent Barna survey(1) of practicing Christians (defined as those who attend church monthly and say faith is important to them) was sobering to me as a father and grandfather. It reported that mothers influenced the Christian’s faith development 68% and fathers 46%. Wow! If accurate, we men don’t have enough influence on developing a child’s faith. A pastor friend stated he read that children who had a father who was a strong Christian were more likely to be strong Christians as adults. The only place in the survey where mother and father are close was teaching faith through example. The mother to father ratio was 73/71%.
Verse 45a (Message) reinforces what we see in the survey, “The health of the apple tells the health of the tree. You must begin with your own life-giving lives. It’s who you are……. that counts.” As mothers and fathers we must have a healthy relationship with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit if we expect bear good fruit in our children.
While the definition of practicing Christian according to Barna (1) is “one who attends church once a month and feels his faith is important to him,” I don’t believe the focus Scripture would agree. To be a healthy Christian you must be rooted in Christ, nourished through regular church attendance, Bible study, prayer; and a small support group. Examine your life and decide if you have an environment that will produce healthy Christian fruit in your children. If not, begin today to make changes.
God, may your Holy Spirit guide me as I walk through this life you have given me. Help me live it in such a fashion that my children and/or grandchildren want to live for you, also. In Your Son’s name, amen.
(1) Barna Study reported in the May, 2019 Issue of Christianity Today p. 17.