Last post I talked about a few of the dangers behind parenting, whether well-intentioned or not. However, our ultimate goal should be to lead our children to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. But before we dig deeper into that, I want to share why this is the case. I can see 3 biblical concepts and passages that support the urgency to be Christ-centered:
1) Children are born into sin
Romans 5:12 – Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned-
While we adore and love the innocence of those baby pictures, we must realize that each baby is born into sin. Nobody is born good. In fact, there isn’t even a hint of goodness within every child. Every child wants to turn away from God. Even in their early 2’s and 3’s their behavior begins to make this apparent. Then at some point in their adolescence, their innocence will be ‘lost’ when they can consciously make a decision what to believe for themselves. Traditionally this is called the age of accountability; an age where God will hold them accountable for their sins, and that before such an age, God would have mercy to grant them into heaven if they prematurely died before they could know right from wrong.
But back to my main point, our children don’t inherently know how to follow God – they only know death as it says in Romans. Not only that, but proverbs 22:15 states that “foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child”. You see, we are not potentially raising up a sweet little angel, but rather a mini-devil from the beginning. That is also why it is so dangerous to leave the upbringing of our children to their childhood friends. “They are good kids brought up by good parents” you may reason, and that may be true of a few. But you are their role model for the majority of the day, and as Jesus said, it’s better we tie a millstone around our neck and throw ourselves into the sea if we neglect the training of our children.
2) Children are on temporary loan from God
Psalm 127:3 – Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.
A more looser translation would state that children are a “gift” from the Lord. In other words, we didn’t “earn” our children and there’s nothing we have done to deserve them. God blesses us with children.
Since they are not our property, it is only fitting that we have no ownership over their life decisions -> including what their career will be, who they will marry, where they will live, how they will live. We can only influence and guide, but never control. For that is God’s prerogative, our children belong to him alone.
I’m sure it is heartbreaking and difficult to see any parent release their child once they hit adulthood at 18 (or 22 in our modern culture). So it’s not easy to put this into practice. But once they are gone, that’s it. They will be outside our protective walls and into the world of darkness. Whether they choose life or death, Church or world, Christ or self, you cannot take responsibility of. All you can do afterwards is pray. So that is why investing into them leading up to their inevitable departure is so critical. Because they were never really ours to begin with.
3) Your children (and you!) will enjoy long life
Deuteronomy 6:2 – …so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life.
Deuteronomy 6 is the basis of Christian parenthood and I’ll elaborate much more on this next time. For now, just realize there is a blessing behind doing things God’s ways. Those who live vibrant Christian lives are comparatively happier, and have a longer life expectancy of those who are non-religious or nominal. They have less stress in their lives because they place their faith in God’s providence. Their children are more entrepreneurial and build healthy independent lives that are rooted in the scriptures and work of the Holy Spirit. I’ve seen it myself when comparing children who have parents that are active in the church and parents that sit on the sidelines. It’s like comparing night and day.
Next week we’ll look at Deuteronomy, Proverbs, Ephesians, and Colossians on how to lead our children biblically as parents.
Have any questions or concerns? Please leave a comment below.