A Need To Arise As Parents
It’s beautiful and a wonder to see little children worship God with a sincerity that is beautiful to behold. If we as humans are entranced by such a sight, one can only imagine the joy in the heart of the Creator of the whole universe. When a picture of the said child is posted on the social networks we are quick to appropriate such to ourselves by quickly saying a prayer or an ‘amen’! Unfortunately, such cannot be appropriated. If one could speak to the parents of those children, one would realize that what we admire in their little children and wish for ours was not realized as a result of wishing or praying alone. A lot of work was done. I absolutely appreciate these parents and I pray that the children will continually run with the fire in the Presence of God until the end in Jesus Christ name. As we wish and pray same for our children, our desire should not only be to raise children that absolutely love to worship God, but nurture them in a manner that the worship of God in truth and in spirit will become their lifestyle as long as they live. It is always sad to see criminals that are young adults telling you they grew up in Christian homes and attended Sunday Schools in their formative years. One then wonders what happened; at what point were these young people deceived and derailed from the path of God. Listening and talking with some of them, it is easy to discern that they carry a lot of anger and bitterness towards their parents as a result of the latter’s hypocrisy and deceit.
The Bible tells us: “And fathers don’t stir up anger in your children, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). One of the ways we can stir up anger in our children, especially fathers, is when such becomes an absentee father. Children do not just need a father that provides, they need a father that actively participates in all that concerns them. You may not have much as a father, but making an effort to provide for them registers mightily with your children. It is true that one may get very busy as a father but the onus is on you to deliberately carve out time, whether convenient or not, for your children as the cost of neglecting this is dire and can permanently alter your child’s view of the world.
Secondly, the scripture talks about training. This means to provide educational feeding; not just in secular teachings but majorly God’s word. This word connotes verbal and non-verbal instructions. We must find a way as parents to weave in God’s word in all that concerns the child. It is not enough to leave the education of your child to strangers, or most dangerously to the media. If you fail to teach and show them the right path, be rest assured that someone is out there ready to teach them the path of destruction for free: “…they were to rise and tell their children so that they might put their confidence in God and not forget God’s works but keep His commandments. Then they would not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not loyal and whose spirit was not faithful to God” (Psalm 78: 6b-8). For these children to remain faithful to God’s word there is need for honesty and consistency. It then follows that it is not enough to tell the child what the right way is, but to model it through your daily living. You cannot be teaching your child the benefits of a sound Christian life while your life portrays the exact opposite.
Thirdly, the term instruction denotes warning which is inclusive of discipline. As we train, we must warn with a healthy dose of discipline. Not disciplining your child verbally or non-verbally does not mean you love the child. In fact, it means you hate the soul of the child: “Lashes and wounds purge away evil, and beatings cleanse the innermost parts” (Proverbs 20:30) and “Don’t withhold correction from a youth; if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. Strike him with a rod, and you will rescue his life from hell” (Proverbs 23:13-14).
Lastly, the clause, “of the Lord”, denotes that God has a standard. That standard is what we must apply in bringing up our children. Your child is not too young to be taught and disciplined in the way of the Lord. This you have a responsibility to do as a parent. Let your words and your lives be in sync as you teach your children the things of God so as not to raise an angry and disillusioned generation after you: “We must not hide them from their children, but must tell a future generation the praises of the Lord, His might, and the wonderful works He has performed” (Proverbs 78:4). We need to get serious as parents, for the days are terribly dark: This revival starts with you. God bless you.