What My Kids Need
A friend of mine on social media recently shared the following, which I found illuminating and challenging:
“I was speaking recently with a brother who is planning to enter vocational evangelism. He expressed that his greatest concern is that so many preachers lose their kids, and he does not want that to happen. I have the same concern and I pray about it always. I read this list recently, offered by a spiritually successful son of a preacher, called “Seven Things a Preacher’s Child Needs From His or Her Parents - Especially Dad” -
1) a parent, not a preacher
2) conversations, not sermons
3) hobbies and fun
4) to be studied and paid attention to
5) consistency, not hypocrisy
6) grace to fail
7) a single moral standard”
Although some of the points hit a preacher closer to home, overall these are good reminders for any Christian parent. I’ll admit to my own fears on this subject. There is nothing else that scares me more than my children being lost spiritually. I pray about frequently! I’d like to elaborate on a few of the things that have helped me as a parent trying to raise up godly kids.
It might seem really obvious, but the first thing that we can do to help our children become Christians is to teach them the Gospel. It is very easy to assume that because we bring them to church every Sunday for a decade or two that they will just naturally be exposed to sufficient Gospel teaching. No truth echoes in a child’s heart, however, quite like the one coming from his or her own parents.
Not only in discipline and rules, but in lifestyle as well, do we need to be consistent. Let your children see that you are the same person in private that you are in public, and what the brethren see at worship is what you are at home, at work, etc. “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves” (James 1:22). It is so easy to deceive ourselves when we are not walking the walk, but we are typically not deceiving our children. They are sometimes more perceptive than anybody else, including elders or counselors.
Assess Them As Individuals
There is an interesting scripture in Song of Solomon 8:9, which reads, “We have a little sister... What shall we do for our sister on the day when she is spoken for? If she is a wall, we shall build on her a battlement of silver; but if she is a door, we shall barricade her with planks of cedar.” This is spoken by the Shulammite girl’s family members, who made an evaluation early in her life: whether she is a wall or a door, we should treat her as an individual and help build her character accordingly. Some people are doors. Others are walls. Don’t treat every kid the same, as if parenting is a simple equation.
Finally, Do Not Sacrifice Their Eternal Future For The Present