Let’s face it the world we live in is crazy. Ealier this year, on the Glen Beck TV show I watched footage of a teen ager being beat to death with a railroad tie by another teenager while yet another teenage videoed the whole incident and laughed about it. Throw in drugs, sex trafficking, the porn industry and the state of the family and you’ll see the days we live in are evil. Families here in America and around the world are under attack. The divorce rate here in the U.S. is out of control 50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce, according to Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri.” The sad thing is the divorce rate among Christians isn’t much better. Ephesians 5:15-16 tells us what to do but we aren’t doing it. 15Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Weather you are a single parent, a married couple or a married person alone in providing Godly influences for your child I believe you can raise Godly kids when you are careful how you live. Use Godly wisdom and make the most of every opportunity God presents you daily.
I’ll never forget the day I became a parent it’s been almost 30 years since I heard 3 words that changed my life forever... “It’s a girl!” I am thankful that my children and I share a very close relationship today. I have always said “How much your children allow you to be involved in their life when they are older has a lot to do with how much you were involved throughout the process. You can’t raise G rated or Godly kids without Parental Guidance. It’s not suggested it’s required. The average parent in America spends a lot less time with their children than they should. (Married fathers spent an average 6.5 hours a week caring for their children. Married mothers spent 12.9 hours. Single mothers spent 11.8 hours) But out of those hours caring for their children only an average of 3.5 minutes per week is spent by parents in meaningful conversation with their kids. When you take these hours and look at the amount of time other influences get it’s mind boggling. The average teen spends 900 hours in school per year, 1500 hours watching TV. Teenagers spend an average of 31 hours a week online. Nielsen says…The average American household has a TV on 8 hrs and 15 minutes a day. No matter what your marital status the battle of hours and influences is on and Christian parents must wake up and start being intentional about the choices they make with their time and actions to raise Godly Kids!
There were three things Julie and I did with our kids that really paid off.
1. We spent a lot of time with our kids (daily, weekly and yearly)
2. We always required church. This included attendance and involvement.
3. We made up our own rules about the influences and voices that spoke
into our kids that we could control like spending the night other places,
video games, cell phones, internet use, phones and TV’s in their rooms,
(what’s done in their room you can’t control as well as in the family areas)
driving, dating, and other influential relationships. I believe with all my heart that
there should there be a difference in how Christians raised their children and
how non-Christians parent their children!
I am so thankful that I was raised in a Christian home. My home was a loving place filled with laughter and lots, and I do mean lots of southern food! For most of my childhood I only had one parent. It’s true in anything a team working together can get more accomplished than one person working by themselves. My Dad and Mom divorced when I was six months old, then my Dad passed away when I was three. My mom was smart and enlisted the help of others when a Father was not in the picture. (Extended family, the Church, Church leaders, Boy Scouts, Coaches, and friends.) I do believe two born again people working as a team with one agenda, to raise on fire, Godly kids have an advantage over parents working alone or in direct conflict with another parent with a different mindset of parenting but I do believe a single parent or a parent working alone can raise children to be Godly. Like in anything else it just requires more work, more time and being truly selective of the spiritual walk and effectiveness of the team members they involve along side of them to join the disclipling team. With these thoughts in mind here are five things that you should understand and practice to raise Godly children in a not so Godly world.
#1. Children are a gift from God. (Children are part of God’s plan for families)
Ps. 127:3 Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Gifts are to be cherished, especially when they come from someone you admire and esteam. Gifts of great value are sought after. At World Outreach Church we realize that kids are the most valuable procession a young family has. Although parents realize this when their kids are small they relax after a few years. (Much like parking a new car far away then after a few dings parking it just anywhere.)
Parents, you have a responsibility to guard and protect your child at every age,
whether you are working alone or with a team.
#2. The responsibility for training children about God was given to parents! Deut. 4:9 says, “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to our children and to their children after them.” Proverbs 22:6 tells us to “Train
up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart
from it. These verses where not written for pastors, it was written for parents. The phrase “in the way he should go” refers to God’s plan and
desire for your child. What does God want for your child? What do you want for your child? No one can hit a goal without a vision. Proverbs 29:18 tells us “Where there is no vision people perish. Your kids need to know what you and God desires for them. When I was a child grownups always asked me 3 questions. What’s your name? How old are you? And, what do you want to be when you grow up? I hear them only asking kids today the first 2. I think kids need to ask God the question, “What is your plan for me?” But parents also need to make a vision for their kids and your home. Here is a sample list of mine and Julie’s goals and vision for our kids.
1. We desire that they know God and love his Word (To be a fully devoted follower of Christ)
2. For all of us to be a close family
3. We desire for our children to exhibit Godly character and have a
Biblical world view!
4. We desire for our children to fulfill the plan God has for them (career/vocation)
5. For our children to have a good work ethic, and be responsible with
all that is entrusted to them
6. To provide and develop skills, abilities, education & training needed for our children to fulfill God’s plan.
7. For our children to be an example to others and to be a difference
maker to all those whom they encounter in all relationships.
8. For our children to enjoy life (hobbies, interests etc.)
These are our goals what are yours? The truth is if you aim
at nothing you’ll hit it every time!
Deuteronomy 6:6 & 7 tells us how much time God think you need to
disciple your children. “These commandments that I give you today are
to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them
when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie
down and when you get up.”
Who and what you give your time to determines if your children will get
the gospel. How are you using your mornings, evenings, time at home
and travel time? Are they devoted to discipling your children or mostly
Training is more than verbal instruction. Training calls for a model or
example. Training takes a trainer and a trainee. It also takes consistency!
Training children to be doers of the Word is a full time job and takes more instruction than a child can get on Sunday and Wednesday only.
#3. You can’t raise Godly kids without focus!
Focus is defined as an act of concentrating interest or activity on something. Even if you are alone in the parenting task you must be intentional about your focus! One of my favorite scriptures is Proverb 28:2 “When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a man of understanding and knowledge maintains order.” This is true at every age! Evaluation must be the compainion to focus! It takes one to have the other.
#4. Desire to be an encourager more than a drill sergeant
Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." The Bible is not a book of don’ts many parents present it as such. It’s a book of do’s and when children are encouraged to do all the do’s there’s not much time for the don’ts. Encourage your children to get involved in ministry
Encourage your children to participate in activities that teach the value of serving.
Talk to your children positively. Be the biggest cheerleader in their life!
You can ask my kids, I look for every opportunity to reward & bless my children, that’s why they know Father God is good!
#5. You cannot disciple without discipline Matthew 28:19 says Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, At the heart of discipleship is “discipline” but the key is
consistency. Kids learn commitment and respect for authority from their parents. Children need to know the rules of your family (they are for all members even you!) Explain why what they do wrong is wrong, show them firsthand in the word. You must teach and model repentance parent also teach and model forgiveness. Make it a habit to do everything you do in love especially discipline.
Parent whether you have a partner or you are working alone enlisting the help of a local church with a dynamic family support ministry is a smart idea. Two combined influences working together and be more affective than one influence working by themselves. The Family needs the church and the church needs family. Red + yellow = orange!