Just maybe the most important job in the world is…wait for it…parenting. That’s right. Not leading a corporation, or inventing a miracle cure, or even pastoring a church that touches the world for Jesus Christ. We are talking about raising kids that you: parents; moms and dads, pass down Biblical values, training, and your heart for God.
It seems like the most important things to God often are lightly esteemed. But if you’ll dig a little bit in the pages of the Bible you can see the premium God puts on parents to pass down our faith to our own children.
God begins His dealings with a man named Abraham. What is Abraham’s assignment? He and Sarah were to have a little boy. They were supposed to train Isaac in the ways of his own father, Abraham. Then God wanted it passed down to Jacob, Isaac’s son, and on and on. God wanted a people (the Jewish race) that would hand off their faith to their children and eventually bring in the Messiah who would not only be the savior of Hebrews, but the savior of the world.
At the very heart of Judaism is the importance and priority of family and training children for God.
In Jewish tradition, they believe that the importance of family is seen in the heavens. They teach that the sun is like the parents and the moon is significant of the children. The moon produces no light of its own but is a reflection of the sun, or the light and truth that parents teach them.
There is a passage of scripture in Deuteronomy 6:4-11 that lays out how to live a blessed life. In fact, this passage of scripture is to be spoken as a prayer for a practicing Jew. It is to be prayed when you get up in the morning, and prayed as the last words out of your mouth before you go to sleep. It is the defining scriptural passage of what they believe and live by. They still pray it today.
Although we are the church and not the Jews, the principles of this prayer speaks to us. I encourage you to read it all for yourself but let me point out some major points that are spoken of here.
Verse 4…it begins by loving God with all your heart, soul and strength. Of course this is the true priority of all life; putting Jesus #1.
Verse 6…putting His Word in our hearts. God and His Word are one and the same. The only way to true success comes from the Bible. Learning it, memorizing it, and most of all, living by it. The only way to really know God is by knowing His Word.
Verse 7-9…Then, we are to teach our own children the Word of God. Look at the commitment that we, as parents, are to make to this:
Deuteronomy 6:7 (NKJV) “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
Notice the word diligently. That means we are supposed to study this and work at it. And also notice, it doesn’t say we are to let the Christian school do it, or take them to church and let the church do it. No. The parents; moms and dads, are supposed to lead in teaching our own kids.
Thank God for Christian schools and churches that teach the Bible. They are designed to help us. But as parents we need to teach our kids the Bible ourselves. At home. Talk about God and train our kids the basics of loving Jesus.
And what will be the result? Simply, the blessing of God will come on you. He will give you “houses you didn’t build, wells you didn’t dig (maybe that’s the swimming pool you’ve been wanting), vineyards you didn’t plant, and you eating of the best of life and being full!” I’ll take all that, right?
This doesn’t mean you’ll be a perfect parent or raise kids that are perfect. God is just telling us as parents if we will make a commitment to do this, then He will honor you and bless you, even through all the challenges life presents.
To do this you need some tools to equip you. If you’ll check out our website you can find lots of free message downloads about parenting. We also have a curriculum called Homegrown that gives you a years worth of Bible lessons with object lessons and applications that will be a great blessing to get you started. We also have many teaching series about how to parent. One of the best ones is called The Parent Company. Personally, this is my assignment in ministry. I have dedicated my life to preaching the gospel to children, but it began with my commitment to my own children. I can attest, it is worth the investment.
In closing, statistics point to the fact that just about every social problem we see in our society finds its roots in the lack of active parenting. The time for making a new dedication to parenting your children is today. The Hebrew people have a proverb that speaks to this. It’s not in the Bible, but scripture would back it up.
“If we do not indelibly imprint the Word of God deep within the bones of our children, we are one generation away from extinction.”
Ken and Trudi