“Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord,[a] for this is the right thing to do. “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.” – Ephesians 6:1-3
When I ask parents what do you want for your kids, you get a variety of responses such as: happy, well-adjusted, smart, and successful. We want all those things for our kids. But we as followers of jesus also want to be parents who raise children that love God with all their heart, soul, and strength. The challenge is how to do that. That is the purpose of the Raising Home Run Kids series.
Psalm 127 lays out some marching orders for parents. The Psalmist reminds us that “unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted.” As the architect of life, we know it is God’s design and desire for us to pattern our lives according to His blueprints. As many of us have probably discovered, parenting children is no small challenge. Psalm 127:4 describes parents as warriors:“Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.”
Being a parent is not easy. Our children will be told the highest aim in life is to gratify themselves, and do whatever feels right to them. But God has called us to be more than this, knowing that our wildest imaginations cannot fathom the plans He has for us. C.S. Lewis sums it up when he writes, “It would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
We want children who know God. We desire for our children to have a love and passion for God that overflows in a love for mankind. Christian parents have the essential task to teach their children to love and obey God, believe His Word, and trust His promises. By teaching their children to love God, parents build a strong, spiritual foundation for their children. Parents who teach their children to love God leave them an inheritance that will enable them to triumph over tragedy.
Our goals for our children must go far beyond what we can do in our own strength. There are many voices telling us how to parent, but the majority of them reject God’s purpose for our children. Raising home run kids will not happen by accident. We need to be intentional. We need to be intentional in the time we spend with our children. It takes intentional dialogue. We need to talk to our kids in an intentional way that will answer those questions and point them to God. And we must instruct them in God’s truths. Take the time to talk to your children about the truths and promises in the Bible.
- What do you want for your children?
- Is there a right way to parent? Why do you believe that?
- Why is it important to be intentional with our children? What prevents you from being intentional in time, talk and truth?
- How do you communicate the love of God to your children?