As a parent, one thing scares me more than anything else. I wouldn’t call it a constant fear. But it’s definitely a concern. What if my daughter grows up not loving Jesus Christ? What if her generation is the one that gives away some of the freedoms they have as Americans? Will knowing God be relevant to our children as they grow older?
More than once I’ve been told by a friend I make way too much of this. But, between the history of the Israelites in the Old Testament and the many thoughts and actions of today’s youth, am I? Yes, I can do all that I can to lead by example. Li’l V will never have to look far for the cross at our house. My wife and I are devout Catholics. I’m at both mass and a non-denominational service almost every weekend.
How Important is God to Your Child?
My daughter already knows the importance of prayer and that Jesus is our Savior. That being said, every day, we hear examples of people’s faith being unable to withstand the world. There’s no guarantee the Christian faith will be as important to my daughter as it is to me. Heck, there’s no promise that being a Christian will even be accepted by the time she reaches adulthood.
As Christians, we have to be doing something for the faith of the next generation. This isn’t a task that should be left up to the leaders of the church regardless of the denomination you belong to. As followers of Jesus, it’s on us to make sure we’re pointing our children toward the cross in everything we do.
I fail at this on a daily basis. Yes, I make sure my daughter sees me pray. She knows what the Bible is on my desk. That being said, there’s so much more I could be doing to instill a stronger faith in her heart. Only Jesus can save her and grant her salvation. But it’s on me and her momma to make sure she knows just how much being a Christian means to us.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (KJV): And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Notice in this passage, it doesn’t say, “Take your kids to church every week and make sure they are listening to the pastor or priest.” We’re not being instructed to “make sure you find your child a Sunday school teacher who’ll teach your children how to live by God’s commandments.” No. We’re told that we are to “diligently” teach them to our kids.
Reading To Our Kids Isn’t Enough
This doesn’t mean we should read Scripture to our kids before they fall asleep. This isn’t accomplished by making our children pray before they eat. Yes, those are excellent places to start. But that doesn’t teach our children that being a Christian is to be the most important part of who they are as individuals. It teaches our kids to force themselves to read a book before falling asleep and to pray before eating.
As parents, we need to talk to our kids while they’re young about the cross and how horrible Jesus’s death was. They need to know that sin put God’s Son on a piece of wood and every one of us is a sinner. It wasn’t sunshine and rainbows when Noah and his family boarded the arc. The next generation needs to know the depravity Jesus has saved us from so they know where to turn when there’s nowhere else to go.
We don’t have to look very far to see how it all ends when teaching our children about God becomes unimportant. We’re not left to wonder what happens when Christianity loses its value and necessity in our society.
Learning from the Old Testament
Judges 2:10 (KJV): And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.
Don’t sit there and tell me these are Old Testament “stories” that were erased by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These were real-life events that are contained in Scripture for us remember. These are true examples of what happens when God simply becomes someone we pray to instead of someone we live for.
I don’t want to be political, but things are changing. If you’re unable to see it, you need to pay attention. Yes, I’m grown, and there isn’t anyone in D.C. who’s going to say something slick and change how I feel about Jesus. But I can’t say that about my daughter yet. Before I blink too many times, she’s going to be a teenager and boys are going to start sniffing around our house to see where her heart and mind are.
What Our Kids Are Facing
She’s going to have a class full of kids telling her what’s cool and unpopular. If I don’t have Scripture planted inside of her, things are going to get ugly quickly. I have to make sure she knows there are a plan and purpose for her life. Jesus has something amazing He wants her to accomplish for His glory, not for the fame of who she is or her last name. I have to make sure she knows this.
So my point: How important is your faith and what you believe in? What are you doing to share that with the next generation? Even if you’re single and don’t have kids, what are you doing to point someone else’s child toward the cross? Regardless of which body of Christ you belong to, it takes a church to raise a child. What are you doing? What’s your part?
Allow Us To Help You
Feel free to reach out to Gospel Grammar for advice on pointing the next generation toward the cross. If you are a parent, don’t count on someone else to make sure your children know who Jesus is. Make sharing your faith at home important to you. You’re not required to be perfect at this. There will be plenty of questions you don’t know how to answer. What matters is that you’re doing something to point your child toward Jesus Christ.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on gospelgrammar.org
Featured Image by Danielle Macinnes