My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge… (Hosea 4:6)” The last thing a parent wants his or her child to become is self- destructive but the reality is that unless we become their greatest teachers, they will have no other choice. When you teach your child, you are imparting knowledge into them. You have the power and ability to provide them with a working understanding for responding appropriately in various situations. “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. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)” God teaches us using this passage of scripture that the words which need to be taught are already within the heart of the parent, who must teach his or her children diligently. This teaching will allow parents to raise children who make life- giving and sustaining decisions throughout their entire lives.
One of the biggest hindrances we can give to our children is a narrow mind about God and about life. When we teach our children, it is vital that we not “put God in a box” because when we do this, our teachings become irrelevant and inapplicable in all social, familial, and academic areas of life. Placing God in a box removes God from being active in our lives, while placing God in the forefront of our lives allows His principles and love to embody our character.
In order for parents to ensure their children’s understandings of God in the real world, they must reiterate, re-teach, and reinforce the Word of God from a myriad of directions. Parents must persevere and not stop until a mature level of understanding for each teaching is reached. This kind of perseverance is challenging but has the power to transform our very society and the world.
Parents must fulfill the role of life coaches in their children’s lives. In this modern-day world where outsourcing is one of the best ways to be profitable, it is tempting to want to do it in every aspect of life including parenting. The reality is that if we want to raise up Christ-like children who have strong values, morals, and purposes, then we need to stop the outsourcing model within our families. Sure we can hire pastors, nannies, therapists, life coaches, and a variety of other professionals to help us “fix” our families but the bottom line is that these business plans leave our families with a major missing piece: relationship.
In order to influence your child, a strong and trusting connection is a requirement. When you maintain or rebuild your connection, your child will be receptive to the life lessons that you must teach each and every day as you live through them. You need to be making real-life, practical connections between everyday life and the Word of God.
Once we stop making excuses and getting frustrated for the need to be repetitious, our children will know and understand how to live Godly lives in the real world. Their conflicts will be resolvable because we will have taught them how to resolve them. If we continue to outsource and/or neglect to teach our children, then they will not know how to safely discern their life’s decisions.