Each week at Dogwood Community Church we see new families attending our services. We had a near capacity congregation yesterday that heard some good music and a great message from Acts 15. This was followed by two men at the alter seeking help from the Lord.
It's wonderful to see Moms and Dads with children in attendance, but our thought for this Monday morning is going to deal with the day to day responsibility for parents in leading their children to Christ.
"And these words, which I command you this day, shall be in your heart – and you shall teach them diligently unto your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up" (Deut. 6:6-7).
It's a wonderful thing to bring your kids to church and Sunday school, but God's word tells us that it's the responsibility of the parents first to rise their children for Christ.
Can I share with you the following study on parenting, from Arthur W. Pink?
"First, this work is far too important to allocate unto others. Parents, and not Sunday School teachers, are divinely required to educate their little ones. Nor is this to be an occasional or sporadic thing, but one that is to have constant attention. The glorious character of God, the requirements of His holy law, the exceeding sinfulness of sin, the wondrous gift of His Son, and the fearful doom which is the certain portion of all who despise and reject Him, are to be brought repeatedly before the minds of the little ones. "They are too young to understand such things" is the devil’s argument to deter you from discharging your duty.
Second, good instructions are to be accompanied by good example. That teaching which issues only from the lips is not at all likely to sink any deeper than the ears. Children are particularly quick to detect inconsistencies, and despise hypocrisy. It is at this point parents need to be most on their faces before God, daily seeking from Him that grace which they so severely need and which He alone can supply. What care they need to take lest they say or do anything before their children which would tend to corrupt their minds or be of evil consequence for them to follow! How they need to be constantly on their guard against anything which might render them contemptible in the eyes of those who should respect and revere them! The parent is not only to instruct his children in the ways of holiness, but is himself to walk before them in those ways, and show by his practice and demeanor what a pleasant and profitable thing it is to be regulated by the divine law. In a Christian home the supreme aim should be household piety – the honoring of God at all times – everything else being subordinated thereto."
Some thirty years ago, when our children were young, I read a book by Andrew Murray, "HOW TO RAISE YOUR CHILDREN FOR CHRIST", and the central message of the study was simply; Parents if you want to raise your children for Christ, you must live for Christ.
Let's do what we can to be in Sunday school and church, and have our children with us while they are still under our control, and will obey and follow us. Dan is teaching a class from Mark 10 next week, that can lead you to be more like Jesus, and equip you to lead your children's hearts to God. Plus they will have the benefit of their own Sunday school class. Look ahead to next week and purpose in your heart to attend with your family, so you will not be one looking back in a few years with remorse.
May the good Lord bless and keep you today, and may you always remember that you're loved!!!