Now, I’m no expert in parenting or anything, but… we need to raise the next generation right. Come on, you can’t just sit there and complain about the “decline of society” and do nothing about it. The fixing starts at HOME!!!
I’ve had to babysit enough kids of our church-members (when I was a kid myself) to know that a lot of parents don’t even try to discipline their children, and even more surprisingly, don’t bother to teach them the basics of how to love God or to pray. There really is no two ways about it folks, and if you’re not raising up your kids in the right way and teaching them about the love of God then you are doing a disservice to them, AND to the world.
Don’t just force your kids to go to church with you and make them sit quiet there, make them understand why it is important to worship God. Tell them why God loves them and why they should learn to trust Him no matter what. Teach them discipline. Give them reasonable consequences for misbehavior. Don’t let even a single disrespectful word go out of their mouths without a stern correction from you. Teach them not to hurt anyone. Teach them to give to others, teach them honesty, teach them to help people. Teach them gratitude. Teach them to take nothing for granted. Teach them that the world does not revolve around them. Teach them that life may not always be fair to them, but they can get through it with the right attitude and faith.
Honestly, children learn from their parents. So if you’re a parent, your PRIMARY duty to your kid is to live out your life as best an example as possible to them. Don’t just tell them, SHOW them.
I’ve talked to people that said their parents were devout Christians but they never cared to take them to church, or they never talked about the faith to them, and so they felt not inclined to follow the faith. People, it is one thing to give an adult a choice to follow God, but it is another thing entirely to just let your children loose and not give them any direction whatsoever. Let the child choose their path once they are adults. Up until then, you raise them the way God has instructed you to. You are responsible for their moral compass until they are old enough to choose otherwise.
Instill in them all the goodness of charity and love and peace, while also teaching them how to stand strong amidst trials and how to deal with hatred from others with the grace of God. As a child, my parents always taught me the importance of prayer. They taught me that God would hear the honest prayers of a longing heart, not for materialistic things, but if I was in trouble and needed guidance, or if I wanted to help change a situation that was beyond my control for the better.
It is impossible to even begin to explain how much joy I had growing up that way – knowing that no matter what happened to me, I had an all-powerful God watching over me and waiting to answer my prayers. I believed in that strongly from a very young age. As soon as I began to talk I participated in prayer, (got whooped ONE TIME for crawling off in the middle of prayer, and ever since then have treated prayer with utmost respect and gravity), I would try to talk to Jesus as my friend and felt a sense of protection, and I came to actively seek out God’s wonders and mysteries.
My childhood was a blessed one, because I had the savior of the world by my side, and still do. My adulthood is built upon this foundation of faith from my childhood, and continues to support me and help me grow despite the trials of life.
So, please, don’t deny your children the opportunity to grow up with such guidance and sense of purpose. Let them explore God with their young, innocent and beautiful hearts. That, my friends, is the BEST thing a parent can do for their child.
(And plus, it might just lighten my burden as resident church babysitter in the future!)
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)