Waldo is 19. He’s gone off to college and has come home for the holidays. It’s Sunday morning and his Mom comes in to wake him for Bible class. He rolls over and says, “I’ll be there for worship.” Mom wrings her hands and asks again but to no avail. The family saves Waldo a place for worship and Mom and Dad keep watching for him, but he is a no-show. They get home to find him talking with old high school friends. When they finally leave, Mom tells him she is very disappointed that he wasn’t at services. Waldo replies with, “Oh sorry, but my friends called and this morning was the only time they could get together.” Mom pauses and asks, “Are you going to church at school? Are you involved in the congregation there?” and Waldo answers, “When I can.” Mom is heartbroken and says, “But we raised you better than that; I raised you to be faithful”. Or did she?
We are going to spend the next couple of weeks on what I believe to be one of the most important aspects of loving our children: showing them how to be faithful. Teaching them by showing them how to put God first in their lives.
We know from Proverbs 22:6 that if we train up a child in the way he should go, when he’s old he won’t depart from it. I LOVE this scripture! It gives me a peace and hope as I raise my children. But you must ask yourself, “Am I training my children in the way they should go… according to God’s Word? Or am I training them to go in a worldly manner?” Have we let the world convince us of what our children “need” to be a part of or experience in their lives? I believe SO many parents in the church have fallen into that trap and don’t even realize it. Oh, I guess some do. Those are the parents that feel guilty and are defensive about the choices that they are making.
Jesus gives us the way to faithful children in Matthew 6:33. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” We must put God, His kingdom and His righteousness first in our lives. The reason that we put God first is because we love Him; we have a relationship with Him. Our children will see that relationship in our actions and in the priorities we set for ourselves and our family. They see that love in the way that we strive to be obedient. John 14:15 tells us, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” They will see a servant for the Lord’s kingdom, the church. They will see someone who is an active part of the congregation, not because they have to be, but because they love God’s people.
We don’t want to be like Waldo’s Mom and have our children gone from home before we realize the mistakes we have made. Young mothers with little children, decide right now to SHOW your children how to be faithful, how to put God first. Young women, decide before you even have children that God will be first in ALL things in your home.
Next time we will look at some practical ways from God’s Word to teach this to your children so that one day you aren’t looking at your grown child and saying, “I raised you to be faithful…..or did I?”