I know that as parents we’re not ultimately responsible for whether our children choose to follow Christ. I know that as they grow up, their relationship with God is just that—it’s theirs.
But I do believe that as parents, we are called to create an environment that makes the choice of following the Lord so much easier.
I do believe that when we stand before the Lord, He will account for our time, telling us whether we did enough to point our children to the Messiah—through our words and our actions.
Deuteronomy 6:7 says that we are to teach our children diligently so that they know and follow the Lord. “You shall teach them diligently to your sons 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.”
In short, you should spend every waking moment, whether sitting or walking, telling your children what it means to follow the Lord. I get that this can be tough, and if you weren’t raised in a house where this was the norm, then you might even be wondering where to start.
So, here’s a few thoughts for those of you who know you should be doing more, but just don’t know how to do it.
- Let the Holy Spirit lead the way. Meaning: Pray through it. You ask God whether you’re doing enough or where to find more time, and He’ll show you.
- Be consistent. Talk with your sons and daughters. Find a place or time where you can share with them the importance of having God lead their lives.
- Make God real. Tell them stories of how God has blessed you, healed, forgiven you. Make this a regular part of your life so that they come to expect God to be an active part of theirs.
- Turn the conversation back to God. There’s a lot in this life that doesn’t glorify God. Find the things that do, especially with younger children. But also don’t be afraid of the things that don’t. Take the time to show your older children where God is missing, and why He is sorely needed.
- Make Him something special. If you aren’t already deep in the Word with your family, make it so, and make it special. Sing, pray, read and study the Bible together. Find a way to make it different than anything else you do but do it together.
Nobody wants to see their children walk away from Jesus, and yet sadly more will than necessary if we don’t take the time to show them the way. We must put up a good fight for them—even when exhausted—so that walking away is as difficult as possible. They need to know the stakes and how willing we are to battle for them all the way.
It’s these examples that will help them during inevitable times of doubt. They may not know that God is there, but they’ll remember that you were.