Wednesday, December 27, 2006

How to raise God-centered kids

Your kids are in trouble. This world is determined to destroy their souls. They live in a culture that promises happiness but delivers only death. Idolatry was never more alive than today. Your children are walking in a marketplace with hawkers selling false gods on every side. I’m afraid – and you should be too.

How can you raise God-centered kids? How can you help them survive in a world of unbelievers? What will it take to raise your kids in a culture that loves everything except God?

God is not silent on these questions. He has given you concrete and specific directions. He knows your kids better than you know them yourself. He loves your children even more than you love them. God himself is passionate that none of your little ones would be lost.

Consider the greatest commandment. “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” This is God’s kind and loving direction to you. They are a rescue line that draws us back to our creator. They are practical for every minute of your day. But the blessing of God’s instruction is not for you to keep only to yourself. Immediately, God gives us concrete ways to pass this treasure on to our children. His instructions move beyond the immediate context and describe His whole plan for God-centered families. The kind of families that can raise God-centered kids even in a world that is at war with their souls. How can you raise kids who take God as their greatest treasure?

  1. Focus first on your relationship with God. You cannot pass on what you don’t have for yourself. Before you can teach you must know. You must love God with all your heart, soul and strength. God wants you to live a radically God centered life. Your life must show that God is bigger and worth more than anything the world is offering.
  2. Be diligent in teaching your kids. Your children will not be God-centered if you instruction is half-hearted. You must be intentional and determined. You must pay the price. The time and effort you invest will benefit you children for all eternity.
  3. Use everyday situations. Your child’s life is full of teachable moments. While sitting at home. On the way to the grocery. At bedtime. In the morning. Show your kids the joy of loving God in everyday life.
  4. Use simple visual reminders. Post fighter verses on the fridge. Write on your hand. Help your kids to make posters of Bible promises. Find ways to remember and think about God’s word. Clutter your home with scripture.
This list is from Deuteronomy 6:4-9. But don’t stop there. God has taught us well in His Word. Remember what is at stake. I’ll be praying for your kids.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9
(4) "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. (5) You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (6) And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. (7) You shall teach them diligently to 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. (8) You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. (9) You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

1 comment:

Glen Woods said...

Hi Tony,

I am a Children's Pastor as well. I discovered your blog through google alerts. Great job on your articles! This particular piece hits home for me as I am in the process of encouraging my church to move more deeply into a way of discipleship that affects the whole of family life, rather than an hour here or there throughout the week. I hope to read more from you in the days to come on this topic. I am currently in the last stages of my DMin and I am planning a dissertation somehat along these lines, specifically focusing on an ethos for evangelism and discipleship which takes seriously the role of everyday life in the family with the nurture of a healthy church.

Thanks again for your article. I plan to visit again.

Blessings,

Glen Woods
Portland, Oregon