Parents, it’s time for a reality check! The world is WAY different today than it was even 20 years ago, much less 50 years ago. The changes are abundant, and I’d like you to take a closer look at some of these changes that I believe are clouding our ability to see God and His plan for your family, but before we do that, let’s take a quick look at some things that have remained constant throughout all the changes of the last 50 years.
1. The love & grace of God
2. The power of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ
3. The promise of the second coming
4. The combined Words of God, given to us in the Scriptures
These foundation stones for our faith that have been here for us to hold onto have been with us for the last 50 years and beyond. Furthermore, while these have remained the same, the access to items that help them connect in more and more ways are growing like dandelions on a wet spring yard.
Never before have there been so many translations of God’s Word to help us with understanding and comprehension. The industry to produce the Bibles, books and reference materials to encourage and motivate us to follow God with all our hearts is now a multi-billion dollar business that is expanding more and more into the mainstream of American life with each passing year.
What’s Different Today?
If we begin to look at what is different today, what has changed in society that has obscured the view of Christian leaders in Nashville and all around the world?
1. Access to all types of media through television and the Internet.
2. Marketing dollars being spent by the billions to influence children and teens rather than adults.
3. Jam-packed schedules in our microwave oven society. I want it all, and I want it now, right now!
4. The failure of today’s parents to influence and teach their children with consistency and loving, Christlike discipline.
All of the items on this list play a role in the way our society has pulled away from God in recent years, not to mention the physical dangers of things like drugs and alcohol, but their power to effect the lives of our children is not a given.
Their power over our children is under the direct control of parents! It starts at the top, with Dad. Dads, we have to be the spiritual leader of our homes. God gives us the responsibility and the desire to protect those we love, and whom do we love more than our wives and children? Hopefully, no one!
Inappropriate content in movies, television or the Internet can be kept away from our highly impressionable children with just a little effort. By the way, even if it took a lot of effort, wouldn’t it be worth it? Dads, what would you be willing to do to keep your sons from looking at porn, or to keep your daughters sheltered from a young man with a warped view of women as a result of looking at inappropriate images?
God doesn’t just leave it to dads though. He knew there would be dads like me with daughters who were clueless. The dad, not the daughters….: ) Mothers have just as important a role to plays as dads do. Moms, how much better off would your daughters be if they were protected from the unrealistic expectations that are foisted upon them every day in the pages of the style magazines? What would you be willing to do to insure that your girls had a healthy view of themselves and a happiness with the way God made them?
What if we didn’t push our kids from one sport to the next, filling our and their years with activities that only rob us of precious time to be together as a family? What if we made decisions for the good of our children that protected them from fatigue, burnout and stress that can come from these pursuits?
Let’s face the facts: sometimes we’re just lazy, and that laziness is making it more and more difficult to see the vision for the world around us with each passing day. We’ll never be perfect (I’m certainly far from it), but it’s not too late to blow away the clouds and change the way we live.
How do we respond?
I believe it’s as simple as taking consistent little steps in our daily lives that place God back in the center of our families. It’s having a family devotion tonight. It’s taking prayer requests from each family member and praying for those needs right then. It’s teaching service over selfishness. It’s providing avenues for service and growth by keeping them plugged into to activities at TDF. Finally, it’s honoring and adopting the vision of those early children’s workers at TDF by teaching our kids the importance of inviting their friends to church and how to share a simple version of the Gospel.
These steps will help you raise kids that will be spiritual champions! The church is here to help you, but cannot be what your kids will need most. Godly parents with a healthy view of their role in the training of their children. God Bless you as you do your #1 job.