Yesterday, I a read a blog post entitled, “3 Common Traits of Youth Who Don’t Leave the Church.” The three points are valid: 1) They are converted, 2) They have been equipped, and 3) Their parents preached the gospel to them. Did you catch that last one: PARENTS!
There are a number of texts to speak about the role of parents, specifically fathers. We could consider the following: Eph 6:4, Col 3:21, Ps 127:3
Then there are general verses about every Christian being a minister (servant): 1 Pet 4:10-11 Parenthood is such a ministry. We must give parents:
- Time to be good parents.
- Training to be good parents.
And we must provide them motivation to be good ministers.
Below are some suggestions for the ministry of parenthood.
- Build Credibility. Your relationship with your children matters. We should work alongside them (Neh 4:13-14) when working around the house or in the yard. We should make every effort to be at their events (sports).
- Think Long Term. Parenting does not end when they no longer need diapers. Parenting does not end when they start school. Remember what Ruth said to Naomi and Christ to His followers, “I will not forsake you.” Children need the security of knowing their parents are there and will be. We should be available to our children as long as they need us, even if they forget they need us.
- Look at What They Can Become. Thankfully God sees what we can be not what we are at any given moment. God is patient with us – we should pass patience along: 2 Pet 3:9; 1 Ths 5:14.
- Teach them God’s Word. God designed families as an avenue to teach and grow faith – Deut 6:1-9. Point your children to Jesus – John 10:9
- Pray – Continually! Paul says to “Pray without ceasing.” –1 Ths 5:17. Parenting cannot succeed without God. Pray for your child’s day, week, rest, and future.
- Challenge them to Grow. Set educational goals. Set physical goals. Set spiritual goals. Do not forget that branches that do not grow (produce) are cut off the Vine – Jn 15:6.
- Model What you Teach. Replace the old parental saying, “Do as I say, not as I do” with “Do as I do, as I teach.” Consider Paul’s statement in 1 Cor 11:1. Our children will be like us in many ways.
- Be Balanced. Demonstrate love. Discipline fairly. God is both severe and kind (Rom 11:22) so should we.
- Remember Your Responsibility to train them up in the way they should go – Prov 22:6.