You would be tempted to say it’s as though some of them had a wrong footing into Christianity. Or perhaps, that may not be the case for some.
An American advice columnist, Ann Landers once said: “It’s not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human being”, and in this case, successful and fruitful Christians as it were.
Every Christian home and family must lay good examples for their children. Our children learn more from what our fathers and mothers do than what they say. When the home becomes a fighting club and brickbats rent the air as freely as the wind, what would you expect from the children?
When everyone is gathered, food is served and neither mummy nor daddy thought it wise to pray before eating, how would you expect such kids to see God as the great provider and reverence Him for His daily supplies? And it’s the same tale at night before sleep – no prayer, no thanksgiving to God for the blessings of the day.
Kids who grow in such an atmosphere eventually become dysfunctional both morally and spiritually. They end up lacking discipline and value which becomes evident in their Christian life as well.
This is why Proverbs 22:6 admonishes parents to “train up their children in the way he or she should go, and when he or she is old, he/she will not depart from it.”
As Christians, training up our kids in the doctrines and ways of the Lord is paramount and non-negotiable. To leave a child to himself or herself only brings ridicule and shame to the parents (Proverbs 29:15).
It saddens to see Christian youths during Church service fiddling with their phones, ‘Facebooking’ instead of facing the ‘Good Book’ while sermon is on.
You would have some chatting on Whatsapp or discussing with a friend about an issue that has nothing to do with the things of God. How do I know this? It’s because I see, observe and sometimes get distracted every Sunday by these unseemly acts.
Permit me not to talk about what some of them even wear, for I am not in the place of God to judge… I desire a change of heart and wish above all things that discipline, dignity of worship and reverence be entrenched in the house of God. And for this reason have I written that my brethren may be encouraged to do the needful at all times.
However, having observed few discouraging traits from Christian youths in the Church and in the ways and manner they live their lives, I suggest these ten (10) tips I believe parents should endeavor to teach their kids about Christianity. Though they are random suggestions (some of which you may already know) but they are useful.
Our kids should know that:
(1) Christianity is not just a religion but a way of life. And that a Christian without virtue and good character is as good as a hypocrite. (Matthew 7:16-20; 2 Peter 1:5-11)
(2) The only good thing about any Christian is Jesus Christ. We are no better than the sinner in our neighborhood but for Jesus and the work of the Cross. As such, by His grace, must we live our lives in gratitude and humility at all times; not counting ourselves better than others. (Philippians 2:3; Romans 3:20-24; Ephesians 2:8-9).
(3) Without faith it is impossible to please God. And this faith comes not by listening to motivational messages but by hearing the Word of God (Hebrews 11:6; Romans 10:17).
(4) The goal of our Christian race is to make heaven, and you won’t make it by merely going to Church, giving offerings and doing good deeds once in a while. You first have to be genuinely born again, follow peace with all men and holiness, live and walk in the Spirit and seek after righteousness till the end (Hebrews 12:14; John 3:5; Galatians 5:16-26).
(5) Just as going to the zoo doesn’t make you an animal, going to Church doesn’t make you a Christian either. Genuine salvation through repentance and by faith in Jesus, doing the will of God in love and living godly in this present are qualities of a true Christian (Acts 3:19; Matthew 7:21-23; Isaiah 30:15; Titus 2:11-12).
(6) To see a Superman movie at the cinemas, you must definitely get there ten minutes before viewing time to choose the best seat. Therefore, going to the house of God (Church) late or not going at all for no reason is surely a disregard to God and the shepherd over you. (Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 Timothy 3:14-15; Psalm 84:10; Ezra 1:5).
(7) It’s easy claiming to be a Christian and that you love God, but the greatest measure of your love for God is to prove it by the life you live - a life of love, peace, forgiveness, meekness, etc. (John 13:34-35; 1 Corinthians 13; 1 John 4:7-9; Ephesians 4:20-32).
(8) It’s very tempting to sleep while sermon is ongoing, but you shouldn’t and mustn’t. The Devil tempts and operates when we least expect, and to give in to sleep during service is to forfeit hearing from God at that moment and to give your parents a bad name. (Mark 13:35-36; 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8; Isaiah 28:23; John 10:16; Matthew 26:14; Ephesians 5:14).
(9) Even believers sometimes err as did Apostle Peter. We make mistakes in our everyday life in this world but whenever you spot another’s error and misdeeds, you judge not and condemn not. Love demands you urge them to ask for forgiveness, repent, pray for/with them and encourage them to stay and remain faithful in the Lord with humility. (Galatians 6:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:14, 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15; Romans 15:1; James 5:16)
“There is so much good in the worst of us,
And so much bad in the best of us,
That it hardly behooves any of us
To talk about the rest of us.~ Edward Wallis Hoch
(10) These seven (7) things must accompany them to Church whenever there is service, be it on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and every day:
(a) Presentable Bible
(b) Functional Pen(s)
(c) Decent Jotter / Notebook
(d) Comprehensive Hymn Book
(e) A mind ready to learn and be renewed
(f) A humble heart that will submit to God’s will
(g) _________________________ you can add the seventh yourself and be kind to share your answer at the comment box below.
Finally brethren, because children are the crown of old age (Proverbs 17:6), parents must make it a primary responsibility to cater for not just their material, physical and educational needs but also their spiritual needs.
We are in dire, dreary and perilous times where the Devil’s hunt for souls is more aggressive than ever. Sparsely will you find anything godly and hopeful from both the conventional media and the internet. Men are becoming lovers of money and pleasure than lovers of God, and “because wickedness and lawlessness abound, the love of many is growing cold (Matthew 24:12; 2 Timothy 3:1-5).
Christians must arise and save their homes from perdition. We must ‘stand in the place of intercession on our knees’ and rebuke the Devil by faith in the name of Jesus to steer clear from our loved ones. And because the Devil knows that ‘children are a heritage from the Lord’ (Psalm 127:3-5), he makes them his target to deprive the future of great men and women who will conquer territories and nations for the Lord.
This is a clarion call for Christian parents to arise from their slumber, defend their homes against the daily assaults of the evil ones and equip their children for the tough battles ahead. “For it is through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).
Christians, be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men and women of God and be strong (1 Corinthians 16:13). May the good Lord make our homes such that are free from the blight of wrong; joyous with love and song. Homes where the children are led to know Christ in His beauty who loves them so; Homes where the altar fires burn and glow.
May God give us Christian homes! May God give us Christian homes!! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Written by: Jacobs Adewale
He is a Christian, blogger, creative writer and poet. He is the publisher and administrator of The Truth Media, an online Christian platform that seeks to build the body of Christ, to encourage believers in faith and to grow in the grace of God.
Publisher of The Truth Media