Being an effective parent can seem overwhelming to most parents these days. Through the constant barrage of technological advances that make our children incredibly mobile, their exposure to all kinds of influences via robust social networks, and a society that encourages us to do whatever makes us feel good, how can Christian parents lead and not follow? How can they keep God in their home?
The Bible refers to the devil as our adversary, and his goal is to seek to devour us (see 1 Peter 5:8). He wants to attack our home and destroy our marriage and the entire family. He can use all of the things I mentioned above to accomplish his end. But here is a novel idea: the Word of God, properly applied, still works and causes us to prevail. The question is, how can we use the Word of God to protect our home from the onslaught of our society?
First of all, it has to start with the parents. Consider what God said to the parents prior to taking His people into the Promised Land: "These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts" (Deuteronomy 6:6, NIV). The parents are the spiritual leaders of their home. Imagine if your pastor, being the overseer of the local congregation, did not have the Word of God in his heart. Such a church would have no chance of success. The same is true for parents as spiritual leaders of their home.
Secondly, God said, "Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road." (verse 7). Clearly, from this verse, God is not talking about some passive teaching to our children. Rather, we parents must diligently teach the Word of God to our children. We must openly talk about the Bible around our home. This is not a call to fanaticism or legalism but to loving diligence.
As God continued speaking to the parents, He said, "Be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt" (verse 12). The reason He said this was because He was about to take them to a land flowing with milk and honey, a land with houses they had not built, and vineyards they had not planted, and wells they had not dug (see verse 11). You see, parents, as we walk with the Lord and He blesses us, one of the ways that we safeguard ourselves and our children from forgetting the Lord is by first getting the Word deep into our heart, and then diligently teaching them to our children. People who have a deep relationship with the Lord can enjoy His blessings without forgetting Him.
God also said to the parents, "Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you" (verse 14). You see, when God brought His people into the Promised Land, He did not drive all of the inhabitants out. Those who remained were serving their own gods. The Israelites back then were where we are today. At school, at work, on the park, on the Internet, wherever, our children are exposed to people who serve other gods. The only way we can safeguard our children from this land of unlimited gods is by getting the Word of God in our hearts, and then diligently teaching the same to our children. When we obey God in this regard, He will bless our efforts, protecting our home from the onslaught of this society.
Frank King is a former church pastor. He is currently an evangelist and an author. Frank holds a Master of Theology degree. Through the grace of God, Frank has been blessed to cross cultural lines in his preaching. Website: http://www.efrankking.com
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