As Christian parents, is it enough to take your kids to church every Sunday? Absolutely not. We need to find every possible opportunity to teach them about God. We need to start them at a young age of reading their Bible every day and learning how to pray. They need to lean about God through the examples that we set – how we spend our money, the words we use and the tones in which they are said, what we watch on TV, and how we react in rush hour traffic. The need to see mom and dad modeling a Christian marriage. Every moment of every day. That is the parenting responsibility God expects from us.
The Responsibility to diligently teach them the ways of God
In Deuteronomy God said we have the responsibility to diligently teach our children the ways of God. We should be teaching them at home, on the road, walking through the park, as they lay down to sleep each night, and the first thing when they wake up in the morning. God expects us to teach them to recognize God’s blessing and to hear His “still, small voice.” We should teach them about tithing and how to be servant leaders. We should teach them to bear the image of Christ and how to be salt and light in the world. God expect us to teach them to love their neighbors – no matter who they are and without prejudice. We should help them memorize Bible verses to hide in their hearts. We should teach them songs that honor and glorify God and teach them how to thank Him for everything.
The responsibility to leave a lasting impression of God
Did you notice the word that is used here for the responsibility we have to teach our children about God? We are to diligently teach our children. Another translations says, “Impress them on your children…” When does something leave an impression? Let’s say you have some cast iron chairs on your deck or porch that have a pattern on them. If you sit on that chair for even a few moments, it will leave an impression on your backside, but quickly fade once you get up. But if you sit on it for 60 minutes, you’re going to be walking around with an impression on your backside for quite some time. The longer you sit, the greater impression it leaves.
God wants us to spend time with him and his Word so that he may leave a lasting impression on us. The more time we spend with God’s Word the greater impression it leaves on us. It is an impression of God’s love, faithfulness, power and promises. An impression that reminds us of just how valuable our relationship with Christ actually is. When we model that to our children, it will leave a lasting impression on them.
A Father’s responsibility
For fathers, you have the opportunity and responsibility of leading your family and growing them spiritually. But good spiritual leadership doesn’t happen by accident. You have the responsibility to make a deliberate investment of yourself into the people in your home. It begins with your own spiritual leadership. You cannot invest into the spiritual development of your family if you are not first investing in your own. Husbands and fathers only lead well when they have paid careful attention to their character and ensure they are both teaching and modeling Godly character.
You need to remember that they know you better than any other person, so you won’t be able to hide even small character flaws from them. Your life is their model, and they will be following your lead. To lead your family intentionally, you need to have a plan for yourself. Ask yourself the question: “Do I have a plan for my development and growth as a man, husband, and father?” If not, you better get one, because your leadership is only as good as your plan—and subsequently how you work that plan.
A Husband’s Responsibility
As a husband, you also have a God-given responsibility in your relationship with your wife. Everything you do to nurture your relationship with your wife will have a direct impact on the overall health of your entire family. How you love your wife, honor her, respect her, listen to her, and forgive her not only teaches your children how to treat others, but it also prepares them for their own future marriage relationship. Your sons are learning everything about how to treat a woman by watching you and how you treat your wife. Your daughters are learning about how a man should treat them. Ask yourself: “Do I want my children to have the same kind of relationship with their spouse as I do with my wife?”
A Wife’s responsibility
As a wife, you also have a responsibility in your relationship with your husband. Everything you do to nurture your relationship with your husband will have a direct impact on your entire family. How you love your husband, honor him, respect him, submit to him, listen to him, and forgive him, teaches your children about God’s design for a Christian marriage. Your daughters are watching you and learning these vital relationship skills that she will carry into her own marriage relationship one day. Momma’s, ask yourself: “Do I want my daughter to have the same kind of marriage relationship with her spouse as I do with my husband?”
Proverbs 31:10-31 describes what a godly wife and mother looks like. Verses 26-28 of that passage says, “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.”
The Investment of Parenting Well
Parenting is tough. It’s hard work. It takes investing time, effort, and energy. That can be hard after a long day at work – but it’s an investment that has lifelong dividends. Even simple investments in the life of your children will demonstrate your love for them and show them they are important to you. In the dairy of Winston Churchill’s father, he penned, “Spent the day fishing with Winston. A day wasted.” Whenever we invest time into our children, it is never wasted time. Investing our time into their lives is a responsibility and our children long for us to just spend time with them – on their level – investing into them each and every day.
We have the responsibility of having an invested relationship with our children
Leading our children requires us to have an invested relationship with them. That means we can’t sit on the couch with the remote or game controller in our hand and issue commands or ignore the kids. Their life is directly impacted by the investment of your time. Be present with them in pursuits that matter to them.
Engage casually with them. Take them for one-on-one dinners. Ask them for prayer requests and pray for them and with them. Extend grace to them when needed. Show them how to do something new, such as building something together, working on a car or a home repair project together. Maybe your something new looks more like teaching a craft or hobby such as crochet, sewing, baking, etc. Or refurbishing a piece of antique furniture together. Have a significant, age appropriate talk with them on a controversial topic and be sure you are showing them in God’s Word what God has to say on the topic. From time to time, ask them about their “high and low of the day” and discover their challenges and disappointments.
When we fail in our responsibility
If you find that spending time with them feels like wasted time or when you fail in your responsibility to teach your children the ways of God, they are likely to spend their entire lives trying to prove their worth to you or trying to earn your love and respect. They will feel unloved, unwanted. They will turn to their peers to attempt to find their self-worth, rather than learning from you that their self worth is found in God.
So, is the non-verbal message you are sending to them saying they are waste of your time or that they are valued and loved and worth your time? Just as Jesus invested in his disciples by spending time with them gave them the skills they needed for the work He was calling them to do, so your spending time with your children will prepare and equip them for the life they will have.
The responsibility to use our mistakes as teaching opportunities
Every parent messes up at times. But even the “mess ups” become opportunities for teaching children about God’s grace and forgiveness. It also empowers them with the skills for extending grace and forgiveness to others. Don’t allow your pride to keep you from saying, “Son, I was wrong. I need you to forgive me.” Then use your “mess up” as grounds for teaching them what God says and about how God forgives us. When you become vulnerable and real with your children by sharing your failures with them, they will soak up your values, beliefs, and faith.
No matter the age of your children, the years you have them at home to influence them are short. Before you know they will be grown adults and stepping out into the world on their own. You will never get those years back. You will never get a “do over.” So invest in them by modeling Godly behavior, developing them spiritually, and investing your time with them.
God, thank you for the blessing of our children. Bringing them up in the admonition of the Lord is hard work, but with Your help, we commit to raising them in the full knowledge of who you are. Help us to parent them well, teaching them diligently about your commandments and love for them. Help us to model obedience to Your Word as we diligently train them every moment of every day in every circumstance.
Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template
Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.[Download not found]
Download our Free 2021 Bible Memory Verse Plan
We’ve put together 52 memory verses for you to hide God’s Word in your heart! You can download the full document for free and then print a new verse each week and as many copies as you’d like. Each verse prints four times on a page so that you can then cut them into index size cards and place them in prominent places where you will see them frequently throughout the day to help you remember to memorize them. Just because you visited our site, they’re yours for free! Download today.[Download not found]
Download our Free 2021 Daily Bible Reading Plan
With just 30-40 minutes per day, you can read the entire Bible in one year. The One-Year Bible Reading Plan consists of both Old Testament and New Testament readings for each day of the year. The Bible is God’s personal Word to you. What is He saying to you today? Open your Bible and find out![Download not found]
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The Self-Care Wheel provides ideas for practicing self-care in six dimensions of yourself: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Sensory, and Social. NOTE: You will need 11X14 paper to print the wheel.
Want to know more about self-care? Our Self-Care blog series targets people who serve in any ministry position and takes a Biblical approach to self-care.[Download not found]
Fight on my Knees
We all fight battles–relationship, financial, cancer, COVID, professional, educational and more. But no matter what the battle, it belongs to God. So, fight on your knees with your hands lifted high. (Based on the song, Battle Belongs, by Phil Wickham.)
For all the seniors celebrating graduation in a few months. Includes Jeremiah 29:11. If you have a senior graduating, this design makes a great gift.
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New in the Teespring Store: The Prayer of Blessing
We’ve added a new canvas print to the Teespring Store.
God instructed the Israelite priests to pray the prayer of blessing every day over the people. The prayer is found in Numbers 6:24-26. Hang the canvass in your home or carry the mug, tote bag, or water bottle and let the prayer of blessing impact all those who you meet throughout the day.
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God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce
What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?
God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:
- Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
- Conversation Starters.
- Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
- Romance Builders.
- Relationship Builders.
- Personal reflections.
- Date ideas.
- Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.
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