Family, Truth for Today

270 – Parents: Preachers or Practitioners?

Comments Off on 270 – Parents: Preachers or Practitioners? 05 March 2013

We are looking today at the responsibility of parents in their children’s spiritual development. It is easy to preach to kids about what you expect of them, but it is harder to practice that style of life in front of them daily. Preachy parents are usually problem parents in their homes. They practice the application of a double standard. In the book of 2 Samuel, chapter six, we find a good pattern of how parents can be practitioners rather than preachers in their homes. David, though he faced troubled times, was a man who practiced what he preached. “David returned home to bless his family” (2 Sam. 6:20 The Message). David assumed his spiritual duty at home, not just in the public square. Parents have a responsibility to guide their children spiritually by their examples.

Parents should initiate family worship. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength … Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up … Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates” (Deut. 6:4–9 NIV). Nothing will bless our homes more than blessing God through worship. We should teach our children to pray, probe into the Bible, and praise God. Don’t make this a ritual. Choose times and places carefully and look for teachable moments in today’s busy world!

Parents should instruct their families in spiritual principles. Don’t leave spiritual instruction to others at church,  school, or anywhere else. “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4 NIV). If you want them to learn to pray, let them see and hear you praying. Tell them what you are praying to God about them for. Then, they will see, when God provides, that He does hear and respond to our prayers. Teach them how God speaks so they will be more sensitive to His voice. If you want kind children, let them see you being kind. If you want generous children, let them see you being generous.

Parents should inspire disciplined life styles. Whatever we want them to do we should do likewise. “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” (Prov. 22:6 NIV). Solomon is talking about how a child is bent. We should bend them in the direction God wants them to go. We have to consult with Him to keep from failing in this. We should teach discipline both in words and in practice. Affirm the children when they get it right. Monitor the kids relationships. Help the children to see that they are accountable to God even when you are not around. Let the children learn from you that when they are dealing with authority they are dealing with God.

Parents should invite their families to public worship. “Not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching” (Heb. 10:25 The Message). I believe we all know what the “Big Day” refers to. We are to be ready for Christ’s coming again. In view of that we should not avoid public worship together. Kids will not know it is important to worship with other Christians if you don’t make it a big deal in your own lives. Hand down your faith by practicing your faith. There is no one label or denominational tie that will guarantee you eternal life. All Christians will go to heaven. That is not because of whom they are nor what they have done. It is because of what Christ has done for us. Choose a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching, loving church that is giving God the glory for all He is doing in and through them. It should be a church willing to make changes, willing to follow their spiritual leaders, willing to give generously of their time, talents, and treasures. It should be a church that trusts God and trusts the people in the matter of giving. Be wary of a church that is all about soliciting your money and not about saving your soul. That is the kind of church I always led, and it always worked for the glory of God.

Parents should influence their families by their examples. “Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king and reigned for fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother was Jecoliah from Jerusalem. He behaved well in the eyes of God, following in the footsteps of his father Amaziah” (2 Chron. 26:3–4 The Message). Parents are setting our kids up for success or failure spiritually based on our lifestyles. If we are preachers and not practitioners we will never convince our kids of the importance of their relationship with God. Children learn lasting things about their relationship with their heavenly Father by the behavior and attitude of their earthly fathers. Show them how to love their husbands and wives by the way you love one another. Show them how to be kind to others be being kind. Show them how to make intelligent choices by making God-led choices yourselves.

Parents can make a difference in their children’s lives if we are practitioners and not just preachers!

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