Raising Your Children For the Lord

In the early 80’s I presented a similar lesson to this one about raising godly children. After presenting this lesson one Sunday, I had all five of my children come the next Sunday, hoping they would back up what I had presented. But I remember Bart had rather shot down what I thought was important. One of the points was making Jesus real in our home. Bart said that to him it really didn’t matter that we went to church, and what it was that made Christ real to him was that he was made alive and real in our home.

So that has given me the thought to look into a little different area of this subject.

1 Peter 3:6b  “…and you are now her children if you do right and let nothing terrify you.”

Deut 31:6 “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear or be in dread of them; for it is the Lord who goes before you; he will be with you, he will not fail you or forsake you; do not fear to be dismayed.”

These verses are so true for mothers. It is an awesome job. Awesome for you with young children and all that is ahead of you. Awesome for me as a grandmother and walking beside my grown children. Let those verses give us courage.

Thinking of this lesson a sentence came to mind in a paper we received from the Browns in London regarding their vision for the United Kingdom. It said, “History in this country has shown that when a few committed young men and women embrace and live out the principles of Jesus Christ, the nation had not only moved, but changed for the better.” I think that is so true as we consider bringing our children up for Jesus and leading them to follow him. We first have to embrace and live out the principles of Jesus Christ in our own lives and in our home. Our first priority is to be attached to Christ ourselves, embracing him and living out his principles. As we lift Him up in our homes and in our daily life, He will draw those children to himself.

Matthew 19:13-14 “Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people; but Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me, and do not hinder him, for such belongs the kingdom of heaven'”.

John 12:32  “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.”

How can we lift up Jesus in our homes for our children to see? For one thing, by having Jesus live in us and through us and by knowing what Jesus would have us to do…. and then do it. I think a key thought in the Matthew 19 reference is “not to hinder the children from coming to Jesus”. What do we do as parents that ends up being a hindrance to our children seeing Jesus? Perhaps…. arguing with their dad in front of them? Gossiping? Being sarcastic, bitter or revengeful? What can we do to help them see Jesus in our actions and decisions?

We can either claim James 1:5 for wisdom in the little decisions, and perhaps help build the fence at the top of the cliff. Or wait until disaster strikes and pray for ambulance service at the bottom of the cliff. Time with the Lord is so important in raising our children and asking the Lords wisdom on decisions we need to make. If we don’t do this, we will use our human wisdom and what seems good and right to us, not necessarily what the Lord would have us do.

Isaiah 55:8,9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord.”

Example: When Jane didn’t want to be confirmed and instead wanted to be baptized in the water off Fox Island

Don’t let pride enter into your decisions with your children. What will the church think? What will my friends think? It is important to not only pray for our children, but with them for their personal needs.

Example: Praying for Pollyann with sports and praying for tests with Bart

Dick one time shared in a couples class about living on the edge financially, and how he felt he invested in his kids lives, not financially in their future. He didn’t save for college for them and didn’t have large insurance plans. He felt by being a part of Sitzmark Ski Lodge at Crystal and skiing and playing with them, he was investing in their lives and our life as a family. He felt boats, jet skis and waterskiing were also investments in our family, keeping the kids close to home and out of trouble.

There was a couple in the class we were teaching, who we had hoped to get to know better and who after this class asked us to have coffee. We did, anticipating they wanted to talk about the Lord or parenting. But no, he was an insurance agent and he really confronted Dick for telling people, in his opinion, to not buy insurance but rather to spend money on activities to do with your children. So, not everyone agrees with our theories.

In the 80’s when Dick lost his business and we went through some very hard times financially, some people would ask, “Do you now wish you had done things differently and had been more careful with your money?” He always said, “No, I wouldn’t change a thing.” He felt he had his children and they were close to him and that was more valuable than all the money in the world. The Lord did provide a way for them all to do to college for as much as they wanted or needed.

If we can lift up Jesus in purity and truth, not hindering our children in anyway, they will see Him and He will draw them to himself and they will follow Him.

Oh, Lord give us grace to allow Jesus full reign in our lives, to live and shine, so that He will be lifted up.