Raising children is the toughest assignment that God has given to ordinary, common human beings like you and me! Let me qualify that a little, raising children to honor God in our culture today is the toughest assignment that God has given us. Yet, this is not something new.
We read in the Old Testament, 1 Samuel 3, that the Word of God was rare in those days. There were not many who were living according to the Word of God and God was not revealing Himself to people on a frequent basis. However, this was not to be used as an excuse by God-fearing parents to throw up their hands and declare this to be an impossible task.
In the age in which you and I live, in which godly role models are not placed on any type of pedestal, the assignment of raising children who treasure God and His Word above cultural norms seems also to be an impossible task. So, what are we to do? The odds seemingly are hugely stacked against us! Do we just go with the flow and capitulate? Do we say “Ah, what is the use?” No, never, the Word of God does not leave us that option.
Ana, the mother of Samuel, dedicated her life to raising a son who would treasure God as much more valuable, as much more of a priority, than anything the world could offer. She understood this principle “Therefore the God of Israel declares …those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed.” (1 Samuel 2:30)
It has been my observation, first as a parent, and second as a Pastor, that parents who are seeking to pass the torch of a vibrant, living, dynamic Christian faith to their kids also live out their faith in exactly that way. In other words, theirs is not a “Sunday only” faith, it is neither a list of “do’s and don’ts.” Their lives are built on Jesus Christ being the absolute treasure of who they are and seek to treasure him in all they desire to accomplish in life. Simply put, they live for His glory every waking minute. They seek to be difference makers for the Lord in every sphere of life. They pass on the torch with passion devotion to Jesus Christ.
There are no guarantees offered here. Proverbs 22:6 does not guarantee that if you raise your kids the ‘right way’ that they will follow that way. However, your constant godly love and incessant prayer for them will be a reminder to them, no matter what age they are, that life’s greatest treasure is found only in Jesus. Yes, you will love them, you will hurt and cry for them, and you will pattern your life after the principle of honouring God. By His grace and mercy those children entrusted to your care will walk with Him at some point in their life.
Yes, the odds are stacked against parents like Ana in our day, and it actually seems to be impossible to raise kids to totally embrace Jesus. But if we are determined to honour the Lord, we will genuinely model that in our life. My prayer for you is that God will deeply move in your heart so that your children and grandchildren will receive the torch you pass on to them.
For His Glory,
Pastor Bill Finch