As an older mom looking back on raising my children, I have a list of what I see as the crucial ingredients which God led us to put into our recipe of child-raising, which I believe has resulted in the Godly grown children we live with and enjoy. I call this my “Top Ten Things.” (Read all the posts in the series by clicking on the links in the sidebar under “Ten Things.”)
In Child-training, Part 1, I began sharing this list. Our children are 24 and 20, and they love the Lord, and are walking with Him. It is by God’s grace. We all know that we have to rely on Him day by day and minute by minute. There is nothing we can do to save ourselves or sanctify ourselves, of course. But God gives us wise instructions in the Scriptures about things to avoid in our lives, to flee, to not have or be around. These instructions are His Word, which He commands us to obey, but it’s for our blessing.
Do you want to raise Godly children? Don’t brush aside the counsel of Godly older women. (I’m not talking about myself.) Beware of listening to, or copying, other young moms, those who haven’t raised their children to adulthood yet, or the latest how-to book. Satan wants to deceive, and sin doesn’t stand still. Though satan has no new tricks, the world and its sin are a lot worse now than 20 years ago. The Bible must be our guide. And in it, God commands the older women to teach the younger. I don’t feel qualified in myself. This list I’m going to share, even to me, looks stringent–strict. You may say, “Don’t be ridiculous! How can anyone live like that?!” I know it. But God protected us, led us, proved the rightness of doing these things, and gave us the strength to do it. And we didn’t feel deprived, or that we were suffering. Our kids say, “We’re used to being different! So what!”
Where is our focus? What are we living for? Do we want to have fun? Do we want pleasure on earth? The end of that road is hell, pure and simple. If you’re on the fence, and are trying to please your wants and desires, want to just look pretty much like everybody else, and enjoy life, at the same time that you call yourself a Christian, you’d better think again! Maybe you aren’t really saved.
2 Timothy 3:12 (KJV) “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
Mark 8:34-36 (KJV) “And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. 36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
You can’t serve two masters. Jesus Christ will have all of you, or none of you. You need your eyes on your heavenly home, the finish line, and on Jesus Christ as your Lord and Master, surrendering everything to Him, or don’t call yourself a Christian. You will be fooling yourself, and be a bad testimony to the world.
Here are numbers 6-10, one at a time, of my Top Ten Things I would suggest to you, if you want to raise Godly children. Are you ready to be challenged? This is what I shared with the women at our church at our Titus 2 Day:
Ephesians 5:15-16 (KJV) “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
6) No TV—Our TV blew out one day and we didn’t replace it; it was the best thing that ever happened to us. Beware, though, of replacing TV-watching with DVD-watching and spending time in front of the computer. Also, I would recommend you use your computer as a tool. Allow no games, not even educational ones, for your children. Keep the computer in the center of your home where everyone can see what you’re seeing, and doing. Never allow a child or teenager to have a computer in his room. (Or a phone, TV, music, or other electronics.) Use it sparingly and monitor it religiously.
(The dangers are real, the price you pay for a wrong choice is too high to risk it, and on the positive side: you want to develop strong family ties, and you can’t do that with the TV and computer separating you or being the primary focus of your time together! Now that our children are grown, we watch movies and are on the computer more, but we did very little of it when we were raising our children. We were trying to build a family. That meant time together, talking, being together, grabbing those “teachable moments” to impart wisdom into their hearts.)
I know that this is a major area that satan is using to destroy families! If he can’t literally break up your family, he’ll be almost as happy to separate you within the same home, and make you totally ineffective and non-relational. Christians are not any different than non-Christians in this. Please pray about what you’re viewing and how much you and your family are sitting in front of a screen. Consider replacing this time with other activities: talking, playing games, going for walks, doing puzzles, going places like the zoo (if it’s free), visiting other families or having them over and talking about meaningful things, doing projects and work around your home that you can do together, and my favorite: reading together and just being together. So, why not try it tonight? Unplug!