“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he’ll not depart from it.”Proverbs 22:6
I’ve come to observe that more often than not, children of pastors and church leaders turn out to be wayward and go contrary to what they’ve been taught. It’s so rampart nowadays that children from Christian homes happen to be on the top list of criminals.
The mistake many parents often make is that rather than show their children the way of the Lord, they show their children the way of their Church. They are good at performing all the religious rites of taking the kids to church every Sunday and any other weekly service. They ensure that their children participate in the church activities. They do not fail to ensure that their children become workers in the church whether or not they have an experiential knowledge of Christ. Sadly, they also beat the children into a mould that is fit for pastor’s or leader’s children, giving them moral rules and regulations they must live by to protect the pastoral image of their parents.
While ensuring your children engage in church activities or are regular at services are not bad, that should not be your goal for their spiritual lives. They were given to you by God not to become moralist or church goers, but to become people who have the life of Christ. God is more interested in their relationship with Him, not in their regularity of church attendance or morality.
How do you deliver God to your kids?
IT BEGINS WITH YOU
You can’t give what you don’t have. If you don’t have a relationship with God, it’s unlikely that your kids would have any relationship with God. You’re your kids first example of what it means to live the life of Christ. You’re their first pastor and leader. You have more influence on your kids than the children church leaders do. Your lifestyle will influence how they will accept the gospel of Christ. It’s in few cases you’ll find a child whose parents don’t know Christ having a personal experience of Christ.
Perhaps you’re not married, or you’re married with no kids yet, you can begin to shape the life of your kids in the place of prayer before they are born. Speak into their lives words and prayers that would make the spiritual aspect of your parenting easy. Research shows that babies around the 25th to 26th can hear your voice while they are in the womb, and at the third trimester, they are able to recognize your voice. Make use of this opportunity with your spouse to speak to your child. Pray over them, read the Bible to them, amongst other things that will lead to their spiritual development when they are born.
GOD IS THEIR FATHER
The earlier you understand that you’re merely a custodian of your kids, the better it is for you in introducing them to their Father. Let them have the basic understanding that God desires a relationship with them, and He is the best Father to them. Teach them how to communicate with God through prayers and study of His word. When they do anything wrong, let them know that the first person displeased with their action is God. With this, they have a sense of relationship with God. You could also show them that you’re also answerable to God just as they are answerable to God. By this, you are leading them by example.
INTERCEDE FOR YOUR CHILDREN
You may have good intentions of delivering God to your children, but you have to understand that the devil is never resting. He will not sit back and watch you raising your children in the way of the Lord. This is not to scare you, but to make you aware of this realities as well as equip you. After you’ve done all in raising your kids up in God’s way, constantly intercede for them. Pray with them, pray for them, pray over them. Sowing a seed without watering it will lead to its death. The same goes with child training. Sowing the seeds of God’s word in their heart without watering it with prayers will make the word of non-effect in them.
Let me end with this. The greatest joy you can have as a parent is to see your children walking with God and working for God. Don’t lead them to church only, lead them to Christ.