Parents are under attack in our culture today. How we raise our children establishes a foundation for them that will carry them through life. The enemy wants to erode that foundation any way that he can so a huge target for him is the family. Being a parent is hard and we must recognize the lies of Satan and place the truth of Scripture as a priority in our homes. As a parent of two I fall into this category as well. Here are a five basic lies that the enemy wants every modern day parent to believe.
You Aren’t Capable of Teaching Your Children About Jesus
Just who do you think you are? This just may be a thought that crossed your mind as your first child was born and that was a feeling of inadequacy. I felt it as well and wondered how do I have what it takes to raise another human being? I was having enough trouble taking care of myself after all. Satan uses this spiritually to cause you to think that you really don’t have what it takes to teach your children about Christ, so just leave it to the church staff because they are the experts in this field. The only problem with that is Scripture is clear that we are the primary people who are to teach our children about God. (Deuteronomy 6) It is not ultimately the responsibility of the pastor, children’s pastor, or youth pastor to teach our children about Jesus. They really are there more to assist and equip us to do what God has called us to do as parents. That is why it is so important to grow in our relationship with Jesus daily and allow the church to come along side of us and help in this area. As a parent you know your children better than anybody else and are capable of teaching them the things of God. Pray with your children daily and open up the Bible in your home. Even secular studies show that parents have more influence on their children than anyone or anything else so it’s time to step it up. Don’t believe the lie of the enemy and embrace your calling as being a spiritual leader in your home.
God Is Important But Getting Their Education Will Set Them Up For Life
Obviously getting an education is important and parents should encourage their children to pursue the best they can get and be the best they can be. However, even more importantly parents should encourage their children to pursue God’s dream, vision, and call for their lives. Our culture screams this lie of education being the most important thing for your children, but the most important thing for your children is for them to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and surrender their lives to following Him. Their choice of college/major/etc… will be an overflow of that decision. If my children go through life and get the best education and career but do not know about Jesus then I have failed them as a parent. I have literally known teenagers who have felt called to go into missions/ministry and their own parents talked them out of it because of financial or educational reasons. Parents don’t believe the lie of the enemy and encourage your children to pursue Jesus and everything else will fall into place as a result of that pursuit.
Do Everything You Can To Make Sure They Like You
It is difficult as a parent to walk the fine line of friend and authority. I have struggled with this and my children are six and younger. I can’t imagine how difficult this would be with a teenager. We should play and have fun with our children, but at the end of the day they don’t need us to be their friends but they need us to be their parents. The idea that we can’t discipline them or set boundaries because they may not like us is a lie from the enemy. Also lets be real; there will be times when they may not like us for a period of time, but in the long run they will respect us if we remain consistent and clear in what we expect out of them. It would be truly sad if we were to set them up for failure in life just because of our own insecurity, and not having consistent discipline will do just that. If we truly do love them, we will have boundaries and consequences if they step outside of those boundaries.
Don’t Force Them To Go To Church Because It Might Push Them Away
As a child going to church was never an option for me. My parents never did ask me if I wanted to go to church, I just knew that when Sunday and Wednesday rolled around that we would be there. If they would have left this up to me would I have ever skipped church? Absolutely I would have, but I am glad that my parents decided to be parents and forced me to be in an environment that would forever shape my worldview. Obviously, we can’t pass down our faith or force our children to come to faith in Christ or even believe in God. The decision to follow Jesus is one they will have to make and they will have to own their faith at some point. We can however, make a decision to do everything we can to point our children to Christ and establish in them the foundational truth of the importance of the body of Christ. Also our children will only think something is as important as we make it out to be. If we don’t make God out to be a big deal then they won’t see God as a big deal. And by making church optional we are sending the message that God just really isn’t that big of a deal!
If They Fall Away Then You Are A Failure As A Parent
Scripture is clear that as parents we are responsible for the spiritual well being of our children and that there are consequences to how we choose to raise them. However, there are times where we could raise them up in God’s word and upon a firm foundation but they still fall away from or even reject Jesus. I have seen this happen in many cases and the enemy wants you to believe that you are a failure. However, the truth is that we live in a broken and fallen world where we have a sin nature and sometimes no matter how a child is raised they can and will make mistakes or even rebel from the faith they were taught. You may be asking about the verse in Proverbs about training up a child and how they will never depart, and that verse is true but not always in a literal sense. Basically in most cases under that umbrella of truth our children will not stray or at the least they will come back at some point. However, if they stray and don’t come back we must trust in God’s grace and love to pursue and keep our children and that the spiritual foundation we established was not in vain. Most importantly we must not allow the lie of the enemy to cause us to believe that we are always at fault because every individual is ultimately responsible for their own actions. Trust that God is good, that He is slow to anger, quick to forgive and that He loves your child. We must do everything we can to train our children in the ways of the Lord, but ultimately leave the results to God.