Monday, February 26, 2018

2 Questions Every Parent Should Ask

As a pastor I meet many different kinds of people and have the opportunity to see people in different stages of life. I see how they carry themselves, how they treat other people, and how they lead their families. The ones I find myself thinking about more than others are parents and the children they are raising. Maybe it is because I'm a parent with Middle School age boys. Maybe it is because I'm a pastor and I minister to families. Maybe its because of the world we see developing in front of our eyes. I really think it is a little bit of all of these. As I watch parents interacting with their children, dropping them off at school, sitting in a restaurant, playing in their yards, or any other number of activities, I can't help but wonder if those parents have asked themselves the two questions I think every parent should ask themselves. I wonder how their lives would be different if they did ask these two simple questions and then took seriously the answers they gave. How would their child's life and the lives of generations to come be different all because they asked, answered, and then took seriously the way they responded. Call me naive but I believe the world we live in, where kids are eating dish detergent and kids are killing other kids, could be vastly different if parents would ask themselves these two questions and then live a life according to the way they should be answered.

Before I share with you the two questions I believe every parent should ask themselves, I want to kindly encourage you not to read any further if you are not willing to do some self inspection. It is pointless for you to read the rest of this post and then scroll to the next item in your Facebook News Feed if you aren't willing to seriously ask these questions of yourself. So if you are willing to examine yourself and the way you are raising your child, then by all means continue to read this post.

Question #1: Am I a Christian?
This question is simple to answer and is either a "yes" or a "no." Either you have received the forgiveness of your sins through putting your faith in Jesus Christ or you have not. If you are a born-again Christian and have experienced salvation, then you know you can answer yes to this question. If you do answer yes to this question then jump to the next question but be prepared for a much deeper level of self inspection.

If you answered "no" to this question I would encourage you to consider putting your faith in Christ. God wants a personal relationship with you and can help you be the best version of a parent, husband, wife, friend, co-worker, and everything else you are. We all have disobeyed God's rules and because of that we are spiritually separated from Him and need to fix our relationship with Him. The only way to do this is through what Jesus Christ did by dying on the cross for you and me. I truly believe the best way to parent a child is from the perspective of one who has had their life changed by Jesus. The reason is we never truly understand love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness, which all parents must show, until we've received it from God. Check out this link or this link to learn more about how you can start a relationship with Christ.

Question #2: Am I doing all I can to raise my child to have a strong faith in Christ?
If you answered "no" to the first question, then obviously your answer to this one will be "no" as well. I encourage you to read further and I pray it challenges you to consider more about giving your life to Christ.

If you answered "yes" to this question I want to commend and encourage you. It is not easy to raise our children to have a strong faith in Christ in the world we live in today. Keep up the good work. It won't be easy, but it will be worth it. God will reward your faithfulness.

If you answered "no" to this question, I hope the rest of this post will challenge you to make necessary and long-lasting changes to the way you are raising your child. In more than 12 years of ministry and a lifetime in church, I have watched as parents have at times been on fire for God and their children have reaped the benefits of it. I've also watched as some of these same parents have quit attending church and essentially jerked the spiritual rug right out from under their own children. Do not hear me saying greater church attendance equates to greater spirituality because it doesn't. Just because you sit in a building at a certain time each week does not mean you are growing spiritually. But weekly being a part of a church is giving your child more tools to build a strong faith in Christ. That being said, chances are if you aren't attending church, then matters of faith, such as prayer, discipleship, worship, service, and evangelism, are not being accomplished in the life of your family. This means your child is being robbed of the things that could help them develop a faith in Christ that will help them weather the storms of life.

Consider this, if you are a Christian and your child is too, then when this life is over for both of you, there will be a reunion in heaven. You can rest assured of your child's eternal destination and you can breathe a little easier. But what about the next 70-80 years of their life? How will they make it? Are you raising your child spiritually to reflect a kid who has been passed along through school and graduated but can't even read? Will your child, who put their faith in Christ as a young person, not really know the God they stand before in heaven? Will your child's first real worship experience be when they stand before the throne of God? If your child is a Christian, then are you doing everything you can to raise your child to have a strong faith in Christ?

One more thing to consider. If you are a Christian and your child is not, then you know what the future holds for them. The Bible is clear that those without faith in Christ do not go to heaven, but instead go to hell. Are you doing everything right now to expose them to the gospel so they can put their faith in Christ, receive eternal life, and go to heaven? Do you have them involved in discipleship and worship, missions and service, so they might understand how much God loves them and wants a relationship with them? One of the greatest travesties in the world right now is the number of children being raised without the same faith in God their parents have because mom and/or dad doesn't see matters of faith as a priority. That's not being judgmental. It is simply the truth. When mom and/or dad have faith in Christ but don't live it out, they say to their child "Don't worry about Jesus because He's not all that important to me." When we give our kids that message, we set them up for spiritual failure. And not just them, but generations to come.

I will close with this. I am very concerned about the world my boys are being raised in today. I could not imagine what it would be like to know that I have not done everything within my power to prepare my sons to face this world. Have Misty and I done everything perfectly, no we haven't. Have we worked hard to make sure they are prepared spiritually to face a world that is running off the spiritual rails, yes we have. Regardless of how you answered the second question mentioned above, it is never too late to make the necessary changes to start equipping your child to have a strong faith in Christ. I hope today's post has encouraged you to take seriously not only your own spiritual walk with Christ, but the spiritual future of your child.

If you enjoyed today's post be sure to Share it on Facebook and Twitter so others can be encouraged too!

No comments:

Post a Comment