Why I am doing this doctoral project? Rationale #1:
Above any other notable rationale behind this project, the greatest reasoning behind equipping parents to be the primary evangelists in their children’s lives is because the Bible commands it. The biblical mandate for a child’s spiritual development is unashamedly centered around the home. The family’s role in the spiritual rearing of children is indicated throughout the entire Bible. The New Testament church saw fathers leading the home spiritually as so important that if a father did not fulfill his parental responsibility, he was unfit for church leadership positions.
For some parents, the problem is not they do not know how to invest in their children spiritually, they simply do not see that act as priority. Most American parents view children’s spiritual development as a positive element in child rearing, but they do not see it as the most important element. If God views children as a gift to parents, then parents need to conform their perspective of parenting to God’s perspective. “There are many worthwhile pursuits in this world, but few of them rise to the level of training our children to follow the Lord and keep his commandments.”
God left no room for misunderstanding in the area of parental responsibility. Parents are intended to teach the children to love God, and they are expected to teach them that truth in every arena in life. A parent ought to teach children to love God more than they love their own parents. Solomon exhorted that a well instructed child should not depart from the teaching of his or her parents. Through these examples and more, the Bible is clear in revealing God’s heart that parents have the responsibility to raise their children spiritually.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.