Raising children has always been challenging, but there are unique obstacles these days. Above all else, I desire my children to know the stability of a loving home and the reality of a faithful God. I believe those two elements to be the most important things I can provide them to know.
They will not come to know that without intentionality. I must have some type of plan in place if my children are to grow with that security.
- Some say that all discipleship comes from the home and that a specific focus geared toward certain ages is unnecessary and unhelpful.
- Some say to let the professionals do their job in quality church programming for the best chance of your child’s development.
I think that both the home and the church are important. If I consider all the homes that have created a spiritually-flourishing environment, there are common characteristics. With the challenges of our society, I believe a partnered effort between the home and the church is essential for success. These are not in opposition to one another, but you need to ensure that both are working toward the same goal.
First, take full responsibility for the spiritual development of your children. God’s initial plan for the discipleship of the next generation was the home, and He has not changed His mind on the matter (Gen. 18:19; Deut. 6:7; Josh. 24:15; Ps. 78:4; Eph. 6:4; 2 Tim. 1:5).
Do not drop your kids off at church in hopes they will exhibit a faith that is not witnessed in their home.
Your children need to observe a genuine faith in your lives. You will naturally instruct them on things that you value. I pray you will teach them to open a Bible more than swing a bat or ace a test. Even if you feel ill-prepared, you will become proficient in anything you prioritize. You have a limited time, so make sure you fill it with the most important habits and discussions.
Second, ensure that you align yourself with a disciple-making church. This decision is paramount to your family’s health. Regardless of the size of your community, you have numerous church options.
Just make sure the church you pick is worth your marriage’s and their childhood’s formative years.
- If you pick a church solely on a personality, what happens if that person moves away or falls away?
- You can select a church with cutting-edge programs, but I promise you will need more than this year’s flavor of attractional power devoid of spiritual impact.
- If you pick your family based on inconsequential preferences, you will be conflicted about moving when those details change.
You need to commit to a church with a purpose that is biblical and convictional. Your marriage and parenting will need all the help they can get; choose wisely.
Be intentional in what you do at home. Be wise in the church that you call your home.
This world is determined to pull your kids away from God. Do everything you can in these two environments to fight the trend and teach the truth.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.