It doesn’t require a deep evaluation of our culture to realize that people are becoming more biblically illiterate and more morally deficient. The younger generations are further away from the truth, and what is their hope?
It’s not programs. It’s not personalities. It’s parents.
The best hope for the next generation to find hopeful and helpful paths in this life is through consistent parents showing them the way.
Programs change. They can only do so much. This world always tries to outdo other things for the youth’s attention. Competing with the world on the basis of hype will prove to be exhausting and unfruitful.
Personalities can only influence so much. I have learned things from people who aren’t up close and personal, but the greatest impacts I’ve ever experienced are from those who have been near and consistent in my life.
Parents have the opportunity to do something that programs and personalities cannot do – provide ongoing, consistent, and available opportunities for instruction and imitation.
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.
Read these key verses to grasp the heart God has for parents taking spiritual responsibility for their children:
- Gen. 18:19 – For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.
- Deut. 6:7 – You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
- Josh. 24:15 – And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
- Ps. 78:4 – We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.
- Eph. 6:4 – Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
- 2 Tim. 1:5 – I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.
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.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.