KEEPING KIDS IN THE KINGDOM

Father-Son by Anissa Thompson

Father’s day is upon us once again. Happy Father’s Day to all of you dad’s out there! If you know a good dad who has been a blessing to his children, make sure you show him some love this weekend. Dads are so important to their kids’ spiritual development, and they can definitely make the difference in whether children stay on a spiritual path or stray off the beaten path.

I recently went to a church function where the question was asked in an open forum, “Why do many young people grow up in a Christian home, leave the nest, and fall away from the faith?” It is true that plenty of kids raised in homes with Christian parents leave home and want nothing to do with God. But sometimes you can be the most loving, Christlike parent in the world, and your kid will still go AWOL when it comes to Christianity. Look at God, for example. He was the perfect parent and Adam and Eve still messed up.

At the forum, I was able to listen to the opinions of other brothers and sisters in Christ who have children. After pondering on what I heard and boiling down the information, I came to the conclusion that there are three things that parents must do if they want to keep their kids on the straight and narrow:

  1. Teach them how to apply the Word of God to everyday life. When youngsters are taught to apply the Word to everyday situations they face, they will see results. The Word of God will not return to Him void (Isaiah 55:11). When they see that the Word works in their lives and the lives of their parents, kids will get the sense that God is real and will continue to grow in their faith. They will continue to serve Him and apply the Word to their lives even after they leave home and beyond.
  2. Represent God accurately through effective parenting. Parents are the physical representation of God in a child’s life. God the Father must be portrayed as the loving, merciful, non-judgmental friend and mentor that He is. In homes where judgement, condemnation, and conditional love abound, kids get an inaccurate view of Who God is. When God is not represented properly, there is no emotional intimacy in the relationship between children and parents, and that’s the root of rebellion. In fact, Josh McDowell said it best: “Rules without relationship leads to rebellion.”
  3. Encourage them to develop a relationship with Christ. When children are taught that Christianity is about “joining the church,” getting baptized, keeping rules, singing in the Choir, and participating in Sunday School programs and the youth group instead of building a relationship with Jesus, when they leave home, they will be more likely to abandon their faith. Young people need to know how to have an effective quiet time with God each day where they pray, wait on the Lord, and read and meditate on the Word. They need to be taught Who the Holy Spirit is and how to hear and obey His voice. Thus, when kids have built a relationship with Jesus, when they leave home, as the scriptures say, they will be trained up in the way they should go, and when they are old they won’t depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).

In summary, once children leave the home, they are subject to hearing many worldly trains of thought and ideas that are contrary to the Word of God. That is why they must be raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Young people must be firmly rooted and grounded in the Word of God, having read it, applied it to their own lives and experienced its power at work. They must encounter accurate models of God in their homes or have godly mentors outside the home who will draw them to the heavenly Father. Finally, they must have a relationship with Jesus and know Him as Savior and Friend. When children are encouraged to develop spiritual disciplines, as opposed to blindly following rules and regulations with no emphasis placed on the development of a loving relationship, they will be more likely to stay connected to the Vine, Jesus Christ, and bear much fruit for the Kingdom of God.

What are your thoughts about why kids leave a Christian home and abandon their faith? Please leave a comment below. 

 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

Find me on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/TraceyLMoore2012

Follow me on Twitter:  @TraceyLMoore1

Photo courtesy of Patrisyu via Freedigitalphotos.net

Advertisements

BELIEVE YOU HAVE RECEIVED!

Hand receivin house

Are you in a faith battle today? Have you been waiting on God, trusting Him to do something for a long time, and what you desire has not yet manifested? I want to encourage you today. Mark 11:23-24 says, “Have faith in God. If you say to this mountain be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea and believe in your heart and do not doubt, you will have what you say. Verily, I say unto you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and ye shall have it.”

Today, let’s focus on the phrase, “Believe you have received it and ye shall have it.” Have you ever wondered why Jesus used two tenses in that sentence? He said, “You have received” and “ye shall have.” I have often thought, “How can I receive something now (present tense), AND receive it later (future tense)?” In my finite mind, that seems contradictory at best, but in Jesus’ mind it makes perfect sense because He knows if He promises you something, it’s as good as done.

BELIEVE THAT YOU HAVE RECEIVED

Did your earthly parents ever promise to buy you a gift you wanted for your Birthday? If they said yes, it was as good as yours, right? All you had to do was to wait for your birthday to arrive. You had no doubt that you would eventually have your heart’s desire in your hot little hands. In the same way, when you ask God for something that He has promised in His Word, you must believe you have received it, meaning that the request is granted, and the answer is “yes, and amen” (2 Corinthians 1:20)! For example, in the ninth chapter of Daniel, when the Prophet prayed for the nation of Israel, the angel, Gabriel, came to visit him and said, “At the beginning of your supplications the command was issued” (v. 23). This means that although his prayer was not answered right away, God immediately set things in motion that would allow him to receive what he asked of God. In other words, the request was granted WHEN the prophet prayed.

EXPERIENCE THE JOY AND PEACE OF GOD

Child of God, do you believe that your prayer request is answered in the affirmative WHEN you pray? If you truly believe God’s answer is “yes,” you will experience joy and peace as a result. The Bible says in Romans 15:13, “Joy and peace are found in believing.” Your belief that what you ask for is yours will cause you to have a joyful anticipation in your heart about what is to come. Therefore, believe your prayer request has been granted. Your faith in that reality will enable you to patiently wait on the Lord’s timing with a confident and joyful expectation that what you desire is surely on the way. Therefore, even in the face of delay, do not lose hope. Focus on the fact that what you hope for will be in your possession in due time because your Daddy made you a promise.

 

What are you believing God for, and how do you keep hope alive when the going gets tough? Please leave a comment below. 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

Find me on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/TraceyLMoore2012

Follow me on Twitter:  @TraceyLMoore1