While a Christian school can help mold students into lifelong worshipers, our parental influence in the home comes first. Only then can the school come alongside us in reinforcing the Christian faith and values being taught at home.
Last night at a parenting class, I had a conversation with a mom, who is also a teacher at a classical Christian school. We discussed how it would be so much easier to have an exact checklist of situational parental do’s and don’ts, but the truth is we wouldn’t seek God if we had one. From the woman at the well asking what a true worshiper is to us as moms seeking wisdom in parenting our children, it’s about spirit AND truth, nurture AND nature. There is no one size fits all formula because we are fearfully and wonderfully made, different and unique. Therefore our parenting towards each child will be different and unique as well.
Our children are worshipers. They cannot help but worship. We are all made to worship something.
Romans 1:25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator –who is forever praised. Amen.
The battle for the great “exchange” in the lives of our children is real. The temptation for our children to gain the world and lose their soul is Satan’s attempt to kill, steal and destroy what God is building up for His glory. Our children will either worship the Creator or they will worship created things of this world.
How do we teach our children to be lifelong worshipers of God and not things?
How do we direct our children to worship the Creator and not the created?
1. Jesus is better.
What? Just that statement? Yes, life application, joyful, Christian living that expresses that Jesus is better than anything else this world has to offer, shows we believe Jesus, too.
Psalms 4:7-8 You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.
2. Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Learning to parent with a God-oriented focus in response to the world begins with understanding who God is.
A lifelong worshiper has to truly KNOW God, not just know about Him, but truly taste and see that the Lord is good.
Tools, or the shaping influences in our children's lives, e.g. church, church program, school, used to build this up within them are just that, tools, not the goal. We can’t depend on these good things to do what God has called us to do when it comes to modeling and teaching our children who God is and who they are in Christ. We must constantly remember in the mission to parent with purpose that life is not about the mission, but the One the mission is about.
3. Help your children to cultivate a personal relationship with God.
You can't control it or force it, but you can definitely influence it. Deut. 6:1-9
Decisions and actions regarding how you parent, lovingly guiding and instructing, is not based on your opinion, but based on the Word of God. Deliverance is not solely success in school, a high status job/position or wealth. True deliverance that breaks bondage comes from an intimate, personal relationship with God.
Knowing God and worshiping Him is the lifelong legacy that will set our children and grandchildren free.
John 8:32 KNOW the TRUTH and the truth will set you free.
John 14:6a Jesus answered, “I am the way and the TRUTH and the life."
4. Love God and love others.
A freedom to love God and love others in your home will lead to peace and joy. There is freedom and confidence in a personal identity in Christ because it is based not on the influence of religion, but on the power of relationship.
Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right and are pleasures forevermore.
5. God is more than enough.
What we, as parents, do with God determines everything. God can’t be irrelevant. God can’t come second or we promote worship of created things. God is more than enough. Knowing Him is more precious than anything else, and with Paul we must proclaim in our families, marriages, homes, and lives that to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
To live is Christ (children, work, status, comfort) and to die is gain (loss, death, regret). Phil. 1:21
What are in the blanks for you?
Do our children see that we are full of joy? Are you satisfied in God? It is very hard for someone to share something they do not have.
Do you claim with the psalmist, “My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips?" Psalms 63:5
I heard the quote from parenting guru, Teddy Trip, “Without true satisfaction our hearts wonder for other lovers.”
What a powerful statement. Isn’t this true in all relationships? Are your children seeing your satisfication, joy and praise as you live being in love with Jesus?
Day to day in a tangible way, we must reveal through our love for God, them and others that nothing compares to the greatness of knowing God. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Do you need a fresh start? Pray for it. Pursue it so that you can live abiding in the Spirit before your kids and they will see Kingdom perspectives and living within your peaceful home, hungering and thirsting for righteousness that satisfies. A strong foundation for creating lifelong worship in the lives of our children is discipleship, modeling how to follow a consuming God, Who desires to be our everything!
On the day you feel you are falling short as we all do; ask for wisdom. James 1:5-6. Claim it and stand on the promises of His Word with mountain moving faith! God is worthy and our children are worth it!