Christian author and psychologist, James Dobson, says that the greatest desire of a Christian parent is that their children will also become Christians.
I understand the desire to see children committed to Jesus. I had and still have no greater passion that to see my children serving God throughout their lives. However, now that I have two grandchildren my deepest longing is to see both of them loving and serving our wonderful God.
So, how do we ensure that we do our best to encourage our children in this walk? I understand that there are Christian parents who still long to see their adult children come to know the Lord in a personal way. I do believe God will hear and answer the prayers of each parents heart. But I also believe that there are some things we can do to help our children in the journey.
Here are a few of my thoughts:
Have family rituals: Many families do not eat meals together—I think we should. Don't sit around the TV and eat, sit and talk at the dining room table. Make some meals special. Have special Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners—make birthday meals special. Try and introduce rituals into your home so that your children have some traditions that they will take into life with them.
Have family discipline: Don't just do a devotion with your kids when you want to—make it a part of your lifestyle. Go to church on a regular basis. We knew a family who complained to us that their children were not serving God. But their children did not attend church regularly because there were always other priorities or they needed sleep or they were sick and needed to recover for school the following day. They wondered why their children were not committed to God! Simply put, the children were made aware that God was not their parents priority.
Have restricted TV time: We all know that the research shows that too much TV is not good for a child especially before they go to school. Some kids wake up and watch TV and go to bed watching TV. Parents wonder why their children are secular in their thinking. The media has captured the hearts of our children and we have allowed it!
Have plenty of family time: Instead of sitting on Iphones, tablets, and other devices, spend time communicating. Make sure you spend time with your children before bed. Do a Bible story and pray with your kids before bed. Don't make excuses, make it a discipline.
When our children are young it is the best time to instill wholesome values into them. Don't let the media dictate your children's thinking and future. Don't let their friends have a greater influence on them than you do. The bible says, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
It may be time consuming, it will take sacrifice—sacrificing TV time etc, but in the end you will be grateful for every single minute you invest into the lives of your children.
I am and always will be,
recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,