Trying to lead your children in “the way they should go” as Proverbs 22:6 says, starts with the parents. Children will observe their parents faith, and determine how real it is, and if it is authentic or not.
In over 23 years in student ministry, a lot of examples come to mind. One were Parents of a teenage daughter who came to church Sunday mornings, and they said all of the right things. However, their faith was just shown publicly on Sundays, and not really lived throughout the week. Their daughter had never seen her parents read God’s word outside of Sunday mornings, and the only prayers she heard were short superficial ones said right before they ate a meal. She learned at an early age that her parent’s faith was something done on Sunday’s, and that it was alright to live life differently outside of church. She also learned that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ wasn’t something necessary for a Christian, because she didn’t see it in her parents.
Sadly, this teenage girl ended up making poor decisions, trying to live life her way, instead of seeking and following God’s way. She rejected the shallow faith of her parents, finding it meaningless. She got pregnant outside of marriage, the father didn’t stick around, she had the baby, and had to rely on her parents for help and support. Her life went down a rough road, where every day was a struggle just to get by. Her hopes and dreams for her future were shattered.
It’s too bad she didn’t see authentic faith from her parents; following Christ 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year. Seeing them read God’s word for daily direction, and praying to the Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent creator of the universe. Seeing them seek God’s will for their lives, and submitting to His plan and authority. Had she seen that in her parents, chances are very good that she would have sought God’s will for her life, and went down another path.
If you are a parent who hasn’t been fully living out your faith in an authentic and visible way in front of your children, it is never too late to start. The sooner the better. Let them see you praying, reading God’s word, and seeking His will for your life. Let them see that God is first and foremost in your life. Pray with your children before they leave for school or work, pray with them through difficult times, and pray with them when big decisions need to be made. Let them see that God is where your trust and hope are found.
“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Deuteronomy 6:5-7)
Disclaimer: This is not to imply that all parents of a daughter who had a baby out of wedlock, must not have been living a visible and authentic faith. Rather that the chances of it happening would be reduced.
Studies have proven that 70% of Christian raised young adults walk away from their faith shortly after graduating from high school. That means that only 30% continue their walk with Christ. We are challenging parents of preschool, elementary, junior high and high school students to intentionally prepare their children for the ultimate day when they become a young adult. A time when they are on their own, and are responsible for their own decisions. Will they be among the 70% that walk away from God, or the 30% that stay in a relationship with Jesus Christ? What are you as parents doing right now to prepare them for that ultimate day?
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go and he will not depart from it.” What does it mean to “Train up a child in the way he should go?” As a parent, what steps can you take now, when your child is young, to prepare them?
Young Adults of Worth is bringing awareness to the issue that 70% of young adults walk away from their faith, and are challenging parents to intentionally train their children starting at a young age, in “the way they should go.” We will help you in this journey, by providing Biblical guidance on what you can do to increase the chances of your child ending up in the 30%. No one can give you a magic formula or a guarantee; however, God gives us a lot of parenting principles in His word, and He does let us know what it means to “Train up a child in the way he should go.”