The Priority in Christian Parenting

1 04 2010

We recently took a survey of 31 students in our youth ministry asking them how much time they spend with their parents reading the bible (we got the survey from Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC, you can find the survey by CLICKING HERE). Here are the results:

20/31 (65%) Said they NEVER/ALMOST NEVER read the bible with their parents
10/31 (32%) Said they SOMETIMES read the bible with their parents
1/31 (3%)       Said they OFTEN read the bible with their parents

Now what if I asked questions like “How much time do you spend with your parents practicing/talking about sports?” or “How much time do you spend with your parents discussing/doing homework?” Or what if I would have asked “How much time do your parents spend helping you have proper hygiene/clothing etc. for school so you fit in with everyone else?”

Parents find/make the time with their children to do homework/sports/vacations/social events/etc.  I’m not saying that these things are “wrong”, but when they take the place of cultivating a relationship with Christ they become an idol!  How many parents would allow their children to skip a baseball/basketball/football game or tournament? Yet, those same parents let their children skip church and church events all the time! How many parents go out of their way to make sure their children are keeping up with their school reading but don’t care to make sure that their children are reading their bibles?

I don’t think I’m being an idealist here.  Discipling our children is a biblical mandate (cf. Deut. 6:5-7). It is possible to make time to read the bible with our children and intentionally cultivate godly character (godly Christian character is more than “morality”).  Parents must think about the message they are sending their children when church and the things of God are not a priority. 

How do you know when things in the home are out-of-order? When parents are ensuring their children are committed to sports, school, and friends but not to church.

You see, the second part of our survey told us that 74% of students wished they read the bible with their parents MORE OFTEN! This means an overwhelming majority of our students desire to be discipled by their parents.  Why do they desire this? It’s God-given!

Parents, this post is not to drag you down, but to lift you up! Your children want you to tell them about this God that you serve.  This should encourage and motivate you to learn more about and grow closer to Him yourself!  As a youth pastor, I want to apologize for our current trends in youth ministry. We have said for so long “drop your kids off parents, and stay out-of-the-way, and let us disciple them.”  You know what that has resulted in? The largest group of college freshman leaving the church in history! I know that youth pastors can make a difference.  I had a few that made lasting Christ-like impressions on my life. BUT, we must realize that God has appointed parents to be the primary disciple makers…

Parents, remember your privilege and responsiblity of being a Christian mom or dad.  I’d like to end with my own modern paraphrase of Matt. 6:25-33… God bless!

Don’t worry about the clothes your kids wear or their ballgames, grades, or what college they will go to.  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

If you’d like more ideas/help/info. on this topic, I enourage you to visit our Parent Helps page at www.fbcdewitt.com.

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