April 2017 - by Jeanne McGrew

There’s a battle raging and it’s contending for the soul of our children.  Ephesians 6 tells us “for we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces that are in this world”.   2 Cor. 10:4 reminds us Satan is the god of this world. Ephesians 2 calls him the prince of the power of the air, working, seeking whom he may devour, blinding minds so hearers won’t believe the gospel.

 

As parents we see this every day.  It’s the wrestling and contending over the will of the children.  It’s resisting the whining, pouting, and complaining when they aren’t allowed to have their way.  It’s the continual stand against the “Why not, every one else can?”  This is a battle and the bible tells us we are to train our children up in the way they SHOULD GO.  (See Prov. 22:6.) Ephesians 6 tells us to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of THE LORD, not provoking them to wrath. 

Training and discipline are required to bring their will into submission to the word of God.  

Training is always two fold: It’s by instruction and example.  It’s the consistency of words and actions. This demands our lives as parents be living examples of righteousness and purity.  

 

We do parenting just like anything else assigned to us in the Kingdom; by the grace of God.  In faith and through the power of the Holy Spirit who works the love of God in and through us, our children are able to see a spiritual reality in our righteous words and life.    

 

A common pastoral conversation with parents is the discussion about their child “needing” friends and socialization. While true, the temptation to compromise spiritual integrity for the sake of soulish development is doomed to fail from the start. It is a rare child, who needs socialinteraction, who has the strength of character or spiritual maturity to influence their friends for righteousness.  A child with the spiritual strength and that character to begin with does not seek wrong company.

 

We are truly touched by the need of children.  We understand the desire for friends, but we also understand, evil communications corrupt good manners and a little leaven leavens the whole lump.  We share defining points in our children's lives.  The first is when they as children leave our protective homes and engage in the broader culture of the world.  School used to be the first, now with so many parents working, day care has become the substitute for early child care.  Off to school, and whether it is secular or christian education, you are faced with the others standards that challenge yours.  This then begins the norm in your home.  It’s like you fight this rear guard action as the things of the world work their way into mindsets and personal appetites. We as parents must stand on guard for the souls of our children. Hebrews 13:7 gives this exhortation.  Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Parents are the leaders of their homes. 

 

Parenting is so much more than governing behavior, it is first about instilling spirituality.  A heart for God, his word, His will.  Training them in spiritual matters is not the churches job.  This starts in a home where God is first and foremost in all that is said and done.  We think simple instruction is enough, but in reality the care needed to raise a godly seed is so intense that to do it right, requires all of you, all the time, to be all in.

There are no short cuts to raising a godly seed and yet there’s a grace to do this.  

Wherever you find yourself on family’s pathway, make sure you access God’s Grace and trust Him to work beyond your abilities and hindrances.