I’m not yet a father but I’m very worried about what I see happening in the world around me these days. The thought of bringing up children in the world today is one that terrifies me frankly.
I’m a firm believer in the fact that the home is the primary place for children to receive truth that not only informs but forms their character. Christian summer camps, Sunday school, Church youth programs and so on are nice and helpful but they can never take the place of the home as the most effective teacher of Christian values.
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6.
In case you haven’t noticed, we are in a culture war. The degradation of morality around the globe today is far-reaching. Even worse is the fact that the vehicles conveying these anti-Christian cultural values are increasing in number. Social media, advertising agencies, sports, work, leisure, entertainment, music, the arts, recreation and so on, are increasingly bent to complement a popular culture that is subtly and in some cases, overtly determined to obliterate every trace of Christian truth from public consciousness.
If we fail to bring up our children in the way of the Lord, the world will gladly step in to fill the void. It’s a scary prospect to think of allowing a culture that has lost all sensitivity and given itself to sensuality as described in Ephesians 4:19, to form the way our children think about authority, service, responsibility, amusement, justice, mercy and other important character issues.
Today, children are being brought up in a 2 Timothy 3 kind of environment. The Apostle Paul described it this way:
Remember this! In the last days there will be many troubles, 2 because people will love themselves, love money, brag, and be proud. They will say evil things against others and will not obey their parents or be thankful or be the kind of people God wants. 3 They will not love others, will refuse to forgive, will gossip, and will not control themselves. They will be cruel, will hate what is good,
Sound familiar? It does to me! The bible says we should no longer conform to the way the world thinks but the world has a nasty habit of trying to force its way into our homes. It is impossible to quarantine our children from the world system. In fact, we’re not called to cower in fear and hide from the world but rather to go into all the world and dispel the darkness with the light within us.
So how do we raise children who are light-bearers of the good news? How do we ensure their minds are renewed with God’s way of thinking rather than the prevailing thoughts of popular culture?
It’s clear that we have a huge responsibility to instruct our children in the way of truth during their formative years. If we get complacent or relaxed about consciously providing our children with a culture rooted in God’s truth, we can be rest assured that the militant popular culture which is increasingly anti-Christ in its beliefs will have more of an influence on our children than we will ever have.
It’s our job to pass on a culture of value to our children. If we fail them in this, we have failed them big time. Like Joshua, let’s take a stand to ensure that despite the popularisation of a militant cultural viewpoint that is increasingly anti-Christian in its approach, we and our households will serve the Lord.
But if you don’t want to serve the Lord, you must choose for yourselves today whom you will serve. You may serve the gods that your ancestors worshiped when they lived on the other side of the Euphrates River, or you may serve the gods of the Amorites who lived in this land. As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”