Friday, May 29, 2015

Parents: Stop Wimping Out and Lead Your Children!

I have many conversations weekly with numbers of parents who are currently in the same place we are in our home – trying to raise Christian children in a world that is less and less friendly to those who love the Lord. I hope every parent will read this prayerfully. This is not aimed at any family I know in particular. I write this as humbly as I know how and as I do so, I solicit your prayers as both a preacher and a parent. I need help: from God, from older mentors, and from other parents of children who are still living at home. Having said all of this, I would like to be blunt.

Parents, will you please stop wimping out and make the firm commitment to lead your children? I don’t know what has happened since I was a boy, but I find that kids are having way too much say-so these days when it comes to the decisions that are being made at home. Maybe it is because parents are too preoccupied with their occupations and the human rat race. Maybe it is because parents have listened to too many modern day child psychologists. Maybe it is because parents are just getting too lazy and are failing to follow through with needed discipline. Maybe it is because parents are not making the commitment to put God and His kingdom first.

Case in point: I am coming into contact with more and more parents who are letting the children decide what the family will do over spiritual matters. Probably no less than 10 times over the last year parents have talked to me about their family’s spiritual goals and decisions and have made the following statements:

1. We decided to let the kids choose which church we would attend.

2. We know that congregation is not doing what is right, but our kids are so involved in the youth group and we hate to take them away from their friends.

3. Our kids really like that church and so we want our kids to have a good church experience so that they will want to go when they are older.

4. I know we miss services and events quite often for ball games, but we don’t want to make our kids hate church and we don’t want to let the coach or the team down. Our kids have made a commitment to the team.

I could list many more statements I have heard that are similar to these. But what is the real problem here?

Parents, you have both a right and a responsibility to make the correct spiritual decisions for your children. If the kids don’t like the decisions you make, too bad. This is not a democracy. For a while, dad and mom are king and queen. They will learn to do what is right by obedience. Even Jesus had to suffer and submit to His Father by obedience (Heb. 5:8-9).

I am not afraid that my kids will hate church because I never let them miss. I am not afraid that they will hate church because the church doesn’t cater to their whims. I am not afraid that my kids will hate church because they miss a ball game to go to VBS. But I am afraid that one day, because I have not led them, that they will not know that God must be first in all things. And I am afraid, that one day they will leave the church, because I wimped out when I should have been stronger than they knew how to be. I am afraid, that I will be guilty of provoking my children to wrath, because I did not bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4).

Parents, I am not the authority on parenting. But God is. Step up and lead your kids! It is not your job to acquiesce to their request. But it is your job to lead them in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:24).

“For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them.” – 1 Samuel 3:13