“What we desperately need is a return to biblical principles of parenting. Christian parents don’t need new, shrink-wrapped programs; they need to apply and obey consistently the few simple principles that are clearly set forth for parents in God’s Word.” -John MacArthur
The institution of the family has been under spiritual attack for the past several decades. The cultural acceptance of weak families has spread to the church, as Barna studies have shown that Christian marriages are just as likely to end in divorce as non-Christian ones. The main individuals who are hurt by the decline of the family are children.
I am blessed to have been raised in a household that prioritized service to God before anything else, with parents who loved the Lord with all their heart, soul, and mind. Some of my earliest memories are my Dad praying every morning in his office, and my Mom waking me and my siblings up by playing worship music (very loudly) throughout the house. We also had regular family Bible studies, and I used to read my Bible next to my Mom in the mornings when I was a young child. I credit who I am today with my upbringing. I am also blessed to have graduated from a school (King’s Academy) that emphasizes the role of the family in raising up Godly children.
In Psalms 127:3-5, the Psalmist states the following:
“Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him.
Children born to a young man
are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!
He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.” (NLT)
Glen Schultz, in his book Kingdom Education, says that “Children are God’s homework assignment to parents.” I don’t think there’s a better description of the role of parents in raising up children to ultimately glorify God. However, with this homework assignment comes a lot of responsibility. It’s not enough to try to make your kids believe what you believe; there has to be a heart transformation. As Larry Burkett puts it, “Anything that you can talk your kids into someone else will be able to talk them out of.”
In every Christian family, there must be line drawn in the sand by the leaders of the family (parents) who refuse to stand on anything else but God’s Word. As Joshua 24:15 says:
“But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” (NLT)
I personally believe that all Christian families have good goals in mind when raising up Godly children. Why, then, do many families fail in their goals? There are 2 principles that Glen Schultz mentions in Kingdom Education:
- Rules without relationships always breed rebellion.
- Anger assassinates relationships.
In other words, if children don’t know they have a relationship with parents first, the rules the parents give will seem dictatorial. In line with that, parents who operate in anger will ruin any relationship they’re trying to develop with their children. What can parents do to follow these principles? There are 3 things that parents must provide their children, according to Schultz:
- Christ-like affection.
- Spirit-guided direction.
- Biblically-based correction.
I would challenge every parent reading this to pray over the above 3 provisions, and ask the Holy Spirit how He would have you implement these provisions in your family. We at King’s Academy trust He will “guide you into all truth” (John 16:13a). God bless you and your family in raising up Godly children!
-Alex Miller, Administrator