Very few would argue that our world is growing more and more secular each year. Humanism, theological liberalism, evolutionary thinking, etc. is changing the way we think, the way we live (morals), and the way we make decisions (ethics). So, the real question is: For Christian parents who want to raise their kids to love and fear the Lord (for that is the beginning of wisdom – Proverbs 1:7), there is a real challenge before us in raising our kids in such a way that they can walk confidently in a world that directly and indirectly seeks to combat their faith.
God told the children of Israel to:
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (ESV)
The reason God instructed parents to teach their children His truths is so that they would not embrace the paganism that surrounded their nation, and that they would follow the Lord God. We know, by reading the history of the Old Testament, that the children of Israel did in fact embrace other man-made gods and tried to mix it with the faith of their fathers. This led them away from God and His blessings.
I believe the command for parents to teach their children the ways of God is still important, current, and vital. Without parents doing this, it will very difficult for their children to know what God says, why He said it, why they should follow it, and how they should follow it. While they should be getting this instruction at their local church, that is just to supplement what they are to be learning at home. My wife and I try really hard to teach our children about the Lord. We homeschool our children, which part of their curriculum is to learn God’s truth. I am not sure how we would teach them if they went to school, had to come home and do homework, and both my wife and I had full-time jobs. I know some Christian parents do it, but I do think the percentage is VERY low.
A note for the Christian parents who send their kids to public or private school: you are sending your kids to a pagan environment where they are being told that what you are teaching them about God is wrong, false, and stupid. Here a message by Dr. Charles Stanely who is a pastor in the middle of the Bible belt where many of the teachers are Christians. Click on the link. It is less than 2 minutes.
So, Christian parents, “how are you going to prepare your children?” We as parents will one day stand before God and give an account on how we raised our kids to know Him. We can not force our children to believe in God. But we are to point them to Him (daily, regularly, and diligently), and get the word of God to their ears. God can get it from their ears to their heart. But as for me and my house, I have decided that my kids knowledge of God and His word is more important than math, English, French, science, geography, etc. While all those other subjects are good and important, they are secondary to God’s word. I would rather my kids be poor but walking with God than a rich, successful, secular humanist whose testimony is: I use to go to church with my parents, but I got over it and no longer believe.
Parents: raise your children to love, adore, worship, and obey God. Teach them His word. Make it the most important role you have as a parent.
Very good post! Christian parents sends their children to school everyday for 6 hours sometimes more thinking and trusting the pagan system to raise their children. Most of them think that the system is not that bad and that it is mostly good. We need to raise the awareness of what is really going on in the school system. There is a good documentary called IndoctriNation that parents should watch.
Ron, how do you do this in Quebec? I was born and raised there and the last time I visited, the culture went from bad to worse! I married my American husband in 1989 and moved to the states, homeschooled our four children and now transitioning them to college here in Colorado and we still have our challenges but feel thankful that those challenges are not faced in Quebec…….May the Lord bless the work of your hands and may you touch many lives of my people up there………bless you! Johanne
Thank you for the comment, Johanne. Raising children in our world today is not easy. The main thing is not the method of schooling, but that parents be intentional in teaching their children about Christ. This takes daily discipline. While Quebec is extremely secular, by God’s grace we are doing well. The Evangelical Church is steady growing as well. Thanks again for your comment.
When I go visit my family I will make a point to visit you in Quebec. We sent our girls this summer to stay with my parents for 5 weeks and they came back to us fluent. Our boys have no interest in speaking French sadly. Yes, I agree with you that being intentional in training our children is most important. Since I grew up Catholic and really secular, and since I am in touch with many of my highschool friends that are still Catholic and secular, it has been good for us to live away and raise our family in the ways of the Lord. I do miss taking care of my parents though. The trade-off is at times so hard to bear but we are all here to live out our lives to please God and if that is what it takes for us to be ‘set-apart’ then it is the sacrifice I am willing to take for the Lord. May God keep you strong as a parent and vigilant to share His Word with my people. They so need to hear the Truth! Bless you much!
Thank you. I look forward to hopefully meeting you some day.
Reblogged this on ronyoungjr.net and commented:
To date, this has been my most popular post. One thing I must add that was mistaken the last time, is that this post is NOT the promotion of a certain method of schooling, but a CRY OUT for parents to take charge of their children’s spiritual upbringing. If we as parents won’t teach our kids, there stands a secular world out there just licking their lips for the opportunity to devour their minds. May we be diligent to teach them the word of God.
Amen! for the record, I’ve seen so many homeschooled and leaving the Faith as well……..it is parenting with intention that matters…….
I do appreciate your insight into focusing on teaching God’s Word to our children. I agree that it’s critically important. However, the post deals little with raising Christian kids in a secular world with the exception of suggesting we remove the kids from the secular world.
How should families deal with the issues that go along with living in a secular world? What strategies should parents use to combat the influences from a secular world? My nine year old is beginning to deal with issues at school as well as church that are a result of the secular world in which we find ourselves today.
Bill, thanks for the good question.
I think it is important to engage with our children on the issues they face at school, church & with friends. We do this at the dinner table, one on one conversations, and when we take them alone on car rides into town. We try be intentional in our time with them in discussing the issues they face. I think we should engage with our kids on the subject of peer pressure, immodest dress, secular music, sex, drugs & alcohol, and any other issue they are going through. I also think it is important to address these things before they happen, so they are prepared. So, as parents, we need to know what God says about these things so we can teach them to our children, which is the purpose of the Deuteronomy 6 passage in the original post. We can not make their decision for them, but we can show them the road to take. The key is being intentional, and realizing that God has given us children in order to shepherd down the right path. And, we are to shepherd them with the words of the Good Shepherd, Jesus (John 10). We can not push them, only lead them.