By Greg Hinnant
After bringing children into this world, Christian parents should help them find their way through it. How may we do so?
We show them the way by directing and re-directing them to the one who said, “I am the way…” (John 14:6). Such godly guidance requires three primary necessities:
INSTRUCTION. INTERCESSION. ILLUSTRATION.
Instruction — We should diligently teach them about the Way, His words, and His way of life.
Intercession — We should faithfully pray for them in the Spirit to come to, receive, walk, and persevere in the Way.
Illustration — We should steadily demonstrate to them a life lived in and for the Way and Words of God.
Whatever other helpful ways of parenting we discover and practice, these three are essential if we hope to help guide our innocent ones through the wicked wilderness of the world. Naïve and vulnerable to the wily Prince of this world, our children need and deserve two parents who walk with God. But with sin and stress ruining many marriages, happy nuclear families are harder to find.
While two Christian parents are preferable, one, if committed, can become an inspirational parental epistle—A walking, talking Bible message, a Christian living video seen and heard in the home daily. As Christ was the Word “made flesh” before Israel’s attentive eyes, so Christian parents can be Christianity “made flesh” before their children’s curious and impressionable gazes.
God‘s plan is for our parental “Bible story,“ and our priestly intercessions, to influence our children all their lives, calling and recalling them to the way and whom we walk. But our works, ways and sayings permanently impress our children (or grandchildren) for Christ only if we are consistent “doers of the word, and not hearers only.” (James 1:22).
BE AN EXAMPLE
So, Christian parent, be consistent. Day after day, show them the way.
Demonstrate integrity by a thoroughly honest character that doesn’t act deceitfully or unethically, or speak falsely.
Display humility as a soul that doesn’t seek praises, boast on its accomplishments, deny its faults, hold prejudices, or mock anyone: “what does the Lord require of thee but … to walk humbly with our God?“ (Micah 6:8)
Exhibit devotion by walking as a deeply dedicated Christian disciple who takes time “first“ daily to fellowship with his/her King and strengthen his/her ”Kingdom” and ”righteousness” within. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness…“ (Matthew 6:33)
Show dutifulness as a parent who steadily pursues his/her vocational obligations, rain or shine, to provide for family‘s needs: “not slothful in business; fervent and spirit serving the Lord.“ (Romans 12:11)
Demonstrate faith by being a parent who relies on God at all times, “anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer… With thanksgiving” asking God’s help and resting in His “peace that passes all understanding.“ (Philippians 4:6-7)
Display faithfulness by being a parent who always honors covenantal and contractual obligation’s and verbal agreements: “Timothy, who is… Faithful in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 4:17)
Show submission by being a parent who willingly yields to authorities, laws, and rules in the nation, workplace, church, and home: “be subject to the governing authorities (Romans 13:1 ESV)
Exhibit joy as a spirit so free in Jesus that gladness springs and flows out regularly, even during long, dark trials of faith …
This article does not appear in its entirety. It was printed in Issue #72 of An Encouraging Word. Limited quantities of back issues are available for $5 each. Click here to order a back issue.