Saturday, October 20, 2007

Raising Godly Children

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up" (Deuteronomy 6:4-7, NIV).

On the FamilyLife Today radio program this week, Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine interviewed Ken Hemphill, an official in the Southern Baptist Convention and the author of Parenting With Kingdom Purpose. Dr. Hemphill made several good points about raising children in a godly way. He emphasized that we cannot make decisions to follow Christ for our children, but we can point them in the right direction. He pointed out that the least likely children to follow Jesus are children whose parents do not actually live out their faith, although they show up at church every week (sometimes even serving as elders and Sunday school teachers). Parents must live with faith, integrity, and love for God and for people if they want to give their children a better opportunity to know Christ. Dr. Hemphill also emphasized that Bible classes, sermons, and youth ministry cannot take the place of parents in teaching faith and biblical values to our children. While those aspects of church life can be helpful, godly parents who intentionally teach their children the principles of God are far more important.

The interviews may be found at http://www.familylife.com/fltoday/default.asp?id=9509&past=1 and http://www.familylife.com/fltoday/default.asp?id=9510&past=1. At those sites, you may either listen online or read a transcript of each program. Both programs are worth reviewing.

2 comments:

Mitchell said...

Great thoughts Terry. As a Family Life Minister I cannot stress enough the value of parental leadership. Youth programs are merely a supplement, for children to thrive the need mom & dad.

Terry said...

Mitchell,
Thanks for your comments. I agree with you. Youth ministry is good, but it should not substitute for parental involvement. Having said that, I realize that many children do not have Christian parents who can point them in the right direction. In those cases, it is appropriate for youth ministers and other Christians to step into their lives as the primary teachers and role models for following Christ. Thanks for reading my blog! I will be reading yours now that I know about it, too.