For those of you with children, turn to page 83 in Kyle Idleman’s book, ‘not a fan’… what? You don’t have the book? Buy it! You can get it through Amazon.com, notafan.com, or at a Lifeway Christian bookstore.
On page 83, Kyle recounts a meeting he had with a father in Houston TX. The father had a prodigal daughter. Kyle states, “As soon as he started the story I knew how it would go. I’ve heard it so many times, even the details seem predictable.” When the man finished speaking, he didn’t look or ask for an explanation, instead he gave one: “We raised her in church, but we didn’t raise her in Christ.” Paraphrasing the last paragraph on the page… we taught her to keep the rules but never about having a relationship with Jesus. We taught her to be a fan of Jesus- instead of being a follower.*All of this is on page 83 of ‘not a fan’, beginning in the second paragraph*
This is such a true… and painful reality. We take our children to church 2-3 times a week, then to special activities and groups. When they graduate out of the ’youth group’, we don’t understand their disinterest in church, why they want to walk away. I know I didn’t understand why until many years later… many years.
The Bible (God) doesn’t say “Take them to church that they may grow in me and learn to love me.” It plainly states in Deuteronomy 6: 6And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7You 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. 8You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. It is the responsibility of the parent to teach their children, to introduce them to God himself, to model a genuine fear, reverence and love for Him ourselves, that they will desire to follow hard after Him.
I now know that I gave my responsibility away to the church because of my lack and my laziness. My lack of hunger, my lack of knowledge. And fear. It is a HUGE responsibility to … bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.(Eph 6:4b) Laziness as in, if I had to teach them, then I had to learn and grow first! Unfortunately at that time of my life I was all about soaking it up, being fed and led, dancing and shouting, and looking down on those who ‘didn’t have the Spirit’ as I knew it. So, I say, ‘I am sorry’ to my oldest children. I love you and wish I knew then what I know now. Parents only operate with their current level of understanding.
So, train up your children in the Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart mind strength and soul. Meet with God first, then share with your children.
You will faint if you reap not!