What do you think is the biggest mistake or “killer” in parenting? Where do parents mess up the most? What is ruining the next generation more than anything else?
Is it letting kids watch too much television? Letting them “game” their life away? Not disciplining enough or the right way? Disciplining too much? Letting kids go to the local public school? Trying to be a child’s friend and not their parent? Letting kids socialize too much or not enough? Having no rules? Having too many rules?
I started to think about all of this after a recent conversation with my mother. My mother relayed how her sister (my aunt) was letting her teenage daughters, (without going into too much detail) basically do whatever they wanted. Now my cousins are not “bad” kids. They are on the honor roll, Homecoming court, athletic teams, choir, etc.
My aunt and uncle take their kids to church. They mean well and like you and me, want what is best for their kids. But what is happening in their family? The silent killer.
What am I referring to when I say this? Simply this… My aunt and uncle are failing to consciously teach right and wrong by God’s standard by remaining silent. There is a false assumption that their children will know right and wrong because they attend church and are “good” polite kids. But what happens when parents fail to consciously teach their children right and wrong, defined by God’s Word? The lines of morality become blurred and relativism reigns.
When parents fail to articulate right and wrong, fail to teach what the Bible has to say about all of life and fail to teach, shape and form their children’s worldview from a Biblical perspective, they are letting everyone and everything else teach and define right and wrong for their children. And it happens quietly. It happens silently. It happens without much notice from anyone.
Slowly, the children of Christian parents turn from the faith. Slowly, what once would have been frowned upon behavior is accepted as the norm. For example, can a boyfriend or girlfriend to stay overnight and sleep in the same bed? A generation or two ago that was a big NO-NO. Everyone knew that it wasn’t allowed at their house. But it hasn’t taken long, from one generation to the next, to see this moral stance become old news and no longer the standard. And the slippery slope to moral decline begins.
My extended family is a prime example of what I am talking about. I’m not just picking on my aunt. I love my family. However, when I think about my aunts and uncles, there is no one who is consciously teaching their children right and wrong by using the Bible as their starting point. It doesn’t mean they don’t believe the Bible to be true. They would all say it is. They all believe in God. They go to church.
But what I am warning you, as parents, (and myself) is that just because you believe in the Bible, just because you believe in God, just because you listen to Christian music or take your children to church, doesn’t mean you are teaching your children to have a Biblical worldview in which all of life can be viewed. Eventually, when your children’s moral compass is set by the worlds standard it defines “right” as “wrong” and “wrong” as “right”. (Just think about issues such as abortion and transgenderism)
When I was younger, it honestly used to drive me nuts when my Dad would say, “What does God require?” But it forced me to weigh whatever situation I was in at the time by God’s standards, not the latest cultural trend or fad. Asking, “What does God require?” or “By what standard?” is a great way to apply your faith to every issue that you encounter, no matter what season of life you are in.
Failing to articulate, failing to teach your children that God’s Word is the starting point and absolute standard for which we determine truth and right and wrong from, will leave your children with nothing in which to stand on when they come across life’s issues. Failing to talk about the current issues currently impacting our culture and their consequences is a silent killer. Failing to talk about history and ideas have consequences is a silent killer. Failing to talk about where we place our hope, in Jesus Christ, is a silent killer.
Being silent and thinking your kids will magically figure it out because you did is a killer. Being silent because it’s too much work to get your Bible out and figure out what God says about an issue is a killer. Being silent because your parents didn’t consciously talk or teach with God’s Word as the starting point with you, and you think you turned out pretty well, so what’s the big deal… is a killer. Being silent because your too busy attending your children’s sporting events and don’t want to take the time to talk about real life issues from a Biblical perspective… is a killer.
Why can’t a boyfriend stay overnight? Why can’t your son stay out until 1 a.m. with his friends? Why does your son or daughter have to respect their teachers or coaches? What’s the big deal if their friend smokes marijuana? Why is homosexuality wrong? Transgenderism? Stealing? Why not abort an unwanted baby? Why can’t your children engage in premarital sex? Everyone else does. Why…why… why?
Simply ignoring these questions by remaining silent is a killer to your family and your children. If the rubber doesn’t meet the road, if the faith isn’t made applicable, then you leave your children with nothing to stand upon. Is it surprising then that a large majority of our children leave the church and their faith behind as soon as they leave the nest?
Parents, do not be silent. Seek out opportunities to train up your children in the fear of the Lord. Teach your children how to combat clashing worldviews. Teach them WHY you believe what you do. Apply your faith to all of life and teach your children to do the same!
“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.” – Deuteronomy 6:6-9