Monday, July 18, 2011

It's *You*...A Letter to Christian Parents


God has designed your family -- not the youth group, not the children's ministry, not the Christian school, but your family -- as the principle discipling agent in your children's lives. 
~Voddie Baucham

Dear Christian parents,

This is a note from my heart to yours. A deep, heart-felt plea...for the future generations depends on *you*. The children we have been gifted with, for this short time, are each individual treasures. Each one with the ability to be used for God's glory. We have been given quite a responsibility in raising these children, haven't we? It can seem as quite the daunting task...but take heart! God has given you the ability to love, care for and train up (evangelize) these beautiful people! On the days...when the moments are difficult and you feel as though you have nothing left in you to give...remember that *He* gave it all for you (and me, too!). He has strength, over-flowing, that He will rain down upon you...giving you all you need to make it through each and every day...no matter what trials you are facing.
Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

~Isaiah 40:28-31 (emphasis mine)

Please don't send your children to Sunday school, youth group or vacation bible school and expect them to teach your children about Jesus. This is your job. This is my job. *We* are responsible for living out our own lives for Jesus and teaching it to our young ones. It's not the church's job to teach our children...the responsibility wasn't laid on them...it was laid upon us. We should be praying, singing, loving and reading the Bible *with* our children. They should know and understand the importance of prayer, worship and knowing the Word of God. That knowledge should come from the teaching and atmosphere at *home* ~ from the father as the head and the mother as the helper.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. ~Ephesians 6:1-4


I *do* understand not all households have both parents there (or maybe only one of the spouses is a Christian). Even as a single Christian parent, you should be instilling all these things in your children. It won't always be easy...but continue to lean upon the One Who loves you most. He *will* give you what you need to disciple these children daily!

Many say that the importance for Sunday school, VBS, and the like is to draw in children who have never heard about Jesus...to help children learn when they don't have believing parents. But I contest, that in most cases, it just gives Christian parents an excuse not to evangelize their *own* children! I want to encourage you...because maybe you are like me, years ago, I thought Sunday school was just what was always done. I thought it was just "the right thing to do". I thought my children would get good, biblical learning while at church...them in their classes while I was in mine. But as my faith grew and as I continually learned more...I realized that Chris and I are the ones to be teaching our children. *That* is what is biblical. Our children sit with us during the worship service now. We pray and read the Bible together. The children and I enjoy singing worship songs together, as well (which we usually do while Chris is at work). Are we perfect? Oh, truly not! We *are* trying our best though, daily. 

I pray for a revival in our nation (and world) of Christians...knowing and doing the right things according to God's Word...going back to the basics. I would love to hear your thoughts on this, as well. 
Thank-you for visiting!

Kindly,
Katy

Resources you may be interested in:

You may want to read THIS about the history of the Sunday school movement. Also I have listened to *many* of Voddie Baucham's sermons...and THIS one is right-on with what I am talking about. And although I haven't read it yet...I have every intention of purchasing and reading Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham.


"We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand... and melting like a snowflake. Let us use it before it is too late." ~Marie Beyon Ray


A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

9 comments:

  1. Amen!

    Family Driven Faith will solidify your belief. We go to a small family integrated church and everyone is together for both Sunday School and church. We love it!

    Deanna

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  2. Amen! We have been so blessed by having our children in church from infancy. Such a blessing.

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  3. So true!! I have been really convicted about this in the past few years. I think many Christian parents rely too much on the church to do the education. It definitely is NOT easy but Dan and I need to be the first Christian education our children get.

    I do appreciate our church and the children's ministry. My kids do learn and I SO appreciate several of the people who dedicate their time to the kids. They are great role models. We work with teenagers and I have come to realize that I can't be everything for my kids, especially in the teen years. I am thankful that they will have other Godly role models to look to, hear from and confide in during those years.

    One other thought, I do appreciate our children and youth ministry that our church offers because we bring several neighbor kids to church with us. These kids come from non-Christian homes. Dan and I don't have the energy or time to education these kids so plugging them into the church programs has been great! It is the only Jesus they are getting in their precious lives! So church ministry does have a HUGE impact. It is also a great way for our boys to see us reaching the lost. Our van and car are always full on the way to church!

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  4. Katy,

    I totally agree with you! As a matter of fact, we've recently discussed this in depth at home. We as parents are commanded to teach our children from the time we rise until we lie down and as we walk through our day. Joy isn't even going to be in our church's youth group. (She is totally in agreement as well). I know many find it hard to understand, but all these separating activities and groups within the church aren't what's best for families. It's our responsibility, not children's church or Sunday School or youth group. Sometimes that time is better spent doing bible studies with our children at home. It is ultimately OUR responsibility as parents! God is clear on that!

    With that being said, we teaach one Sunday a month in our children's church because we know that we can make a difference there. Our kids are in there with us as we do so.

    Are you familiar with Answers in Genesis? If not, please please check it out! Read Already Gone! You will be saddened and shocked!

    Blessings to you for this post, Katy!

    Tammy

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  5. Katy Excellent Post.. Godly Words
    of Wisdom... Thank you for sharing
    from the heart to all the Young
    Families.. May the Lord Bless
    continue blessing you and your
    family..

    Blessings enjoy the day...
    Trish-Ladybug

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  6. Over the years I have attended more than one church. Some split some closed. At some I found that the smaller children were just playing with toys for the sunday school time. I believe the best time to reach childen is at a very young age & pray it sticks with them. Later teens will leave the church for one or more reason & it is almost impossiable to reach a teen who has never attended church. The only sure way to know children are learning Gods word is if we teach them ourselves at home. I know it is a long hard road when a spouse is not on the same page as you are. At times I have felt like giving up but find my way back. Blessings!
    Lara

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  7. A teacher from a Christian school once told me that there were many kids with 'issues' from both non- Christian and Christian homes being sent there, to be as he put it 'fixed'. How sad is that?
    Sunday school is a tough one for me - I dislike segregation in church life and if there was such a thing as a family integrated church here I think I would be likely to go along. I was raised in a Christian home but it was at a children's service at the age of 10 when I first heard and understood what the Gospel was all about and committed my life to Christ. It was a traditional church and the evening service to me as a child seemed very dreary with very long winded sermons and no one seemed very happy even though they were singing triumphant hymns. Children were viewed as distractions by many of the older people but a man with a heart for children ran the special children's service in the upstairs room. It was the opposite of the service downstairs! The singing was lively and the atmosphere joyful. Missionaries came and shared slideshows and stories and the gospel was preached every week...it wasn't just Bible stories and crafts. Although I have many reservations about such programmes these days, I am still thankful that I was sent along to that service and that God gave this man a gift for communicating the gospel to children - as He did JC Ryle who was loved by the children in his congregation. I have used his children's stories with my own children at home to communicate Biblical truths because I know this is my responsibility as a parent.
    I have also read Dr Baucham's book and it did fire me up to have a family driven faith. I also appreciated that the exhortations by the authors of 'Already Gone' to 'live the Word and defend the Word' were given to parents, teachers, youth leaders and pastors but they admonish parents 'whatever you do, don't punt your responsibilities to somebody else' and to 'make the word of God a natural presence in your home' - I love that!

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  8. Love this post, Katy!! It really struck home as I wasn't raised this way and it is a teeny bit foreign to me. I actually cried while reading. I may be a little emotional, since we are having such a time in my household right now, and are sending our children to public school, which is so not what I deep down thought I wanted, and yet, may be what is to be. I don't know...I do know, however, that it is up to me to equip my children as I send them out.
    Ugh...feel sick just thinking about it.
    But, anyway, great post!!
    Elise

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  9. Oh read it! It's wonderful, Katy. I agree with you totally! :)

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I am always so grateful to read your comments! I thank you for the time you took to visit and share your thoughts with me. :o)
May you enter as a stranger and leave as a friend!
Warmly, Katy