This morning, my wife and I got a sitter and joined some friends downtown for brunch. It was a very delicious and rich lunch, and I think my digestive system is still recovering from all the rich and delicious food that we ate over the span of 3.5 hours (Now that's some eating). All this to state that one conversation that struck a chord with me was one in the car ride downtown with my best friend, my wife. As we were driving, we were talking about present day politics (or lack thereof) and craziness in this world. If you and I were to watch the news religiously, let's be honest, it would leave us in a sad state of affairs: This world is spinning out of control and in need of a Savior fast! There have been impressionable moments in the memories of or children: The Holocaust, World Wars (1 & 2), 9-11, The Black Plague, Military action that does not have the support (air, land and sea) for its soldiers, and so much more that can be lasting and in some instances devastating toll our the psyche and rearing of our children. James 1:27 states, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
We were talking about everything from gun control, conspiracy theories to the core of the problem and my wife, being astute, stated that much of the bad comes from this world. The world (media and entertainment) promotes Sensationalism and Desensitization. That is, the two issues that really need to be addressed by society are these two things previously mentioned. 1 John 2:16 states it like this, "For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world." When we understand that the world is broken and is sinful and prideful. James 4 puts it this way, "1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."
When we, as sinners, sensationalize violent and sinful acts, how can we expect others not to follow? Not to have the desire to be noticed? Not to have the outcasts of society and the evil promotes agenda? When we, as sinners, promote violent and irrational entertainment (movies, violent video games, pornography (sex trafficking) and the like) how can we expect sinners not to be desensitized and to not look at our brother and sisters as children of God? When we focus on 1 John and James 4 and so much more Scripture on this topic, we begin to understand that we have a responsibility to our generations to come. We have a legacy that we need to leave for those that God gave us to steward over.
Every parent has and will continue to raise their children the way that God has equipped you. As Lance has stated in previous posts, there is no clear-cut way to raise our children. For each of us it is different because each of us has different backgrounds and children to raise. But the bible does give us some guidelines when raising our children. The Bible gives us clear ways to go with our spouses and family.
Some legacy values to instill in our lives and children's lives:
- Stay on the path of purity: By living according to God's word (Ps 119:9)
- Hide God's word in our hearts (Ps 119:11)
- Teach them to be good citizens and to know where their citizenship rests (Ps 119:19)
- Give them healthy boundaries (Ps 119:33-40)
- Teach them gratitude (True gratitude of what God has done for us and what he asks us to do to our neighbor)
- Teach them generosity
- Teach them to forgive and to be compassionate
- Teach them perseverance
- Teach them humility
- Teach them responsibility
- Teach them courtesy and respect
- Train them in the way that they should go (by making your faith real and accountable to them)
- Give them discipline (how can you expect them to be disciples of Christ and they don't understand true discipline?)
- Love them unconditionally (I tell my children that I will always love them no matter what, but some times I may not like their choices)
- If they wander from the truth (bring them back)
Proverbs 3: New International Version (NIV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.