Generally speaking, I’m a fairly upbeat person, and I tend to see the sunny side of things, but recently I read something that tugged at my heart and grieved me as a mom. It had to do with the consequences of poor parenting. Now, I didn’t read this information in a parenting magazine or the latest mom blog—rather, I came upon this sobering topic while reading the book of Judges in the Bible. The passage dealt with the first generation of Israelites to dwell in the Promised Land. Here’s how they were described: “Another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord.” Judges 2:10–11.
Oops, I think the Israelite parents forgot to do something. The kids didn’t know the Lord, nor did they know what the Lord had done for Israel. How could this happen? Weren’t the parents supposed to be passing on the stories about all God had done to rescue them from Egypt and bring them through the desert? Could it be that once the Israelites ended up in the Promised Land, they became busy planting fields, raising sheep, and building houses and forgot about the Lord? Perhaps they thought they would teach the kids about the Lord later when things got settled into a nice little routine. I’m pretty sure that nice little routine never happened.
The distractions may be different today, but the danger is still the same. Between soccer tournaments and cheerleader practices, meetings, homework, and Facebook and Pinterest, both parents and kids have a few things going on in their lives. If we are waiting for our schedules to settle down in order to take time to teach our kids about the Lord, then we may never do it. As parents, we have an important responsibility to teach our kids about the attributes of God and what He has done—not only in our own lives, but in the lives of generations that have gone before us.
How do we do it effectively? Young people tend to learn best from our examples and from teachable moments, not just occasional devotional times together. Teaching our kids about the Lord can happen quite naturally as we talk about Him and point our kids to our loving Father throughout the day. We can expand on these moments through deliberate lessons around the dinner table or before we tuck our kids into bed. Some of the greatest lessons are learned as our kids observe our own love and respect for our Heavenly Father and see the very real effect He has in our own life. The important thing is to be intentional about teaching our kids what the Bible says about God. He has given us the most influential role in society. Let’s not miss the one thing that matters most.
For Your Reflection:
How do we effectively teach our children about the promises of God?