I wrote the below as I was praying and considering the children we spend time with every Sunday night as a ministry outreach of our church. God makes no distinction in His calling to us all as parents, whether we grew up in church or have never cracked our Bibles. It expresses what I feel as a father, and what I see and feel as we have been working to disciple and meet the needs of the children in our community, both inside and outside of our church.
You have an awesome responsibility. It is a huge blessing, but if you neglect it, it will become an eternal curse. Jesus said:
“If anyone causes one of these little ones to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!… See that you do not despise or hinder any of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 18:6-10)
Do you understand what Jesus is saying? It would be better for you to die – literally to be drowned like a cat tied in a bag and thrown in the river – than for you to blow it as a parent and fail to teach your children to fear and love the Lord.
Do not abdicate your role to the church. It is not their responsibility, it’s yours.
Do not abdicate your role to schools. They are woefully unprepared to teach your children what they need, and they are not the ones who will stand before God at the Judgement to give an account.
You are that person.
Jesus also said:
“Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward.” (Psalm 127:3)
God intends for your children to be a gift, a reward, a blessing. It is up to you to train them to become that blessing. If they are not a blessing (and you know exactly what I mean), then that is your fault. God expects YOU to teach them obedience. God expects YOU to teach them holiness. And God expects YOU to teach them love. Most of all God expects you to MODEL it for them WHILE you teach it to them.
After all, that’s EXACTLY what He did for you.
So don’t blow it. Embrace it – with all its terrifying challenges, exhausting days and nights, and exhilarating, chaotic, up and down insanity – knowing that if you do, God will be with you every step of the way.
And you truly will be blessed.