Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing my absolute best as a mother. I want my girls to grow up knowing right from wrong – to be smart and to dream big. I want God’s best for them, and I desire that they succeed in all that they set out to do.
As parents, we have an amazing responsibility to our young ones. We do all that we can to raise them well. We teach them to share, to be loving and kind, and to stand up for what they believe in. But is this enough? Is it enough to be educated and successful? Is it enough to be a good person with integrity? In all of our efforts to raise well-rounded children, are we really teaching our children anything that matters in the end?
God’s Word gives us some practical advice when it comes to being a parent. We are told to direct them onto the right path (Proverbs 22:6), to not provoke them (Colossians 3:21), and to use discipline to help them grow (Proverbs 13:24).
But the most important thing we can do for our children is to instill in them the love God has for them.
O my people, listen to my instructions. Open your ears to what I am saying, for I will speak to you in a parable. I will teach you hidden lessons from our past—stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us. We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders. For he issued his laws to Jacob; he gave his instructions to Israel. He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children, so the next generation might know them—even the children not yet born—and they in turn will teach their own children. So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands. Then they will not be like their ancestors—stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God. – Psalm 78:1-8 (NLT)
The Bible doesn’t tell us to teach our kids how to be religious. God desires our hearts. He wants us to tell His story because He knows that we must teach them why He is to be glorified and obeyed.
After God rescued the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, He knew that each generation would need to be reminded of all that He had done for them. Several generations later, Israel turned their backs on the one true God who redeemed them and brought them into the Promised Land. Why? Because they had chosen to forget. Somewhere along the line, parents stopped fervently teaching their children the stories of their ancestors.
As parents today, we have so much more to teach our children. We have Jesus. We must never stop sharing the stories of old.
It’s not about raising our kids to be good Christians. We must teach them to love God for who He is and all that He has done. It’s our most important responsibility as parents.
When our children stand before God, their heart for Him will be all that matters.