Last week, we introduced a very important series of studies designed to help each of you become a better influence in the lives of your children. Be it as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors, block moms, teachers, or whatever your role in the lives of the children around you, it is YOUR responsibility to guide them in the ways of the Lord! But that’s an awesome responsibility.
Where do you start? It’s simple: You start with yourself! The MOST important step in raising your children in the ways of the Lord BEGINS with KNOWING the Lord YOURSELF! None of the rest of the suggestions that you will read about in this series will work for you to their optimal potential unless YOU, YOURSELF, are plugged into THE SOURCE—JESUS CHRIST, unless YOU, YOURSELF, experience God PERSONALLY in YOUR life.
Why? Because God is the ULTIMATE Father: “YOU are MY FATHER, My God, and the rock of my salvation.” (Ps. 89:26 NKJV); “For unto us a Child is born . . .And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, EVERLASTING FATHER, Prince of Peace.” (Isa 9:6 NKJV). As the Father of all fathers, God is the One who is best equipped to help us to be optimal parents!
God is also the ultimate source of the two things that parents so desperately need: wisdom and knowledge: “He will be . . . A rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge . . .” (Isa 33:6 NIV). What better place to attain these two fundamental basics than from the SOURCE Himself?
There is one stipulation however: God only promises to give us what we need if we “please” Him! “To the man who PLEASES HIM, God gives WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE and happiness . . .” (Eccl 2:26 NIV). And how do we go about “pleasing” God? It’s simple, really: God’s greatest pleasure is spending time with us!
The Song of Solomon is full of this message. Here is just one of the many examples found in this book: “Listen! My lover! Look! Here he comes, leaping across the mountains, bounding over the hills. My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag. Look! There he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattice. My lover spoke and said to me, ‘Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me.’” (Song of Solomon 2:8-10 NIV)
The bottom line is this: God loves us so much that merely to be with us is His greatest pleasure. We please Him when we spend time with Him, when we have a relationship with Him! Friends, God is the Source of all wisdom, the Source of all knowledge, the Source of all guidance. He can provide everything that you need for raising and/or guiding those kids in your life. But only if you please Him by knowing Him, by having a personal relationship with Him.
Before you can even hope to positively influence those children, you must take two important steps: You must make yourself right with the Lord; and you must work on your own personal relationship with Him. It makes logical sense, really. I mean, how can you encourage your child to have a relationship with Jesus if you, yourself don’t? How can you stand up before your child as living proof of how beneficial a relationship with Jesus can be, if you don’t know it yourself? How can you follow God’s guidance if you can’t hear His Words of wisdom and knowledge because you haven’t ever learned to listen for His voice?
I want to encourage each of you to drop down to your knees, right now, and either begin that relationship today, or work on deepening it. And once you’ve made that very important step, commit yourself to working on strengthening that relationship every day! (For tips on how to build a relationship with God, see Knowing God or Lessons on Relationship From Solomon.
That’s it, friends. That’s the first step. You must have your own personal relationship with Christ in order to guide your kids in the ways of the Lord!
God bless each of you as you seek to deepen your relationship with Him.
(To access the entire “Bringing up Kids God’s Way” devotional series, please click here.)