THE GREATEST LEGACY PARENTS CAN LEAVE THEIR CHIDREN
While our children are the hope of the future, parents are our children’s only hope for the present, and it is time today’s parents assumed their position. The Scriptures are clear: “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord. The fruit of the womb is a reward.” (Psalm 127:3 NKJV)
In the day this verse was written, the Jew would ask, why is a house being built if not a place to raise a family, and why does a watchman protect the city if not for the families that live in it? In other words, the family was and still is the most important element of any society.
However, our culture has declared war on the family, and the future of our society is in danger. As Dr. John MacArthur said in a recent sermon:
“If a child can escape abortion and be born, that child has about a 50/50 chance of being born to a married couple. It is likely that that married couple will get a divorce. It is likely that they will be unfaithful to their marital vows. It is likely that the child will be sent to a public school and come under the influence of those whose agenda is anti-God, anti-Christ, anti-Scripture.”
Satan’s war against our children starts in the womb, and it never lets up. Satan has usurped every entity to which parents have traditionally turned for support, including the public education system that indoctrinates our children in Marxist ideology, the entertainment industry that undermines the basic moral values we try to instill within them, the liberal courts that no longer administer equal justice to those who violate common standards of decency, and sadly, even many churches that entertain the children rather than to teach them the truth of God’s Word. Add to that the pornographic media to which our children are exposed, even on the backs of cereal boxes.
Think about it!! While those precious little ones bear our last names, they are a gift from God. They bear God’s image, and we only have a few years to accomplish our assignment to bring them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. With such formidable foes against us, we dare not lose the eternal significance of even one moment of one hour of one day, for one day we will give account unto Him as to how we raised the children He entrusted to us.
- God’s priority in creating this world was the family unit: a father and a mother who loves and cares for their children.
- God intended the family to be the channel through which His truth is passed from one generation to the next.
- God intended parents to be the dominating force in the lives of their children and to have the dominating influence upon their decision-making process. Therefore, it is not only our right; it is our responsibility to do all we can to minimize Satan’s influence upon our children, even limiting their exposure to the negative influences from their friends, their school, and their access to all forms of media.
In Deuteronomy 6:1-26, God gave parents the pattern to establish a godly heritage within their family.
- Parents are to permeate their own hearts with the love of God – Vs. 5-6, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” This kind of love involves the whole person:
- The heart – the source of our desires.
- The soul – the seat of our mind, will, and emotions.
- The body – the temple of the Holy Spirit.
- Parents are to saturate their children’s minds with the love of God – Vs. 7 – “You shall teach them diligently to your children.”
- Verbally – “Talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” This includes casual conversations that are salted with the savor of the Savior, as well as a specific time set aside each day for family devotions.
- Non-verbally – “You shall bind them on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” This involves visual demonstrations of your devotion to God, such as praying at mealtimes, studying the Bible each day, and setting aside the Lord’s Day for worship.
- Parents are to validate their children’s faith in God when they ask questions – Vs. 20 – “When your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments which the Lord our God has commanded you?’” It is in this “teachable moment” that parents should share their personal testimony of how and when they were saved and why they love the Lord so much. This is when parents give their children the reason for the hope that is within them, and where their faith in God and biblical foundation for their life values are handed down to the next generation.
Finally, as we face an uncertain future, while it might benefit our children to see they get a good education or to leave them with some level of financial security, the greatest legacy we could leave them is to make sure they know God, and understand His unconditional love for us, as expressed through the death of His Son for our salvation, and to have absolute confidence in the absolute truth of His unchanging Word.
As a Pastor, a parent, and a grandparent, I exhort today’s parents to do whatever is required to prepare their children to face the spiritual battle ahead of them. Lead them to so respect and revere the God of the Word that they will make the same resolution as Daniel did as a teenager; to purpose in their heart, they will not disobey God, even if they suffer persecution for their decision. Unless God intervenes, such severe testing is in their future. wje