A family without a commitment to the God of the Bible has no hope of stemming the tide of cultural onslaught. If we mix a little biblical truth, a little secular psychology, a little romance novel ideology, and a little eastern mysticism, we will get a deadly mixture of lies.
So it is not a matter of just caring for our families but a commitment to God needs to be at the heart of the matter. It is this commitment that we need to show and instill in our children. I know that only God can do the heart change but one of the means to this is in our leadership in this area. Children may hear our words (Orthodoxy) but if our actions (Orthopraxy) do not align they will in the end probably learn more form our actions that from our words.
Voddie shares the story of a man whose son went off to a Christian College to play baseball and shortly after going off to college he had abandoned the faith. What was learned was that this family had seen the boy’s baseball as so important that they missed worshiping God on the Lord’s Day when it conflicted with baseball. This taught the son that when it came to decisions that the Christian faith he was told about was secondary to other things so when he went off to college it was relatively easy to slide away as he had already been primed to. His parent’s commitment was reflected in the son. Voddie then shares the person issue he had with education in his family and how he and his wife had done a similar thing with education in that they had elevated it above just about all else. He shares that:
Bridget and I simply had to admit that much of what we were doing was geared toward achieving the American dream at the expense of weightier matters.
To give guidance in avoiding worshiping idols that our culture provides plenty of he uses Eph 5:15-21 and offers the following:
Watch Your Walk (vv15-16) – It is not just our words that matter, and they do, but it is also our walk that says much about what we have said. Children will inevitably not rise above our examples. This, as it is for me, should be convicting because I often have the “do as I say not as I do” mentality.
Be Good Stewards of the Time (V17) - We need to realize we have limited time with our families and we need to spend that time on what is most God glorifying and it is not going to be those things the world puts on a pedestal.
Understand God’s Will (V17) - We need to understand that our children are not ours but they belong to God and thus we should strive to want God to tell us what to do with our children instead of us telling Him.
Constantly Yield to God’s Spirit (V18) – We need to show our children that at all times we seek after God so Voddie offers some practical times we should display this ; Mealtimes, Times of Crisis and Special Occasions as well as on special trips.
Order Your relationships by the Book (V21) - We need to display proper relationships to our children and Voddie offers 3 reason. First as parents our job is to “get our children grown and gone.” Thus we need to prepare them for future relationships so they get their relationship priorities correct. Second, the marriage is the foundation upon all the other aspects of family life. To accomplish this the husband and wife need to spend time together. Marriage also “sets the tone for discipline in the home.” The submission the verse calls out for needs to be seen so that our children understand the God directed call for submission, biblical submission. Lastly, as our children will likely be married someday they need to understand how the relationship is to work in the context of the family.
Next Chapter 3 – Learn to Love