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Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

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raising christian children

Equipping our Children: Raising #GenNext Christians

After skipping a week, we are resuming this great series RaisingGenNext from Elihu at Elihu’s Corner. Blessings and enjoy!

(This article is part of the series “Building GenNext.” You can read the previous post by clicking here.)

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“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign 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.

~ Deuteronomy 6.4-8, ESV

The ancient Israelites showcase the rewards of following God and the pitfalls of apathy. We would do well to learn from their mistakes. The above passage from Deuteronomy, while addressed to the Israelites, holds a very important principle for parents and teachers alike: actively teach your children about the Lord and His commands. 

Commit this verse to your memory and to your heart. Write it down and then put it into action—today.

In this series on training GenNext Christians, we have covered two of our 6 E’s—Engage and Exemplify. This next string of posts will cover E number three: Equip: Teach and Train. As this is the more technical part of the 6 E’s, I will have to break this up into several posts.

Teaching begins with example.

The passage above begins with “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your should and with all your might.” As noted in the “example” segment of this series, it all begins with your example. If you do not love God completely and your children observe that failing, they will be less likely to follow the Lord. Conversely, if your love for God pours into your speech and actions, they will know how to emulate that in their own life.

Commit the Word to Your Heart.

Immediately after the aforementioned sentence, Moses says, “these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.” Are you committing the Bible to your own heart? Do you know what it actually says? If you aren’t taking the time to learn the word, how on earth can you teach it to your children?

When I was a junior in high school, I took an Honors Precalculus class. It was horrendous, and not because of the math. Our teacher was the basketball coach, but had a minor in math. As always, I never judge a teacher until he/she proves capability or incapability. Within the first class period, my classmates and I concluded that the man had a very thin grasp of precalculus.. He would start to “help” us with a problem and inevitably get stuck himself. At first, I thought it was a teaching method (I gave him the benefit of the doubt), but I quickly surmised that he just didn’t know precalculus very well. My fellow students and I had to teach ourselves throughout the course of the year. We relied heavily on each other. If we hadn’t been motivated by grades we probably wouldn’t have learned the subject at all.

The point is this: if you expect your kids’ schoolteachers to have a working knowledge of the secular subjects they are teaching, don’t you think it’s fair to say we need to have a growing knowledge of the Bible in order to teach our own children? Consider regular bible study as “continuing education,” much in the same way Doctors, accountants and nurses take “continuing education units.”…..read the rest of the post here: Equipping our Children: Raising #GenNext Christians

Engage: Building Meaningful Relationships with our Children (Raising GenNext)

Here is some great counsel from Elihu on building relationships !with our children as part of his ongoing series on passing a legacy of faith on to the next generation. Blessings and enjoy!

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Last week I kicked off a series on raising the next generation of Christians. (You can read it here). In this series, we will be covering the 6 E’s of raising Gen-Next Christians: Engage, Exemplify, Equip, Entrust, Edify, and Entreat. Each “E” will contain about 3 articles as we will address raising children, training new Christians, and helping each other grow. Today’s article will cover building relationships with children in our congregations.

A Barna Group study reported in 2013, states, “Seven out of 10 Millennials who dropped out of church did not have a close friendship with an adult and nearly nine out of ten never had a mentor at the church.” Furthermore, they report “Those who stay were twice as likely to have a close personal friendship with an adult inside the church (59% of those who stayed report such a friendship versus 31% among those who are no longer active). The same pattern is evident among more intentional relationships such as mentoring—28% of Millennials who stay had an adult mentor at the church other than their pastor, compared to 11% of dropouts who say the same.”

As that study indicates, relationships are not a guarantee that children raised by Christians will remain in the church, but it is apparent that meaningful relationships influence that choice. Your teaching, advice, and (in some cases) rebuke will be better received if you are in a favorable relationship with a child or young adult. If we want people to remain part of the church, we need to do more than wave at them on Sunday morning.

Before we get into the “how’s,” I want to take a moment to make one important note: when I refer to relationships, I refer to those that are appropriate, healthy relationships. I do not condone sexual abuse, rape, extra-marital affairs or anything of the sort. To guard against such things, parents need to get to know the people their child is spending time with. If you aren’t comfortable with a situation, don’t leave your child alone with those individuals. Accompany them, send someone you trust to watch over them, or don’t allow them to go at all. As a preacher, elder, (or any adult male), do not allow yourself to be alone with women or girls to whom you are not related or married. Always have your spouse or a relative present to protect your reputation and that of the child/young adult. For girls/women, the same is true: do not spend time alone with a man without having a relative/spouse present…..read the rest of the post here:Engage: Building Meaningful Relationships with our Children (Raising GenNext)

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