RUMC June 11, 2017
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
I wish to commend all the parents and other relatives who are active in raising their children in the love of God. At the same time, I would like to acknowledge our Sunday school teachers and others for the work you do.
Proverbs tells us best time to impact a young person’s belief in God is when they are young. There is a definite window of opportunity. Unfortunately, when the child becomes older, that window begins to gradually close. Therefore it is important to do all we can right now.
Proverbs instructs us to train our children. This training includes the many ways we influence our children; especially by setting a good example on how to life and showing the way to God. I am sometimes amazed at how adult children unconsciously imitate their parents when it comes to
- work ethic,
- the foods they eat,
- the politics they choose,
- the sports team that they follow,
- how they choose a marriage partner,
- the way they raise their children,
- how they celebrate holidays,
- handling responsibility and social interactions
I would encourage those who are involved in parenting, not to be afraid of sharing your faith with them, for the time for that is limited and short.
As for me I had a very active childhood, but I do remember the times my mother would read stories from the Bible. She made sure I said my prayers at night. Off course, Sunday morning was the time to be in church, or else. If my mother did not do those spiritual things with me, I doubt I would be pastor of a church. My two sisters were also raised the same way, but in their teenage and early adult years they lived wild and outrageous life styles; my parents suffered a lot of pain and grief. However today my two sisters both have families, they have earned college degrees, they have good paying jobs, and they are active in their church. It took them awhile, but my parents’ training or influence finally rubbed off of them. What I am saying is don’t give up.
As parents, we get one chance to raise each of our children. Through our examples, teaching and opportunities we will pass on to them our morals, our faith, and our ethics. In society, there are many forces that influence our children, but there is still no greater influence than a child’s parents.
Let me close. I would encourage all those who are nurturers in their child’s life to be active in their faith. Don’t underestimate your influence; when we do these things, they will discover God’s love, and they will be able to share it with others.