In order to have a Christ-focused home, a Christ-focused homeschool, or even a Christ-focused family, you have to be sure of one thing…
That the parent(s) are Christ-focused.
There are plenty of “parent-help” books out there. It’s a HUGE industry! And every “Expert” has his own way of doing things. Some advice is right on the money, others not so much. But all of those books, video series, and conferences are produced by fallible people. I am SO grateful I serve a God who cares about His own and gives them directions on how to do the hard things. We are not doing this parenting job alone. We just have to be willing to sit down and study the scriptures to know what those directions are.
Let’s look at Deuteronomy 6:4-7 first.
4 “ Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons 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 up.”
1) How much do you love the Lord? With all your heart? soul? might? You have to start here. I am convicted daily about my lack of love toward the Lord. He has done so much for me. He sent His only Son into the world to die on the cross and take our place in death because of our sins. How can we not love Him more and more every day? It’s this love for Jesus and the things of God that parents must genuinely model for their children. Children know if we are “part-time” Christians. They know what our hearts treasure. When our kids see that God and spiritual growth are important to us, then they will see spiritual things as something to pursue. Do your kids walk in on you during your quiet time? Do you pray with your kids on a regular basis about all kinds of things? Does your family go to church or small group as a whole?
2) Are YOU diligently teaching your children about the Lord? or are you allowing someone else to do it? Going to church is great, but it isn’t the Sunday School Teacher’s job to train your child. We are to systematically teach our children about the ways of God. This is more of a formal way of teaching, perhaps through Family Bible Times at home. But after sermons, Children’s Church, or activities, do you discuss what was taught? Ask your child to tell you the story or ask any questions he might have. The more you do this, the more you will see the condition of your child’s heart and how well she might be, or might not be, walking with the Lord.
3) Are you available to your child? Are you around enough to “catch” life lessons with them? We need to take advantage of as many teachable moments as possible. I’ll get more into how to do this on Day 5, but this is a less formal way of teaching. This is teaching in daily living. These are the times when we discuss the TV show that is being watched, or how a person reacted to a situation, or how the child disobeyed, or when a child is scared. Parents, we must make sure we know the scriptures well enough so the Holy Spirit can help us bring appropriate scriptures to mind when we need them on the spot. These are those magic moments when we teach God in the little things. And then those little things build that young person into a pillar of strength when (s)he needs God the most.
Now look at Proverbs 22:6. Every parent knows this verse, but I want you to read it from the amplified version of the Bible:
“Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
This verse sums up the role of a Christ-focused parent. But many of us have an incorrect view of what this verse means. For years I thought that if I teach scripture, if I teach the rules, if I teach what is right, if I teach my kids what I enjoy, then whenever my children eventually rebel, they will know the Truth and then return to it.
What a depressing thought! I don’t want to raise prodigal children!
Proverbs 22:6 actually teaches us to cultivate in our children a desire to follow the way they have been created to follow. If we do, as our children grow old, they will know who God made them to be as individuals and will follow that path accordingly. ~ Chuck Swindoll
How much do you love the Lord? And are you showing that same love of God, flaws and all, to your children?
Posts in this series:
1. The Role of a Christ-Focused Parent
2. The Standard Used By a Christ-Focused Parent
3. The Goal of Christ-Focused Homeschooling
4. Resources for a Christ-Focused Homeschool
5. Moment by Moment Christ-Focused Teaching
Please click on the button below to hop back over to the Crew blog to find the next blog to read. Enjoy!!
Anne Marie is a Bible Teacher and Bible curriculum writer with more than 25 years of experience. She has created Bible lessons and taught children about Jesus at churches, camps, Christian Schools, and conferences. She is the owner of FutureFlyingSaucers Resources where she helps busy parents and church leaders teach fun, flexible, multi-age, budget-friendly bible object lessons that enhance the spiritual growth of children. She lives with her husband and three children in South Carolina.