Model Christ for the Next Generation
What are Core Values?
Core Values and Beliefs describe what God says are the most important priorities of our existence as a church and as individuals. They are God’s Top Priorities! Core values help us make ministry plans as a church and everyday decisions as individuals.
Core Value #2 – Model Christ for the Next Generation
There isn’t a Christian parent alive that does not hope their kids will grow up and live for God. As parents we do our best; we make our mistakes; and yet we hope and pray that we gave our children the right start to succeed. The apostle John writes, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” When you think of what your kids will accomplish or achieve in life – is loving and serving God at the top of your list? Unfortunately, by our interest and enthusiasm in other things we often communicate that we want our kids to be great athletes, successful businessmen, doctors, or lawyers.
A mom was asked by someone how OLD her 2 young sons were.
She said, “The doctor is 4 years old and the lawyer is 6.”
God commands us to teach His Word diligently to the next generation. But why does every generation struggle with passing the baton of faith on to the next generation?
Thoughts on Faith and the Next Generation:
1. Nobody grows up in a perfect home.
Family conflicts are everywhere. Maybe your parents were too loose or too strict. There is no perfect home, but we can have families filled with love and truth!
2. Everybody is responsible for making their own spiritual choices.
Prov. 22:6 is a proverb, not a promise. “Train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” A proverb is a general truth of life – not true in every circumstance.
3. Rules are not the problem; lack of relationship is the problem.
Parenting Principle: Rules without Relationship = Rebellion
Any strong relationship will have boundaries. It’s that simple. My marriage, to be strong, must have boundaries. Nearly 200 couples have been married at our church and they make vows to one another. Vows – Promises – Rules, if you will. The boundaries are not standards of legalism, but a code of conduct that protect the relationship. We want to keep our vows, not to keep a rule, but because we do not want to hurt the heart of the person we love most in this world. Oh, how we need a loving relationship with our children.
4. Kids who grow up in the best of environments can still grow up and choose sin, reject God, and experience deep problems
We have to be careful of teaching the next generation to simply appear and act right? We need to focus on teaching them to LOVE God and know Him personally? How do we model Christ to the next generation?
The Problem: What mistakes are these parents making? I don’t claim to have an exhaustive list, but let’s consider 4 of the problems:
A. No Discipline
Eli, I Sam. 3:11-13 (all 3 died in 1 day); “For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.”
B. No Time=No love
Samuel – the only thing in Samuel’s life I see missing (I Sam. 7:15-17; 8:3-5) is that he was away from home way too much. The typical teen logs more than seven hours a day and more than 50 hours a week in front of a TV, computer, or cell phone screen (Kaiser Family Foundation).
Teens need time with parents. A 7 year study reported in the Journal Child Development stated that “teens benefit by spending more time with parents. Encounters with dad boost self-worth and social skills.” Dad, do you have time with your kids every week? You need a family night every week. You need conversations over dinner, laughter, and uninterrupted time together.
C. No Relationship
We must genuinely enjoy our kids and help them enjoy their Heavenly Father. A Christian home should be close, loving, funny, enjoyable, memorable, and something a young person craves! If you lack a relationship with your children, make changes today!
Solomon started good, but then began to slide. Rehoboam saw his lust for things grow. He saw the multiplication of wives, horses, and material goods. He saw the disobedience to the Word of God. Solomon did not pass the baton of faith to Rehoboam because of the hypocrisy his son saw in his father.
The Prescription: Josh. 24:15
We can’t pretend with God and we can’t pretend with our children.
What is the answer? Authentic Faith. It’s imperative that every Christian be totally committed to Jesus Christ and His Word. Decide to be an approachable parent. We cannot model Christ to the next generation unless He is real in our lives.