“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (III John 1:4)
Parents can spend their lives trying to find fulfillment outside of the home, yet miss out on one of the greatest joys in life. As the apostle says, there is no greater delight than to see your children grow up in knowledge of God and walk according to the principles of His Word. Today, I want to speak to moms and dads who still have young people in the home.
Money, pleasure, and busyness all summon the parent as much as anyone. The enemy figures that if he can distract us from raising a family to the glory of God, then he can guarantee we will be unhappy and dissatisfied in life. All the promotions and career advancements will not replace the satisfaction of having well-adjusted kids who love Jesus.
God wants our hearts to turn toward our children and the children’s hearts to turn toward their parents (Malachi 4:6). Yet too many parents emotionally abandon their children and expect others to raise them. They turn them over to teachers for education, coaches for discipline, daycare workers for companionship, church personnel for discipleship, and grandparents for togetherness. God wouldn’t have given you children if He wanted a baby sitter to raise them. The Bible says nothing about Sunday School teachers, but it says everything about parents who win their children (Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Ephesians 6:4).
Some people worry, “What if I mess up?” Of course, we will all make mistakes of inconsistency or impatience, but God believes we can raise an excellent family. The church can’t do it. The state can’t do it. The science lab can’t do it. Good kids are products of devoted parents. Before Abraham’s child Isaac was even born, God said, “For I know [Abraham], that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment” (Genesis 18:19). He didn’t say, “I hope Abraham does all right.” He said, “I know he will raise them right.”
Remember, God believes you can raise your kids right. Teach them all the truth you know. Lead them in prayer and the Word. Let them know you are crazy in love with them. And reap the greatest joy.