What Does it Take to Be A Parent?
Being a parent is a hard job. There is no manual. There is no instruction sheet left in the bottom of the box. There is no How-To checklist to look at when difficult situations arise. And believe it or not; all the experience, education and expertise that many “professionals” claim to have, no one can do what you do but you.
But of all the parenting difficulties we face, I think there is one crucial issue that we as parents are missing. It’s an issue of the utmost importance. An issue that can shape, mold, define, and equip our children like no other. Its the issue of theology.
Throughout the many years that I have served as a youth minister, the ever growing for need for parents to step up and be parents has never been greater. We are seeing a generations of students living life with a lackluster faith. Sure they may sit in the pews on Sunday, attend the youth group on Wednesday, even participate on the summer mission trip, but their inability to articulate their theology leaves them with a faith that is founded on feel-good Bible stories and the idea that “God who loves everyone.”
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 reads, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9 NIV)
As parents, I think we need to look at those verses carefully and ask the question, “Are we doing this?” Are we taking seriously the task to teach our children the commands, principles, and truths of God’s Word? Are we fulfilling the promise we made when they were infants to raise them up within the context, bounds, an disciples of Christian living?
In these verses from Deuteronomy 6, God is giving parents the responsibility to teach their children the things that are of God. We are to impress them on our children. To talk about them when we’re sitting around the house, on the roads, and as they lie down and wake up. As parents, we either baptism infants or dedicate of an infant. In doing so, we are making the promise to raise our children within the context of a Christian world view. We promise to teach them our belief’s, the Bible, and the history and traditions of our faith.
At the same time, the church makes a promise. As a church, the promise is to come along side the parents to support, encourage, and help as the parents train up their children. At no point is the promise to raise children for parents made.
Parents, you are charged with the responsibility to raise up your children. You are the ones whom God has intrusted to care for, provide, and nurture your children. That includes teaching them the things of God. To fail in doing this… well, that is something that you will have to deal with as you stand before God!
Parent’s, it’s time to step into the lives of your children. It’s time to reengage your children. It’s time to live how your faith before them. How is this done? Be sure to join me this week as we tackle the difficult subject of; Parenting, Theology, and the Church.