Become Spiritual Guides
In these days of decreasing birth rate, many parents face different pressures, being busy at work and busy after work. Previously, parents thought that schools are the best places for children to receive education. However, with the changing culture and its shifting values, degradation and regression of the educational system has taken place. Especially with the push for gender-equality and LBGT families having a deep impact upon children. How are Christian parents supposed to face this challenge? By teaching children the biblical truth and becoming the children’s spiritual guide, being good managers of the blessings and gifts God has entrusted us with.
The Bible says in Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way that he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” To me, coming from a family with 8 siblings in a Christian family, daily life since childhood has been like living in a micro-society. The parents often use family time to share God’s words, teaching us to memorize Bible verses, even though at that time we often don’t comprehend very well what we are memorizing. However, during our growth, God’s words would pop up in our thoughts, becoming a source of comfort and direction in my daily life. I deeply experienced that the Bible is not just any book, but a living book of life that provides goodness that can be lived and teaches lessons that are practical.
When I was young, I often played with neighbors and classmates, learning a few swear words in the process. Sometimes, for my siblings and I, those words would spurt out and my mother would tell us to wash our mouths. In the beginning, we thought she was just joking; however she was very firm in this aspect and told us that “dirty words should not come out of your mouth.” If us children don’t listen to her corrections, then she would ignore us, so we all eventually learned to listen to her teaching. My mother also tells us that our mouths are for giving praise to God, not for putting other people down or talking dirty. After becoming more familiar with the Bible, I discovered the verse in Ephesians 4:49 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” My mother often uses God’s words to teach us and from a young age those verses became engraved in my life and became my character.
The Teachings of Faith
During elementary school, I already knew that God is omnipresent and omnipotent. When I am alone, in the dark, I learned to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), God would give me courage, sending angels to protect me. During times of loneliness and misunderstanding, I know that God made me, He knows my thoughts and is my best friend.
Walking through the mountain tops and shadowy valleys, I learned to “give thanks in all circumstances.” (1 Thessalonian 5:18) In my 30 years of marriage, through the process of raising four children, my parents have always been my role-model. From the faith they professed, I clearly felt that the obedience of a child is the best path to blessings from God. During regular Family Time in my own marriage, I would try and teach our kids to have faith in God. Ever since my own children were young, I would teach them not to swear. I took the opportunity during their teen years to get baptized to attenuate the rebellion of adolescence, building up their relationship with God and accompanying them in Bible reading. My two sons told us that they will also when they have their own family accompany their own children in Bible reading. This gave me great comfort.
Let the Family Become the Place Children Learn to Know God
I am deeply grateful for the faith my parents had and how it impacted me, providing a blueprint for a Christian family, taking me to Sunday school, getting to know that life is precious, for God changes my life. Now, with the dangers faced by modern Christian parents, people start to lose direction, holding people’s words in higher regard than God’s words, not reading the Bible, not able to live out the truth, not knowing clearly God’s leadership, absence of awe for God, not using God’s wisdom to teach the children the path that is right, following the trends of the world, growing increasingly separated from God and not building a Christian family is the biggest loss of the above.
All in all, every family is a person’s starting point, to share the faith and truth, living out the life worthy of Jesus’ calling. Facing society’s shifting and twisted values, the parents should become strong foundations for the family, becoming the children’s spiritual guide and letting the children see how their parents’ faith and life is changed by Jesus, following the teachings of the Bible and making following Jesus a truth embodied in the family so that the children’s life can be transformed for God’s plans to come to fruition.