“Dedicate your children to God and point them in the way that they should go, and the values they’ve learned from you will be with them for life.” - Proverbs 22:6
This is a difficult verse to read, as some translations speak of training a child in the way they should go and they will not depart from it. But what happens when they do depart from it? Does
this mean we have not done the training well enough? Church is full of stories of kids who have grown into adults with beautiful, full relationships with God and those who haven’t. God himself grieves as we, His children, turn our faces from Him when we sin but of course, we know He is so gracious in His love and mercy. The very best a parent can do is to love God wholeheartedly and live out this love in their actions and words, and build a strong message of identifying ourselves in Christ - locating our lives in Him because nothing of God is wasted and those values do indeed remain. Beyond that, we must give our children the freedom to choose, just as God has designed because their salvation is not our responsibility, it is a choice to make freely.
Indigenous cultures often see the business of child rearing as a communal, collective responsibility. Everyone has a role to play in the growth of their children, as they recognise that as individuals prosper, the community prospers as a whole. We can learn a lot from this. Why don’t we take a collective approach to teaching our children, pointing them towards God, laying a foundation of values that they can build their lives upon? We will all benefit when this happens.
Lord, help us as a church community, to instil in our children
a deep and abiding love for You and to love them when they stumble, secure in the knowledge that You will be there to catch them. Help us to live our lives as a testament to your grace, to uphold one another, rejoice in our salvation and continually turn our face towards you. Holy Spirit was ask for wisdom in teaching our children, open our eyes and ears to see and respond in a Godly way to our children. Amen.
Some suggestions are to get involved in kid’s ministry - it’s a lot of fun! Go along to the ‘It Takes A Village’ nights and be part of the conversation of what is shaping our young people. Become a mentor to parents, cook a meal for a single parent - actually any parent, pray for our children, be the best example of what it means to live with Jesus at the centre of your life as you can be.