Having devoted more than two decades of my life and all of my professional skills to studying and working with ministries of all types, I am now convinced that the greatest hope for the local church lies in raising godly children.
Various studies have confirmed the results of some of our data: By the age of nine, most of the moral and spiritual foundations of a child are in place. From the time a child is born until he or she is in the early primary grades, the child is voraciously consuming cues and lessons related to each of the developmental dimensions. It seems that by the time he or she is nine; the child shifts mental gears and begins to use the cues he or she receives from that point forward to either confirm or challenge an existing perspective. It also appears that by the time the child has reached this age, it is much more difficult to change an existing view than to form a new view.
Our national surveys have shown that while more than 4 out of 5 parents (85 percent) believe they have the primary responsibility for the moral and spiritual development of their children, more than two out of three of them abdicate that responsibility to their church.
One of the lessons that wiser parents than I have learned is to remember that God cares a lot less about what we achieve that draws applause from the world, how many consecutive profitable quarters we led the corporation to amass, how clean and organized we kept our home or how many educational degrees we piled up than how we raise our children.
I feel convicted on so many levels! Why am I not more intentional about teaching my children those things that are my responsiblity to teach them? What kind of example am I setting for them regarding disciplines of my faith - prayer, Bible study, solitude, etc? Do they see me "practicing my faith"? How intentional am I about raising godly children? Am I more focused on managing our home than training their hearts?
Deuteronomy 6:5-9 (New Living Translation)
5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Lots to think about.