The importance of a peronal relationship with God, under the guidance of parents, will be considered from a Biblical perspective. Some practical guidliens and challenges in society will be included.
Parents will do well to equip their children to have a healthy fear and knowledge of the Lord per Proverbs 9:10. Deuteronomy 6:7 epitomises the heart of Godly parenting, guiding parents to diligently and continueously teach their children. In Matthew 18:6 the public at large are cautioned to take heed if they result in children committing sin. Psalm 78:8 cautions parents that failure to teach children will result in their rebellion.
Importance of parents:
Per the Scriptures quoted, parents will either raise rebellious or Godly children. The relationship that children develop with God is to be acknowledged and this can be from a very young age (Malherbe 2009:71). Parents are the main enactors of faith to their children who need to see the face of God in the home environment. As a parent, I was humbled when my daughter instinctively reached to Matthew 8:20 that she would offer her room for Jesus.
Christian eduction needs to be head knowledge so that all facts can be understood, which impact the heart so that the spirit can be moved and room left for the Holy Spirit to challenge the child (Malherbe 2009:30). It needs to evoke changes in the life and a conversion of total faith in God. Filling your heart and mind with the persson of God is the only way to effectively teach your children to grow in their faith.
Parents need to be ultimate role models for their children (Malherbe 2009:31). Daily Bible studies and embracing the applications to life are a way of empowering the Scriptures in children's lives (p.30). Children should be guided to live for the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31), and so live in trusting obedience. The gift of belonging to God and being called by name per John 10:3 and being God's child should be a recurring theme upon a committment to God (Erickson 2013L892). Parents can also teach their children to pray (Matt. 6:5-15).
Challenges in society:
Today parents encounter a complete Godless society resulting in confusion for children. Parents need to equip their children to wear the armour of God (Eph. 6:11) when going away from a faith-filled environment for both their own protection and to minister to others. Only a child that is devoted to God can withstand the pressures because the understand the value of Jesus. Understanding Deuteronomy 6:4-5 should drive a God-focsed life.
Supporting Biblical references, the important role of parents, some practical guidelines and challenges faced by children were covered. It was explained how a true conversion to Jesus is the ultimate towards a personal relationship with God.
Erickson MJ. 2013. Christian Theology (3rd ed). Grand Rapids: Baker Academic MI
Malherbe J. 2009. Introduction to Children's Ministry. Johannesburg, SA Theological Seminary Press
By Jenny Currie 17 October 2018