The High Call of Parenting
By Jim Burns
I believe that if you have children, then regardless of your own career or ministry aspirations and activities, one of God’s primary callings on your life is that of godly parenting! This is a tremendously important and high calling!
Parents are called not only to nurture their children to become independent and functioning adults, but to impart to them a spiritual legacy. One of my greatest fears is that parents aren’t investing the time and energy it takes to leave a spiritual legacy for their children. For better or for worse – you, as a parent – are your child’s role model for faith! The average parent simply does not take a proactive role in building up the spiritual lives of their children. We may spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours on important issues, such as vacations, business plans, and home improvement; but when it comes to spiritual values, we too often allow circumstances and chance to affect how we manage our family life and especially that of our calling as parents.
“Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.” (Psalms 127:1)
That’s one of the greatest pieces of advice from the Psalms of the Old Testament. It is very clear in the Bible (see Deuteronomy 6:6-7) that the primary role of a parent is to train children who will not only be faithful to their relationships with God, but who also will develop their own vital vibrant faith.
I’m truly thankful for the wonderful influence that youth ministries have – impacting and motivating the spiritual lives of our kids. Yet, far too many parents expect the church to instill the spiritual values their children need. Most parents have a difficult time proactively helping their children grow spiritually because they themselves didn’t have adequate role models growing up.
The spirituality of your kids is very dependent on the examples they see you setting at home. To fulfill your high calling as a parent, you must set the pace! If you desire your children to have vibrant spiritual lives, then they need to see an authentic faith lived out in your life. No one expects perfection, but a “do as I say, not as I do” attitude is not likely to produce a vital Christian lifestyle in your teenager’s life either. Kids have a highly tuned “hypocrisy” detector – so it is much better to live out an authentic faith in front of your kids – and how you follow Christ despite your struggles and failures along the way – in order to display the example of Christianity lived out in the real world.
Today, there is a fresh wind inspiring parents to take an active, intentional role in nurturing the faith of their children. Be a part of what God’s Spirit is doing in this area! Fulfill your calling! Don’t miss out on perhaps the greatest legacy you can pass on to your kids: a life that demonstrates a passionate pursuit of God and love for Him. Be reminded, encouraged and challenged: This process starts with you!
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