The Lord’s directions to parents are different from worldly wisdom. He will not bless any parenting that does not exalt his Son. Christ must have preeminence in all things, including in the raising of our children.
(1) Consider Job. He had ten children. When his children were adults, he called them together to seek the Lord – he “sent and sanctified them” (Job 1:5). This was after a season of feasting. He was concerned that his children might have blasphemed the Lord. He did not say, “Well, I am done with all that. They are out of my house.” No, he called them together to offer sacrifices. He offered at least ten that day.
What was the purpose of sacrifice? To believe on the name of God’s promised Redeemer and to be cleansed from sin. Job did this continually. He constantly prayed for his children, brought his children before the sacrificial altar of atonement, and kept the Christ before them.
In this godly man, we have an example for all parents. Calm or crisis, do this basic act of faith – look to Jesus Christ. Call your children to believe on the name of Jesus Christ. Bring them before the Father in your prayers hoping in the cleansing, once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Do not stop doing this. Do not stop if it does not seem to be working. Do not stop when they are out of the house. Nothing is more powerful to break the human heart as the cross of Jesus Christ. It is God’s own hammer. Preach his cross every day to your children – no other boasting but in Christ crucified, no other purpose than in Christ glorified, no other power but in Christ’s fellowship.
(2) Consider Lois and Eunice, Timothy’s grandmother, and mother. From his earliest days, they instructed young Timothy in the Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:15). Along with the cross and blood of our Savior, we must have his word – deep in our hearts, renewing our mind, haunting us when we wander, empowering us to give battle to sin and Satan, encouraging us to come home to the Father when we sin. Timothy’s later ministry grew from the soil of Scripture. God’s word is living and powerful. Scripture is “able to make us wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
Scripture is not a magic bullet again sin and worldliness. Children have the responsibility to abide in that word (Prov. 3:1-12; 1 John 2:14). The wisdom and power of Scripture unto salvation is through faith alone. Parents, you must believe what you read and show your faith by your works, words, attitudes, affections (James 2:18). Have your home organized around an open Bible – fathers and mothers and grandparents reading the Scriptures to the next generation, resolving problems by seeking God’s wisdom in his word, and receiving strength by discussing and believing God’s promises. Satan’s wisdom counterfeits cannot overcome the lips of Jesus Christ (John 7:46). When you get up in the morning, walk through the day, and lie down in the evening – hear the voice of Jesus Christ (Deut. 6:7).
(3) Do not grow weary in doing good (Gal. 6:9). This is the Lord’s paradigm for parenting – patient continuance in doing good (Rom. 2:7) – not fads, not constantly searching for something to give you sanity, but what he commands in his word. And this requires faith in his word, for the metaphor is sowing and reaping – this requires time and faithfulness. We must watch the skies praying, as the farmer prays for rain. The Lord alone gives the increase. He is faithful. Trust him and walk in his paths. Giving up on God’s ways is the greatest temptation parents face. Do not grow weary. He has told us what is good. He will be the strength of our life to do it. Keep seeking him, like Job, and preaching Christ to your children. Continue teaching the Scriptures in your home, like Eunice and Lois. Never doubt him. Never give up. 1 Kings 8:56.