(This is the transcript from a recent podcast. If you'd rather listen, click here)
To say our world has been in upheaval over the last year and a half is an understatement.
I don’t know about you, but I have been struggling with finding a firm place to set my feet. The amount of information and events that we have had to process has been impossible to keep up with. I have gone through the cycle several times of cutting off the flow just to get some relief, only to find myself buried again with more news and information along with grave concerns about where things are going in the world around us. Maybe you can relate.
We are told in Proverbs 4:23: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
If my heart is in chaos, my emotions, thoughts, and actions quickly follow.
As parents, we simply cannot afford that. We have a biblical mandate to be fully engaged in raising our children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. The word in that verse is “paideia”. It is a Greek word for education, but it was a holistic and all-encompassing term that encapsulated both formal and informal education: “The whole training and education of a child.”
It was about an entire way of life and thought, roughly equivalent to the way that we use the term “worldview” today.
Education is never neutral.
Education is discipleship.
Discipleship is rooted in relationships.
Relationships and discipleship take time.
If our hearts and minds are frantic with distractions and worries about the future, there will be no room to hear God’s voice.
“The day is coming, says the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel and Judah.
This covenant will not be like the one
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
and led them out of the land of Egypt.
They did not remain faithful to my covenant,
so I turned my back on them, says the Lord.
But this is the new covenant I will make
with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their minds,
and I will write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.”-Hebrews 8:8-10 (NLT)
Under the New Covenant, God promises to speak directly to our hearts, but if we give our hearts to other things (like worry and fear or any other idols) there will be no room for God’s wisdom and discernment and if there were ever a time we desperately need wisdom and discernment, it’s now.
The enemy is roaming the earth like a lion, seeking whom he may devour and he wants the next generation.
This is why it is imperative that as parents we stay doggedly determined to both protect our children and give them a thoroughly biblical education: physically, mentally emotionally, and spiritually. We are called by God to be their first line of defense. If we fail, our children suffer and the church and the world then suffer.
This fact is evidenced all around us. We are seeing the fruit of generations of parents in the church who have been idol worshipers and have taught their children to do the same. It’s overwhelming evidence of an unbiblical worldview passed down from parents to their children as they abdicated their biblical role in their children’s lives. If we want to have hope for the future we must start by being truth-seekers, pouring truth into our children, and living it alongside them.
So where do we go from here?
We must think long-term. We must think multi-generationally.
Exodus 20:46 says:
“You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. But I lavish unfailing l