Raising 21st Century Child in a Godly way, what to avoid and what you must do. (Part I)
We must first agree within our heart that the most significant inheritance we can give our Children is FAITH, not houses nor cars, not even education as good and profitable as it may be. After you exit the world, your children can lose all these or even while you are here, but the only thing that can help them navigate the future is their faith in God. Therefore, you must not take their academics more seriously than their faith in God. Faith can give them everything but academics cannot give them everything.
Secondly, you must know that faith does not come to a child by chance, the parent(s) must be intentional in bringing them to the knowledge of God, just the same way you don’t keep your child at home and believe he would become a doctor in the future, you have to follow an academic plan. We must do more to raise Godly seed. We have left the Spiritual life of our children in the hand of Sunday School Teachers and forgotten that we are the primary “disciplers” of these Children. The world system builds mental education for our children, but academic and career success is not the main success of life but being in faith. We put all our resources towards their physical life and academics while their spiritual life suffers.
What are the other grave mistakes being made by 21st Century Parents?
-The most significant mistake which was sown during the industrial revolution is the death of real men at the home front.
-We also assume that they need to grow to 15 -20 years before they can understand the Bible but these children can play the most difficult children’s games on a computer, and they can code Python, and use all the latest technology. Why do you assume your child can know technology more than you but cannot know the scripture more than you? That is one great mistake.
-Another one is that our priority has shifted from raising generations to making money. We have relegated the nurturing of the children at the expense of careers and money. We give them computers to manage them and they watch all sorts there and that defines them. Yet, what I have seen is that all the money we eventually accumulate would not be sufficient to manage the challenges that would come thereafter.
– Leaving our children at the mercy of societal and peer influence is one of the mistakes of 21st-century parenting. I asked two boys in my church today where their Bibles were and they didn’t have them because the parents didn’t buy for them. The same kids may very likely have all textbooks needed for their current grades. This spells the wrong emphasis on modern Christian parents.
-The increasing distance between modern Christian parents and their kids physically and emotionally. The children are not able to have guidance on core spiritual principles due to the absence of their parents. They turn to any other thing they can find to occupy the vacuum thus created. We are also making some mistakes by not understanding the media strategy that is forming the nature and character of our Children. PJmask and other cartoons induce character development without godliness. A minister of God once said he noticed that his children do retaliate and revenge. While praying about it, God opened his eyes to the Tom and Jerry cartoons which his children watch. We are not intentional about the formation of our children. We have forgotten that every “Nazarite” must have a rule.
-Another area we fail is what we prioritize. Most time, what we are more concerned about is their textbook and toys while they never have a Bible or other Christian Literature to read. The children can gauge our priorities and realize that we are not serious about their faith. They will prioritize what they see us prioritize.
We must live with the consciousness that our Children should change society and not otherwise. The Bibles say they are arrows in the hand of the Almighty, why should the arrows become puns in the hand of the society?
-Also, we move them away from Spiritual Activity saying they are young, but an herbalist will start indoctrinating their children almost from 6 years of age. A Muslim will start Quranic school for their children at almost six, we leave everything to fate and that is why our children do not know the Bible. Take an 8 years old Christian and 8 years Muslim child and compare their religious knowledge. The Muslim children go to Quranic School twice a week. I know a colleague who resides overseas, they don’t joke with it. It’s like Christians are the least in Spiritual intelligence, even though we have the greatest authority as believers. What is the value of authority that a man or woman has without the intelligence to handle it?
Their after-school hours and holidays should be a time for other things especially the way of the Lord. Isaiah 54:13 And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. These children would succeed, why not focus on what they would not teach them outside, which is godly training? They spend an average of 8 hours per day on academics, so why not devote time to their spiritual learning? They become unruly because several questions in their hearts are not answered. Many times when we are attending online Prayer and Bible Study we leave them out and say they should be playing while we are receiving instructions from God. Let them also be part of the spiritual heritage, let them acknowledge the supremacy of the scripture, let them see the power of a praying parent, let them experience the testimonies, and let them have experiential Christianity. We think the learning of the Story of David and Goliath is sufficient for their spiritual feeding today. No, they need sound Biblical teaching on core Christianity. Those stories are only good if you can impact life to them through it. We must not underestimate their spiritual challenges and therefore think all they need is just Bible Stories. They need deep Biblical Apologetics, sound discipleship teaching, and the raw word of God.
Another area that parents also miss is that of boundaries. We don’t set boundaries for the children in Songs, movies, and birthday parties. You took your child to a party where he or she is dancing to Davido’s song and you are laughing. All the spiritual effort of 5 years on that child has been ruined. Let them know there are places they cannot go, there are songs they cannot listen to, and there are movies they cannot watch. You cannot watch Africa Magic in my house where they would be making incantations and my children would be watching that? I don’t think they know the channel called Africa Magic because it’s a no-go area. We stopped Cable TV. Whenever they want to watch TV, we use the internet and monitor what they watch. I do explain to them that they must not feed their heart with wrong things even wrong novels etc. that those things corrupt hearts.
In addition, there are things a child will never do because it was not learned while growing up, it was not part of his formation, and he will never pick a thought from that angle. You must help your child to ensure they only pick up what is valuable. If you will do that, you must be an example, you cannot be on Africa Magic watching ungodly films with all the incantations and say your child should not watch. Therefore, parents have a lot to do to be good examples to their children. I noticed my children watch every bit of my actions including my dressing, speech, etc. When my voice is high the next thing you will hear is, Daddy, hope no problem.
Overall, if you don’t invest time and resources in these children, what you will get may not be pleasant to you after all your effort. You must be ready to spend money for their spiritual growth just like academics, buy them the bible and spiritual literature. Let them read a lot of spiritual books, it is part of what forms them.
As we end today, note that your child’s behavior and formation are not by chance it is an accumulation of what he picked up here and there, therefore ensure you have things around them that continue to nurture them towards God and pray along with them for grace to do the will of God.
Our generation has underestimated grace and taken it for indiscipline. The New Testament’s foundation is discipline because the word disciples comes from discipline. We have removed the discipline from Christianity in the name of grace.