TODAY'S WORD FOR Monday, May 18, 2020:
A duty; a charge; a person or thing for which one is accountable.
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Bring them up (children) in the training and admonition of the Lord.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
In recent weeks we have received emails from mothers who are deeply concerned about their children. They do not know where to turn. As we have evaluated the questions that we are being asked we felt we needed to do a devotional on responsibility, dealing especially with the responsibility mandated by God that parents have in the raising of their children.
When these mothers respond to our emails, most admit that they often have not trained their children in the ways of the Lord. Most importantly they have neglected reading the Bible and praying with their child or children. This responsibility is not solely a mother’s but the father’s as well, but due to the high divorce rate and walk away fathers there are many single moms raising their children alone.
Statistics tell us that once a child becomes a teenager, age 13, that over 80% of these teenagers never develop a personal relationship with God. This is where we become very concerned because when a child attains the age of accountability in God’s sight and has never developed a relationship with God through His Son Jesus, the results are disastrous.
When a mother (or father) is a believer in Jesus and they do not train their child in the things of the Lord when they are young, they will have to face God and answer WHY? Every parent is accountable to God for what they teach their children. It is not the schools, the government or even the Church’s responsibility.
We are very concerned for the children in broken families that have been neglected and left to their own devices, with no guidance, because if they do not find Jesus as their Lord and Savior when they are young they will most likely follow the world’s path which leads to an eternity in hell.
There is an answer for every mother, or single parent, that is in this position. We use the Bible as our guide for this and every devotional because God’s Word has guidance for every concern you might have and every situation you may be facing.
The Bible gives us certain commandments that every mother and father can establish in their home today with their children no matter their age. A mother or father first of all must make a commitment to God’s commandment to know God, to love God and to obey God so he or she can train his or her child or children beginning now, and be disciplined enough not to quit training their child.
In Deuteronomy 6:6-7 we read of God’s commandment to, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
We have listed two verses from the Bible (above). To begin with we suggest you read these verses several times. These scriptures will give you challenges that you and every parent have the responsibility to act on if you want God’s blessing on your home and on your family.
If you, as a parent, have never read the Bible with your children and have neglected to teach them to know and love God and Jesus then now is the time to begin.
You need to sit down with your child and explain what you are planning to do and why. Your child will most likely rebel, but as their parent you need to be firm and let them know that you love them and that is why you are going to begin this program in your home. Let them know that their future on this earth and for eternity is at stake.
Start reading the Bible daily with them and take time to pray with each child after you read the Bible and also before they go to bed. Explain that by reading the Bible you can get to know God and hear what He has to say to you. Then explain that prayer is your way to communicate with God. Develop a habit, after you read the Bible and pray, to ask them if they have any questions and then listen not just with your ears but with your heart. Children want parents to listen to their concerns and they want guidance and direction from their parents.
You need to continually emphasize to your whole family, in love, the importance of reading the Bible and praying daily because knowing God and accepting His Son Jesus into their hearts is the only way they can spend an eternity in heaven. The family that prays together stays together.
Children need to know that there are two roads in life. There is a wide road that many will follow but it leads to eternal damnation. They need to know that you are leading them down a narrow road that leads to spending an eternity with God in heaven.
It is the parent’s responsibility to guide them on the right road, but the child’s responsibility is to obey their parents and God and choose the right road. We suggest you begin by reading with your children the book of John -- one chapter a day and then discuss what it is saying to your family.
Our memory verse this week is found in Psalm 66:20.
Praise God! He did not turn away from me, He listened to my prayer. He continues to show His love to me.
Keep me faithful in reading the Bible with my children. Help me to make my children a priority so that they will know that I love them and care for them. Give me and every hurting mother, and father, the courage and strength to correct wrong doing in our lives and teach our children correct actions and obedience to God’s commandments.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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