Psalm 78:1-7 Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:
There are many things that we as parents do to teach our children. Some teach their boys how to shake hands like a man. Some teach their daughters how to behave like a lady. Others pass down traditions from their childhood onto their children in hopes that these traditions will live on for generations to come.
But what is truly the greatest thing we can teach and pass on to our children? I’d like us to dive into the Scriptures together and see what God says about the answer to this very question.
In Psalms 78, we see that the Psalmist is warning parents to teach their children and that the children would teach their children the laws of God. In addition, God wanted the present generation and generations to come to be reminded of the praises and wonders of God so that they will not be like their “forefathers” which were rebellious and did not follow in God’s ways.
In a nutshell, we are to pass onto our children a multi-generational vision that honors God and does not forget His works. The goal that we should have in having a multi-generational vision is seen in verse 7, which is that they might set their hope in God (get saved), and forget not the works of God, but keep his commandments (live for God).
The goal for our children shouldn’t just be for them to “know of God”, but rather to “know God” personally so that for many generations to come we can have a future in God. Pastor Meyers reminded us in a recent Sunday PM sermon that head knowledge and heart knowledge are two very different things.
I Corinthians 8:1 - Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.
One of the scariest thoughts to have is that our future generations will not know God, and as a result not be saved. Unfortunately, far too many of us are only focused on the here and now without putting much thought into how our current decisions and priorities are directly affecting our future.
Here are 3 things to consider in making sure we have a future in God:
1. KEEP GOD BEFORE OUR FAMILIES.
This is why church is important and should be highly emphasized in our homes. If church attendance, participation and involvement are not important to us, then it will not be important to our children – who by the way are watching us very closely.
One of the grave mistakes that parents can make is to overly emphasize material possessions, vacations, and financial gains over the importance of being faithful and excited about what God is doing within local church.
This is why a Christian School is important. If prioritizing God in the eyes and hearts of our children is the goal, then the obvious education choice would be to place our children in an environment where God is emphasized on a daily basis. What better people to have influence our students than teachers that believe like we do and in most cases have the same spiritual goals in mind for our children – not to mention that each and every one of our teachers have surrendered their lives to God that they may serve Him full time in the ministry.
This is why our home life is so important. Home life consists of what we allow to happen within the walls of our home. Home life consists of the example that we show our children, which includes: our testimony, character, and walk with God. Do our children see that the Bible is important to us? Do our children ever see us praying aside from mealtime prayers? Have we praised God openly in front of our children?
2. DON’T LIMIT OUR CHILDREN’S POTENTIAL BASED ON OUR FAILURES.
One of the greatest mistakes we can make as parents is by beating ourselves up about our own past (or present) and not looking at our children as a new opportunity to do things right. The Devil, as an accuser, will try to tell us “How can you get on your child for that when you did 10x’s worse”. Unfortunately, many of us fall for this and as a result perpetuate the same failures we had in our lives onto our children’s lives.
Praise God that He has given us the opportunity to make things different for our children. Perhaps we have resources now as parents that we didn’t have back then. By taking advantage of these new opportunities and training our children right, they won’t have the scars that we have. They may get the blessings we missed out on.
Another tragic decision we can make as a parent is to not live for God ourselves in the present. The most hurtful home situation that a young person can experience is a home with a Christian title, yet ungodly environment – it is just too confusing for them.
In this type of environment, they are taught in church that cursing is wrong, yet they hear it during movie night. They are taught in church to avoid an angry person at all cost, yet they are surrounded with anger in the home.
Yet the opposite is so true…with a Godly home environment, coupled with a Godly church and school…our children will be in the best position to ensure that we will have a future in God.
3. PROTECT OUR CHILDREN’S PURITY.
There is a sincere purity that is presented before us when our children come into our homes. Those eyes have not seen some of the things our eyes have seen. Those ears have not heard some of the things we have heard. Those children have not done some the things that we have done.
Our job as parents is to work to keep it that way! How much effort do we place in guarding our children from the same pollutions that plagued us? We must guard them from the wrong influences at all cost. This can include the wrong friends, the wrong entertainment, and the wrong goals and dreams.
Our children are extremely moldable, as we were at their age. Will we place them in God’s hands to be masterfully formed for His perfect will? Or will we allow the wrong influences to permanently mold and shape them into something far less desirable?
In conclusion, if we follow these three simple steps of:
• Keeping God before our families.
• Not limiting our children for the Lord.
• And protecting our child’s purity.
We can ensure that we will have a bright future in God. I love my children—I want what’s best for them. I know that God is best for them. Whether it’s the children I have in my home or the grandchildren I have not met yet, I don’t want a Godless future for them. I want them saved—and not just saved, I want them living for God!
MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY
Psalms 78:6-7 “That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:”
Do we have an emotional relationship and yet move on quickly, or are we concentrated and stick it out through good times and bad?
Often it seems our circumstances pause the dream. and as dreamers we get discouraged.