It scares me when I see parents that don’t actually lead their children. They give up full control to either someone else or worse off, give their children control and expect perfect results. Now, this is a broad statement so let me narrow it down. What scares me more than anything is when parents expect a church to raise up their children to be mature Christians, but then they show and work little at growing in their own faith.
I’ve experienced this first hand in youth ministry. Parents expect their child to learn how to read the Bible, learn how to sit through worship, learn how to be faithful followers of Christ and be perfect students that never do wrong. But how often do these students see their parents reading/studying their Bibles? Or praying? Do the parents make worship a priority? If parents aren’t modeling and living something in their own lives, they should not have expectations that their children will do any different.
The job of the church is to not raise up your students to be model Christians. The church will help in the process of growing them to be devoted followers of Jesus, but the job of the church is to come alongside the parents and to help them, first and foremost, to be modeling devotion to Christ in the home. Kids and Student Ministries get maybe 2 hours a week tops with students for 4-5 or so years (maybe more or less). Parents, you are a far greater influence on your kids than anyone else in their lives! If you want them to do something, lead them by modeling it.
The Bible says in Deuteronomy 6:5-9, “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. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
Parents, are you keeping Christ’s commands upon your hearts first before you impress them on your children? I would challenge you to take a step back and look at the way you are leading your home. I pray that you are leading your children by modeling a passionate faith in Christ. Allow the church to come alongside of you to help you guide your children. If you don’t have a church that is doing that, find one. There are plenty of Christ-centered churches that are making disciples of children, students and adults. But don’t expect the church will do it alone without you. 2 hours of time/week is incredibly insignificant when compared to the impact you have on your children in their lifetime. Be the model, parents. Your influence is vastly more significant.