It is evident from the day and age that we live in that the target of the enemy is the family
The average student in America spends 30 hours a week in public school
If a child is educated by someone who is not a follower of Jesus Christ, that person’s world view is sown into the life of the child
Every word and every assignment are used to shape and mold the mind and heart of that young person
Without even knowing it an educator can be used by the enemy to try to destroy the future and destiny of a young person
2 Cor 2:11
11 so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.
2 Peter 5:8
8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
The devil doesn’t play fair and what he truly desires is the minds and hearts of children
If Satan can capture the mind and heart of a child, he can rob that child of their God given destiny and future
As parents we have been given the awesome opportunity to raise our children
The children God gives to us are given to us for a period of time
We are called to steward the lives of our children until they become adults
3 Behold, children are a [a]gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. 5 How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed When they speak with their enemies in the gate.
It is an incredible gift and blessing to be a parent
God is the Author of Life
He is the one who opens wombs and closes wombs
But if the Lord has blessed us with children it comes with an incredible responsibility
1. Parenting as Discipleship
a. When we look at discipleship in the life of Jesus we see it is much like shepherding sheep
b. Jesus said I am the Good Shepherd
c. 2 Peter 5:2-3 (NIV) 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.
d. A shepherd is called to lead, feed, and protect the life of the sheep
i. This is the same calling of a parent when it has to do with the physical care of a child and spiritual care of a child
2. Jesus model of discipleship
a. Jesus modeled what He called to the disciples to do
i. They began to follow Jesus and watched Him heal, cast out demons, calm the storm, turn the water into wine
ii. Jesus then gave them the responsibility of doing ministry themselves
1. John 4:1-2 Therefore when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples were),
iii. Jesus sent them out to do ministry
1. Luke 10:1-12 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[ others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. 5 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. 8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
3. Teaching our children the word of God
a. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 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. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
b. For our children to understand the importance of God’s word it must be modeled
i. They must see us spend time in the scriptures
c. They must understand the value and power of God’s word
i. Hebrews 4:12 12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
d. Our public education is steeped in humanist philosophy
i. Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism or other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good
ii. 2 Cor 4:3-4 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled [a]to those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this [b]world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving [c]so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
iii. In the public education system our children are influenced by Satan all day long by humanistic philosophy
iv. The greatest weapon against the lies of the enemy is the word of God
4. Teaching our children to pray
a. For a child to learn to pray and understand the importance of prayer it must be modeled
b. Jesus modeled it for the disciples
i. Luke 11:1 It happened that while [a]Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.”
ii. They understood the importance of prayer from watching the life of Jesus
c. Jesus model prayer
i. Luke 11:2-4 2 And He said to them, “When you pray, say:‘[b]Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. 3 ‘Give us each day our [c]daily bread. 4 ‘And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.’”
ii. Jesus begins with praise to the Father
iii. Praying for needs
iv. Asking for forgiveness and asking to forgive others
v. Praying for protection
d. For us to model prayer for our children it must be important in our lives
e. It must be a priority
5. Teaching our children to worship
a. It must be modeled by the parents
b. The word worship in Greek means ministry, religious service, worship, duties
c. Our worship to the Lord is how we live our lives
i. Not merely about singing praise unto the Lord
d. We cannot have the philosophy do as I say but not as I do
i. Children only learn to live for Christ as they observe it in the lives of their parents
e. Matthew 16:24 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.
f. In Christ our lives no longer belong to us
i. We live with the purpose of glorifying Christ
g. We are a brand new creation
i. We are called to walk and live by the Spirit and not the sinful nature
h. Our children learn to live for Christ as they watch and observe our lives