Spirit & Truth # 275
“Christian Homes: God's Kids”
By Greg Smith
“The thing that impresses me most about America is the way parents obey their children.”
-King Edward VII
“Kids today!” say the parents of each successive generation, rolling their eyes at the behavior of their own children. “Why, when I was a child,” say the grandparents of disrespectful descendants, “I never would have behaved in that way!” Yet those are precisely the words that will come out of those children’s lips once they have grown up a few decades and are faced with the challenges of raising their own kids. The fact is that it’s easier to blame “kids today” than it is to take responsibility for our own parenting. Grumpy grandparents and perturbed parents instead ought to say, “Parents today!” For the trouble we have with our children is often the result of lazy parenting.
Ephesians 6:1-3 says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’—which is the first commandment with a promise—‘so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.’” These verses clearly place the responsibility on minor children to obey, and on grown children to honor their parents. But the next verse says, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Unfortunately many parents expect to be obeyed and honored, without first seeking God’s plan for raising their families. The greater burden is clearly on the shoulders of the parents—and when each successive generation gets worse than the one before it, we have no one to blame but ourselves. Poor parents exasperate their children when they refuse to bring them up to be God’s kids.
Families are eroding at an alarming rate. Factor together the current divorce rates that lead to single-parent homes, along with the percentage of never-married couples raising children, plus the households that defy any traditional framework, and you get a situation that is ripe for conflict and rebellion. Self-centered parents are too busy taking care of their own “needs,” rather than seeking their own spiritual development and investing in the lives of their children. The result is evident in the degradation of homes and society.
Is there hope for our families? On Pentecost, when Peter called crowds of families to salvation, he said, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call (Acts 2:38).” Peter promises that when we turn from our selfishness and sin, and trust Jesus for salvation, then the Holy Spirit will become the guiding principle for our families. The result is that future generations will know the promises of God.
The old hymn says, “God, give us Christian homes.” It’s more than just a song. It’s a prayer. And it’s more than just a prayer. It’s something that you have to work for. Have you asked Jesus to be the Lord of your home? Follow Him—and He will do more than just save your soul. He can also save your family.