A reminder from a day at Driver River church
“Increasing secularism and moral relativism produce a culture that is at times openly hostile to our faith. We face a faster pace of life, pressure at work, the glorification of individualism, and a diminishing focus upon traditional family and other social structures.”
That eloquent sentence introducing a study program for Christians dealing with contemporary culture is almost a cliché. We hear it so often and are so aware of it.
But Parents reading this will be asking: what about my kids, what can I do to guarantee the next generation will be in the church somewhere, following Jesus and secure in the Faith?
Years ago I read ‘Will our children have faith?’ The author said the best thing you can do is to live Christianly before your children.
Rather than sending your kids off to Sunday School on their own, or kids church only, (thinking, job done!) let them see you worshipping and listening to Bible sermon sincerely and seriously. That is a strong influence. Always speak positively about the church.
Stop and answer their questions. Take their troubles seriously giving careful answers leaving them room to apply lessons to themselves. Put their relationship with Jesus ahead of them being a sport hero or celebrity. Be Kingdom real.
I couldn’t help snapping Malcolm with his lad at Driver last Sunday church. Why? Because it symbolises many fathers and families in this church and the strength of this church. What young kids see in Dad (yes Mum too but the father figure is huge for patterning) is big. Many kids have grown up and gone on from these church families to Adelaide for Uni, training and jobs. And many of them have joined up in local churches, some are involved in leadership there and they are growing and going on in the faith.
Is it hard? The hardest thing probably is resisting the fake ideas and meaning about life which float around and are often given into when we are less focussed. Yes, the good way ahead is right next to us: parents who value the distant over the instant and think about the Bible’s way and get it.
Here’s an illustration from teenager David when he was noticed to serve in king Saul’s Court. (1Samuel 16.18). I teach it here to encourage young families. And maybe a bit for those with grandies.
Why was he chosen? Seven characteristics are noticed by Saul’s scalpers. (In Scripture 7 means something special – coming.)
- David is the son of Jesse, at home in Bethlehem. He belongs to a stable, truth centred family where the Torah is respected, and Dad goes up to the three annual festivals at Jerusalem with glad anticipation.
- He plays the harp. As a lad he learned with discipline an art to give to others.
- He is brave. He doesn’t shrink from standing up for what is right.
- He is a warrior and he has learned to defend himself with dignity.
- He speaks well. He discerns before he opens his mouth, neither idle chattering nor gossiping.
- Fine looking. He has poise, head up, unhunched shoulders, open countenance and looks you in the eye.
- The Lord is with him. He trusts and fears God, goes to Him in trouble and thus the Holy Spirit can dwell within him.
Be encouraged, putting first things first, and honouring your Lord.