"Fix my kid"
Al Menconi - Guest Columnist - 5/3/2008 6:00:00 AM"
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it." This verse from Proverbs 22:6 is the desire of most of the parents to whom I have ever talked. The question I am usually asked is, "How is it done? How can we train our children to love God and live for Him?" I'm sorry to say, the majority of Christian parents that I have encountered believe this verse means that we should lecture our children about Jesus and that we should send them to church and Sunday school. "Here's my child, Mr. Sunday school teacher/youth leader. Fix my kid and teach him about Jesus." I have talked to literally hundreds of parents who have tried this and they don't understand why their children have no desire to live for Jesus. The majority of children raised by Christian parents will not live for Jesus as adults. In fact, research has shown that as many as 70-75 percent of children raised by Christian parents will NOT live for Jesus as adults. How can this be? Either we don't have the Truth of Jesus or we are conveying this Truth improperly. I believe the latter is the case. Deuteronomy 6:7 indicates how God would have us teach our children to love Him. The previous two verses (6:5-6) are commands that we should love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and that the commandments of God should be in our heart. Then in 6:7 we are told to "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." This verse is a COMMAND for us to teach our children at four specific times: (1) when we sit down as a family, (2) when we are walking together, (3) when we lie down, and (4) when we rise up. Is that what is happening in your home? If you are like most Christians, you are probably doing just the opposite! Think about it. When your family is sitting at home, what is usually taking place? You are probably watching television/DVDs, playing video games, or eating; or doing all three -- often at the same time. That's right, when we are sitting at home, the television or video games are probably doing most of the teaching, not Mom and Dad. And the worst part, research has shown that these sources of entertainment are also very effective teaching tools that are probably teaching values that are against the commands of God. How about when we "walk along the road?" In today's society, we usually don't use walking as a means of family transportation. We drive our car. What is usually happening when our family is in the car? Besides arguing, we are listening to music or watching videos. And what is the teaching that is taking place? For the most part, the entertainment of today is teaching a philosophy that is against biblical values. Another missed opportunity! How about "when you lie down and when you get up?" In other words, when you go to bed at night and get up in the morning. The majority of us are watching the news, Leno, or Letterman when we go to bed. And when we get up in the morning it's usually the local talk or rock radio station. Think about it. Even if the television/DVDs, games, and radio programs weren't spewing out philosophies that are against biblical values, God says these are prime opportunities for teaching our children to love him. Are we? When you are eating, driving, going to bed, and waking up, are you using that time to impress the values of God on your children -- or are you allowing the enemy to impress his values? It's your choice. Al Menconi is considered a leading expert on the influence of today's entertainment on the Christian family, and has written extensively on the entertainment media and Christian parenting. He founded Al Menconi Ministries in 1982. The ministry website houses one of the world's most extensive collections of video game reviews from a biblical worldview. Opinions expressed in 'Perspectives' columns published by OneNewsNow.com are the sole responsibility of the article's author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted therein, and do not necessarily represent those of the staff or management of, or advertisers who support the American Family News Network, OneNewsNow.com, our parent organization or its other affiliates