By Jeff Keaton
I started pastoring over 26 years ago. Even though I still feel very young, I’ve been around long enough to see the cycle of life take its course in many families. Lately, I have been coming across young men and women who were just little children or even unborn when I started pastoring their families. What I believed as a young pastor, I now know to be true beyond a shadow of a doubt. If parents and grandparents love Jesus and walk with Him, if they teach their children God’s truth, and if they protect their hearts and minds from those who would lead them astray, most of their children will grow up to love and serve Jesus. We like to say that when you get the family, church, and school all teaching the same values, that is a three-stranded cord that is not easily broken.
There’s something else I am fully convinced of as well. When we give our children a strong biblical worldview, even those who go astray temporarily will most often return to the Christian faith. Recently, I sat in a church and observed many young adults I had pastored when they were children. Among this group of young people were several who had rebelled in their late teens and early 20s. However, today, in their mid to late 20s, they have returned to the faith.
There is no secret formula for raising children who will walk with Christ, and you don’t have to be perfect or use all the perfect methods. It’s this simple:
1. Live out a serious personal relationship with Jesus before your children, and humble yourself when you fail.
2. Be very intentional about teaching your children the truth of God at home, church, and in their schooling.
3. Be bold in protecting your children from the lies of this world until they are mature and prepared to defend their faith.
If and when we do these things, we will see most of our children develop into mature Christian adults. If you need help in any of these areas, contact us today, and we will do our best to put you in touch with the right people and resources.