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A Parent’s Job
by Bill Denton
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Deut 6:5-7)

    “It makes you wonder what kind of parents these kids had.” (Any number of people commenting on the shootings at Columbine High School, Littleton, Colorado).

    Some years ago, the United States was commonly called a “Christian” nation. I’m not sure that such a term has ever been altogether appropriate, but it did reflect that American society was basically a God-fearing and believing people, and that the fabric of our society was woven with threads of faith, morality and ethics, and a sense that a divine standard of right and wrong was to govern human behavior.

    At some point that kind of thinking began to wane. Laws were passed that limited or eliminated prayer in schools, study of the Bible was discouraged, and God was banned from countless little elements of life, as well as some big ones. It seems that today we are reaping the whirlwind, having sown the wind with seeds of human philosophy.

Wise parents help children understand Him, and love Him.
    Why is it so important for parents to take the lead in teaching children about God? The simple answer is because God said so. Beyond that, it’s completely reasonable. Parents have the welfare of their child at heart like nobody else, including teachers, public officials, police officers, or others. Parents have the authority of love. Parents are thoroughly involved in the life of a child, from the time they get up in the morning until they go to bed at night — at least they should be. Life is filled with opportunities to talk about God, about His creation, about His will, and about how we relate to Him. There’s not a moment, nor an activity, nor an event that is not connected to God in some way, and wise parents help children understand Him, and love Him. There is no better foundation for life than love for God.

    Children ultimately become responsible for their own actions. That’s what maturity and age are all about. But parents lay the foundation and give children something to build upon. Just because a child goes bad is no proof that a parent failed, but it is one question among many that deserves consideration.

    Today’s parents need to know the power of involvement in their children’s lives. It can’t be turned over to TV sets, video games, computer terminals, nor to sports or even educational activities. Parents are vital to the formation of hearts. A coach might develop athletic skills. A teacher might develop academic prowess. Friends might help a child develop social skills. Parents are in the heart-forming business, and it is ultimately the heart that produces good or evil, godliness or ungodliness. It is a job that cannot be abrogated I’m not saying this to place blame for the Colorado tragedy. I’m saying this because something will capture your child’s heart. Stay on the job day and night. Don’t trust it to others. Jesus would say, “...where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). So what’s you’re primary investment?

From Bill Denton’s “Cross Ties” devotional email. Used by permission.

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