As a parent, I want my kids to learn from my mistakes and do things better than I did at their age. Foremost, I want them to serve the Lord in their youth and lay a foundation of following Jesus that carries over into their children. This was the heart of Asaph in Psalm 78. He said, “I will utter hidden things, things from of old, we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us” (v. 3). It is right for parents and spiritual parents to repeat the things of the Lord, teach the familiar stories and principles of the Bible, and share the testimonies of God’s faithfulness time and time again. That is just what Asaph did. He declared, “We will not hide them from their descendants. We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power, and the wonders he has done” (v. 4). It is up to parents to disciple their children in the Lord. While the church must come alongside parents and help to resource and reinforce their faith, God has given parents the responsibility to “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
Parents must be intentional in the discipleship of their children. Our desire must be for our children to serve the Lord and walk faithfully with Him. God designed generational discipleship that way as He “established the law in Israel and commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they, in turn, would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but keep his commands. They would not be like their ancestors, a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him” (vv. 6-8).
Parents, we should not hope our children follow the Lord one day on their own. We must teach and model faith in Christ. As Moses commanded God’s people to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:6), we must also have a growing relationship with the Lord. When this happens, we parents can hand the ways of the Lord on to our kids. Moses said we must, “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.” We must not passively sit by and watch our kids fall away from the Lord. We must actively raise a generation that loves and follows the Lord!
What a joy for parents to lead their children to Christ and eventually see their grandchildren follow Him! Asaph said parents also have the opportunity to change the eternal destiny of their family tree! He gave many examples of how Israel wandered away from the Lord. They turned their backs on God and faced the consequences of their faithless actions (vv. 9-64). They chose David, who had a shepherd’s heart, to lead them back (vv. 65-72). We must train and shepherd our children towards the Lord! John said it best, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4)!
- How are you actively training your children to follow the Lord?
- How are you praying for your kids?
- How can you daily disciple your children in practical ways?
Lord, help me to train my children in the ways of the Lord. Help me model a lifestyle of loving and serving You. Help me to live out Your Word. May my family serve you for generations to come! As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15)! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.