Are we failing at raising a Godly generation? Kids today are being influenced at every turn from social media to what is on TV. It is more important than ever before that we ensure we've provided a solid foundation, rooted in God's love, for them to sift through the mess that they must navigate through.
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The Importance of Raising a Godly Generation of Youth
As I write this post, I think back on my own life. I was definitely NOT raised in a Godly home. I came from a broken home as many kids do and often struggled just to feel loved. That struggle often found me searching for it in the arms of wayward boys (and later men). I didn't know Jesus. I didn't know how important it was to know and have a relationship with him. I didn't come to know Christ until well into my 40's. I now know the importance of parents raising a Godly generation of kids and the impact this will have on our world.
I was so fortunate that I came to know Christ as my daughter was entering middle school. The transition from innocent (for most) elementary students into the drama-ridden world of middle school is when so many kids begin to really get off-track and start searching for their identities and acceptance in places they shouldn't. I would say that I wish I'd found Jesus sooner in my own life but there were so many things I wouldn't have otherwise learned. I wouldn't have learned from my own experiences, just how important raising a Godly generation really is.
The Enemy is Stalking Our Kids
Kids today face the enemy at every turn – more than we ever could have expected when we were kids (for us older folks). He is literally watching and waiting every time they get on social media or the computer. If, as parents, we aren't feeding into them from a Godly perspective, the devil will have his way with them. Feeding their minds with temptations they aren't prepared to overcome and resist.
It's not just social media. Our media has gotten so out of control with what comes into our homes through the TV. Like seriously! I miss the days of TV shows that weren't all about sex, mean girls, gang violence etc! I, personally, stick to watching the Hallmark channel because that is the only station that I can find where everyone isn't sleeping with everyone else!
“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 NKJV
Listen up, parents! If you don't teach your children how to live a life for Christ, someone else will teach them how to live a life for the enemy. If you don't teach them to base their identity in Christ, the world will teach them to base their identity on tangible, insignificant things that will never satisfy. It is our duty to teach our kids the Jesus way so they aren't tempted by the shiny things of this world (made shiny by the enemy).
What I learned from the World
Since I wasn't raised in a Godly home and my parents were both absent for most of my life, the world taught me how to get by. I was taught to do what made me feel good no matter the consequences. I was taught:
- Find your identity and acceptance by being who others want you to be.
- Sex makes people love you more.
- If you accidentally get pregnant, just have an abortion.
- Get drunk (or high) to forget your problems.
I now know these things are not true. I don't want my daughter to learn her worth or value from the world! By raising a Godly generation of kids, we can teach them that their value comes from their creator. That His love and acceptance is the only one that matters. That purity is the way – not abortion. That drunkenness and using mind-altering substances enable the enemy to invade our minds.
I want my daughter to know Jesus, to seek Him and not random men, to be the light of Jesus for others so they may know Him.
How to Raise a Godly Generation
I write these tips from my own experience. As a parent who was NOT raised in a Godly home to one who now knows Jesus and what may have made a difference for me as a child. I am, by no means, a perfect parent. Like you, I do the best that I can and I often fall short. But God knows my heart and knows that I'm trying to raise a Godly daughter that wants to please Him and not the world.
Be an Example for them to Follow
The first and most important step in raising Godly children is to set an example for them. Kids learn best by action, not by words. Everything you are wanting to see in them, you should also be doing first. That starts with how you lead the family to how you talk to and treat others. Don't just teach them about Jesus – show them through your own actions.
- Show them by showing compassion for others.
- Show them by showing compassion to them when they make mistakes.
- Show them in your relationships with the opposite sex.
- Show them by loving others as Jesus loves them.
Make Church the Standard (not an option)
With younger kids, this isn't such an issue. But as your kids get older (middle and high school), if you didn't teach them at an earlier age, they will often resist going to church. I know so many parents who attend church, but when asked where there (teenage) kids are, I'll often get something like “oh, they didn't want to come.” I'm sorry, who is the parent in this relationship?
Parents “say”, children “do”. That is how that relationship is supposed to work. They aren't old enough to be making life-altering decisions like whether to hang out in God's house or not. It is our responsibility to lead them in the right way.Going to church shouldn't be optional. Parents make the rules for your home and make going to church as a family the number one rule! This is how we raise a Godly generation of youth. #christianparenting Click To Tweet
This is my favorite! When we started going to church, my daughter was just starting 6th grade. I signed up to serve at the front desk and she signed up to serve in the little kid's ministry. Now that she is high school, she has grown up with other amazing Christian women (the leaders for each classroom) pouring into her. As a single mom, my church village is truly helping me in raising a Godly generation with my daughter.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10 NIV
She also gets the chance to pour into the smaller kids and loves it! She is learning that Sundays are for serving in God's house. Not for sleeping in. Not for indulging in her own desires. She is learning there is fun in serving God in her youth.
Another benefit to serving together is that you'll build friendships with other Christian families. It is so important that you surround yourself and your kids with others who are trying to live for Jesus. My daughter has a huge network of friends from our teen ministry at church who also attend her school. We rarely hear of bullying among these kids because they are all there for each other when another student attempts to stir up trouble. We are fortunate that the “church kids” are sort of the majority at her school even though it isn't a “Christian” school. Our teen ministry is heavily involved with our high school administration and it shows!
Talk to Your Kids
Don't let the daily bustle stop you from having meaningful conversations with your kids. All too often, we find ourselves only having “talks” with them when they've messed up. Make time for them in your daily routine. Ask them about their day. Find out what is going on in their lives and show interest. Talk to them after church about the message. If they attend teen ministry, talk to them about what that message was. When they mention “drama” in their own lives, such as a friend doing wrong or going down a wrong path, offer them encouragement on how they can help their friend.
“You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” Deuteronomy 11:19 NKJV
Be in Their Business
This is where I think so many parents fail. While you want to give your kids the chance to grow and make their own mistakes, you should also know what they are doing. Check their phones. Pop in on them when they are on the computer. While you may see this as invading their privacy – they are kids. They don't have the right, nor the need for privacy in this area. It is in those hidden, secret places that the enemy tries to get to them.
Raising a Godly Generation Starts at Home
Moms (and Dads), I pray that you take the lead on raising children who know the Lord. We can't let the enemy use our children as his pawns and the only way to prevent it is to plant the deep roots of Jesus in their growing minds. It is our responsibility to empower the next generation with the tools to battle the enemy and show the lost the love and light that is Jesus.
By raising up a Godly generation, we can ensure our future generations have a chance to know the love and grace of God. This isn't something we can casually take care of. It must be a proactive and intentional thought that begins at home when our kids are young – before the world has a chance to bias their view.
How are you helping to raise your kids to know Jesus? Comment below and share some of the ways you are teaching your teens to put Jesus first in their life!
** Copyright information for the Bible translations used in this post.