A concern that’s been expressed repeatedly in the Church in recent years is the fact that our young people are leaving in droves. This is true, especially, as our kids leave for college. When they’re no longer under the daily guidance of their parents, they feel the freedom to leave this aspect of life behind.
However, this is also true of younger children. In many of our families, our children are leaving after confirmation. We’re allowing our young people to make a choice concerning church involvement.
This is a very real concern. As Christian parents, we want to make sure that faith is a part of our children’s lives. We share God’s desire for the salvation of all. But, particularly, we want our own children to receive the grace of God.
What’s the problem? Where is the breakdown? For many of us, I wonder if the problem is that faith isn’t a part of our home life. It’s something we do on Sunday, and maybe even on Wednesday. But once we’re home, faith becomes a non-issue. It’s rarely, if ever, discussed.
I believe we need to take the words of Deuteronomy 6 into consideration. Starting in verse 4, we read: "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, 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. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Keeping it very simple, we see that God wants his Word to be a constant topic of conversation in the family. He wants us to talk about it when we get up in the morning and when we’re going to bed at night. He wants us to talk about it when we’re sitting at home or when we’re going somewhere. He wants his Word to guide our thoughts and our actions inside of the home and out.
How might this help our children? First of all, they have the benefit of constant exposure to his Word. And we know that God works through his Word (Romans 10:13-17, Isaiah 55:11).
Second, they see that faith isn’t simply one aspect of life. They see that faith is life. They see that the Word of God is something that speaks to us in every aspect of life. It comforts, it convicts, and it directs.
My question, then, is simply this: Are we making the Word of God a constant part of the conversation? If the answer is yes, then we need to keep it up. Perhaps we can find even more ways to incorporate it into our life. If the answer is no, then it’s something we should seriously consider.