Summary: There are several myths that cripple our potential to raise Godly kids. Do you know what they are?
OPEN: A man once wrote about the fact that when he was a teenager, he had a drug problem.
I was “drug” to Church on Sunday Morning.
I was “drug” to Church on Sunday night.
I was “drug” to Church on Wednesday night.
I was “drug” to Sunday School every week.
I was “drug” to Vacation Bible School.
I was “drug” to the family altar to read the Bible and pray.
I was also “drug” to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie brought home a bad report card, did not speak with respect or spoke ill of the teacher or the preacher.
Those ”drugs” are still in my veins, and they affect my behavior in every thing I do and say, and think.
APPLY: There is a lie going around.
Actually, there were people believing this lie way back when I was a boy… and perhaps for years before that. The lie? That dragging our kids to church turns them off to church. There are people who won’t “force” their kids to go church with them because they fear that result …and so the kids never, or they rarely go. And most of the time they end up without a spiritual foundation for their lives.
These same parents will force their kids to go to school.
They’ll force their kids to go the Doctor
They’ll force their kids to do their Dentist
BUT they won’t force their kids to go to church under the mistaken impression that this will somehow be better for their child.
Now let’s be honest… that’s just plain spiritual laziness.
God said: "These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 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." (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
Again God says: "Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the LORD swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth." (Deuteronomy 11:18-21)
Many avoid obeying God in this matter because they are afraid of failure. They’ve heard repeated protests that “forcing” our children to go to church, SS , and so on makes the kids embittered and angry and opposed to ever going to church ever again.
These parents are afraid of failure, and so they just don’t do it. They forget that God doesn’t command us to be successful… He commands us to be faithful.
ILLUS: But even then, the fears of these parents are mostly unfounded…
According to a report by the Evangelical Press News Service this year the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill just completed a survey that lasted for over 4 years. They surveyed a national sampling of 12th graders and found that: "Contrary to widespread stereotypes, most American teenagers are NOT alienated from organized religion, and as many as 2/3’s closely agree with the religious beliefs of their parents."
67% said their religious beliefs were mostly similar to those of their parents. While only 21% said their beliefs were mostly different or very different from their parents.
Now, what does that tell us? It tells us that at least some of those parents were faithful in training up their children and they didn’t drive their children away from the faith. In fact, most of them were highly successful in teaching their kids how to love God.
How do people do that????
Well… Psalm 78 gives us a clue (REREAD 78:1-8)
I. The first thing this text says to me, is “why”
Why should we teach our kids about God?
In Psalms 78:8, the Psalmist says the reason God’s people were told to teach their children was partly so that: "They would not be like their forefathers— a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him."
Ever since the sin in the Garden of Eden, the recurring difficulty for parents has been: How do you deal with kids who are:
· and untrustworthy
It’s been like that for centuries.
An Assyrian table written about 4700 years ago lamented: "children no longer obey their parents."
In 425 B.C. Socrates was more elaborate: “Our youth today love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority, disrespect for older people. Children nowadays are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers.”