/God gives parents the responsibility of teaching their children to love
Becoming a parent brings with it many joys, happiness, and good memories. But
that time in a couple's life also brings new trials and challenges. Someone
once recommended the following tests for couples to determine if they are
ready for children.
-The Mess Test-Smear peanut butter on the sofa and curtains. Place fish
sticks behind the couch and leave them there all summer.
-The Toy Test-Obtain a 55 gallon barrel of Legos (If Legos are not
available, you may substitute roofing tacks). Spread them all over the
house, put on a blindfold, and try to walk to the bathroom. Do not cry; this
could wake the children.
-The Grocery Store Test-Borrow one or two small animals (goats are best).
Take them with you as you shop at the grocery store. Always keep them in
sight, and pay for anything they eat or damage.
-The Feeding Test-Obtain a large plastic milk jug, fill halfway with water,
and suspend from the ceiling with a stout chord. Start the jug swinging and
try to insert soggy cereal such as fruit loops into the mouth of the jug while pretending to be an airplane. Now drop the contents of the jug on the
-The Final Test-Find a young couple that already has a child. Lecture them
on how they can improve their discipline, patience, tolerance, toilet
training, and table training manners. Emphasize to them that they should
never allow their children to run wild.
While parenting certainly brings many challenges, one new responsibility
parents face is spiritually leading their children. God sets fathers as the
spiritual leaders in the home, and commands mothers to support the father's
leadership as he follows God. But what happens when parents neglect to
spiritually lead their children?
Eli was a spiritual man. He was God's priest in the temple and spent most his
life helping others worship God. Yet when it came to his family, he neglected
to provide spiritual leadership to his sons. He placed his work and ministry
over his family, and the result was rebellious sons who brought him shame.
Rebellious children aren't always a sign of a neglectful parent, but when
parents fail to spiritually lead their children, rebellion is a result.
Providing spiritual leadership for your children is a vital part of
parenting. You can teach them how to hit a ball, solve a math problem, or
socially interact with others; but if you haven't taught your children how to
follow God, you have failed them. God gives you, as parents, the
responsibility of teaching your children to love God.
How are you spiritually leading your children? Begin by giving them an
example of a godly life. Live your life how you would want your children to
live. Show them the blessings of a godly life by living one. Also, teach them
of God's principles. Share Scripture with them in family devotions, pray with
them, involve them in church, and lovingly guide them to follow God.
Perhaps your greatest role as a parent will be as spiritual leader. Fathers,
lead your home to obey God's Word. Mothers, support your husband's leadership
and teach your children God's Word from a young age. Work together to guide
your children into a loving relationship with God.
1 Samuel 2:22-25
/"Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and
how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of
the congregation. And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of
your evil dealings by all this people. Nay, my sons; for it is no good report
that I hear: ye make the LORD's people to transgress. If one man sin against
another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who
shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of
their father, because the LORD would slay them."/