Monday, May 11, 2015

Christian Parenting: Bringing up Children in the Fear of the Lord

Original: March 14, 2012 Updated: May 11, 2015

Vision of Coming RENEWAL

On May 9, 2015, I (Glenn) received a short vision from the Lord Jesus. In this vision, I was in a room with just enough light for me to see. I saw a butterfly flying or floating on one place with a messenger of God or an Angel in the form of a man to my right speaking. While I looked at the butterfly he said, “Just like a butterfly goes through a renewal and some Jews celebrating a renewal festival (the vision changed showing me a Jewish woman dancing at a renewal festival). As sure as this is, there is a renewal coming, there is a renewal of all things coming”. End! (Revelation 21:5).

Brief explanation, my family and I prayed and fasted a few weeks ago asking the Lord for an end time message or revelation. This was all we received for now as we will continue in prayer. However, at first I was reluctant to share this vision as I did not fully understand it, but the Lord said I should share it to remind people that there is a renewal coming!

Brief note: This is a must read for every God fearing parent. With rise of social media, teenage rebellion and various addictions, Satan will stop at nothing to destroy the next generation. We need God in our children. I declare in Jesus name, the greatest gift a mother and father can give to their children is Christ. I gave my children to the Lord and today I have no regrets but co- workers in this ministry. Now brethren, we have completely reworked this article with the Lord’s permission since we had to add a few more teachings and testimonies. We acknowledge that this is not a blueprint to child rearing in Godliness, but a good start in Godliness as you may read what we experienced. We should therefore not neglect witnessing to children as some of their parents are not saved to lead and correct them in the will of the Lord. Our work as parents will never be complete; the work of prayer and encouragement should be ongoing until our children are formed in Christ (Galatians 4:19). This article will be revised as we continue to learn from the Lord.

As parents, we have a direct command from the Lord to bring up our children in the training and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). There is actually a Biblical promise and reward if we obey this command; the result is “...and even when they are old they will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6b). The current state we mostly see today in children, including rampant disobedience towards God and parents and moral degeneration, is as a direct result of our own disobedience and failure to follow and apply this Scriptural Truth. Because of focusing our time and effort on pursuing personal ambitions, we have ‘estranged’ our children from God. Additionally, the demands of our modern lifestyles push our children further and further away from God. Sadly, some children spend very little time with their parents and are instead left to watch TV, be taken care of by the nanny or daycare facility, and play on cell phone and games to keep them busy. Because some of these activities keep the children at home, we falsely believe that our children are obedient. We have all been tricked to believe that the games they play are educational, and to some extent this may be true, but little do we know that overall they encourage a spirit of laziness and addiction, which the Lord abhors (1 Corinthians 6:12; Proverbs 6:6). The Word of God is completely ‘packed’ with every human experience and God’s solution to our problems; we only need faith and obedience to inherit its promises and gain mastery over our sinful desires.

Furthermore, while it is right to make children aware about God’s love and care for them, they also need to be made aware that they will be held responsible for their actions (Ecclesiastes 11:9). God has appointed a Judge to rule over all humanity: our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 10:42; Acts 17:31). He calls all children everywhere saying: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14). Children are called to a relationship with the Lord. He wants them to love and fear Him in submissive obedience and to be dependent on Him and not just on their parents. When children have a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, He takes complete care of them: He gives them good them health, and provides them with spiritual care by protecting them against demonic possession and deception. In many instances, He uses the parents to act as a channel for His blessings and provisions. Quite often, we parents bring our children up in our own ways and our fears mixed partially with God’s Word. I mean our ways and fears because we often use our own experiences and traditions to influence their behaviour and decisions; this in turn undoubtedly runs in conflict with Biblical teachings. Let me hasten to add that children do not have a separate Bible from that of adults. I have read many children Bible story books, some of them are well written and intended for good. Sadly though, some of the Bible story books are inaccurate, changing actual events with inferences and twisting the truth in some cases. This creates confusion and at best it denies children the whole truth; those authors are guilty of adding or taking from Scripture (Proverbs 30:6; Revelations 22:18). Admittedly, some of the Bible story books and DVDs are good in the illustrative part; however, they must be faithful to Scriptural truth.

In addition, we must stress what the Lord told us that when children are able to distinguish between right and wrong, they are considered witnesses and believers. God is expecting them to live by the Word and to obey as the parents do, for on the day of Judgement there will be “...great and small...” (Revelation 20:12). When the Lord showed Charis the vision of the world’s entire population with their shoes fitted on wrongly (See Putting on Shoes the Wrong Way), she saw children, including some of those who read the Bible with her daily. However, she saw no infants, babies or little children. The Lord will use the same Bible we are all reading to Judge all of us, both great and small, of our actions.

How Did Our Lord Jesus Christ Start Speaking to Charis?

I have been asked by a few mothers regarding my daughter Charis’ experiences with our Lord Jesus Christ, and for the record and to encourage parents to bring up their children in the fear of the Lord, I will briefly explain below how she got to hear from the Lord. By sharing this I’m not implying that God grants the same spiritual gifts to all children; in His grace, God gives different gifts and as He wills (Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 12:11).

Like any other born-again believing parents, we took Charis to church with us; and when she was about six (6) years old, she was dedicated to the Lord during a church service. Back then, she had no actual relationship with the Lord except just being content of going to church with us and praying the Lord’s Prayer (“Our Father...”).

As time progressed, I felt deeply convicted to share the Gospel with my own family. I discussed with my wife during mid-2008 that we should start a home-church, and we should meet at least once a week as a family to pray, read the Scriptures and to worship the Lord together. After praying and laying out our plans, we decided that each one of us should get an opportunity to read and share from the Scriptures and that we should pray with one opening in prayer and closing with each one of us getting an opportunity to read and pray.

However, one evening after supper when Charis was about nine and a half (9.5) years old, we decided to read from the Bible and pray together before going off to bed. Due to her constant insistence that we pray and read from the Bible, it became our nightly routine. After about one week into our new commitment, I decided to explain to her the importance of being born again and to have a relationship with the Lord and through a simple salvation prayer she accepted Christ as Lord. Brethren, I can truthfully testify to you that consistent service and commitment to the Lord is very pleasing to Him and He would always bless and show His approval of the good a person is doing.

To stimulate her interested in the Word of God, I would read and explain to her from the Old Testament’s historical accounts. Being selective on the topics we started with the creation account, Joseph’s account, the Ten Commandments, The Egyptian Exodus, Samson, David and his defeat of Goliath, Daniel and his friends and many other short Biblical accounts that portray God’s Power and Supremacy over all His Creation. To me this was a great way of presenting the Creator to her. My aim was to show her to the work of God in His creation.

After about three months, we urged her to read from the Scriptures and explain to us (my wife and I) what she read. At first she was reluctant to read though, but through many pronunciation difficulties she obeyed. At times, she would cry thinking that we would let her off the hook, however we were persistent in encouraging her. In the same breath, we would like to thank the Lord Jesus for giving us the patience and through His grace, He answered our prayers and worked in her heart; this helped her find a renewed interest in our evening Bible reading and prayer.

Teaching a Child How to Pray

As a custom and church tradition, we were all taught to pray the ‘Our Father’ prayer. Therefore, during this time, she was confined to praying the Lord’s Prayer only; we made her pray it morning and evening before bed time. We noticed that she prayed the Lord’s Prayer in haste and it became more like a recitation to her. Remember, if prayer becomes repeated and monotonous we show no interest and energy in what we are asking for. It would be that we are just uttering and offering faithless and vain words, about this the Lord has a warning (Matthew 6:7). In my experience, the Lord answers faith-based prayers and this includes the “Our Father” prayer if it is prayed by faith with a focused concentration.

Moreover, after a few months into her new faith, we decided to “wean” her from the Lord’s Prayer and encourage her to pray using her own words. If we pray using our own words, the Bible says, we pray from our understanding which comes from the heart (1 Corinthians 14:15). I must emphasize, there is nothing wrong with the ‘Our Father’ prayer, as long as we don’t abuse it by praying it thoughtlessly or reciting it because we are lazy to pray from the heart.Because my daughter was unable to pray using her own words, I wrote for her three prayers as a model or guide to help her develop a ‘prayer vocabulary’ one prayer for the morning, one prayer for the afternoon and one evening prayer (Psalm 55:17). Beloved, from this you may see that I showed a keen interest in my daughter’s prayer life and as is common in children, they learn through practical examples and this requires patience. As it is, these she prayed for about a few weeks and as often as I noticed she has lost interest in her prayers by racing through the prayers I would slightly amend the prayers to encourage interest. It was not longer than about three months thereafter that we encouraged her again to start praying in her own words. This was our final hurdle to have Charis serve the Lord with her own faith and commitment. In addition, the Lord told to us in a message some time ago that patience is a mark of a truly faithful Christian.

Combined, this entire experience of reading the Bible and praying with Charis went on for well over a year. As a reward for our efforts, on Sunday January 24, 2010, our then pastor announced a general seven (7) day fast for our local congregation. My wife and I joined our church in fasting for that week. I was particularly motivated because I needed deliverance from some ungodly habits and I also need a job. As is my custom, I wrote down my prayer request and lay it before the Lord during each time I prayed. We were two days into the fast when Charis told me that she had seen the Lord and that He said: I AM your Lord Jesus Christ. I will show you visions and you must tell your father, and I love My children.

Child Discipline and Punishment

The Bible declares: “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him” (Proverbs 13:24). I will share below some experiences Charis received from the Lord to parents who are members and co-workers in our ministry. I can vouch in truth about the faithfulness and commitment of these brethren to the Lord; these precious members endured every kind of test and rebuke from the Lord, including punishments for sinful behaviors. In the Lord’s rebuke of us on child rearing, the Lord upheld Scriptural teachings on child discipline. As parents, we always allow our children to get away without correcting them of unacceptable behavior (1 Kings 1:5-6). This usually stems from them manipulating our feelings to enforce their demands (2 Samuel 13:2-7). Some of these manipulations may be constant crying without reason, and excuses to hide laziness. The Lord through gentle rebukes exposed our children’s hidden motives as selfish and manipulative.

In a teaching we received from the Lord, on an occasion, there was a young girl aged eight (8) who knowingly or unknowingly was in the habit of showing off when she sees her mother; when seeing her mother she was in the habit of fighting other children and pushing them knowing that her mother would side with her if they (the other children) retaliate. This mother, and being aware of her daughter’s ill behavior, would just ignore what her daughter was doing without correcting her being afraid to hurt her own feelings. No doubt many parents can agree to that this is often the case where most of us as parents are just too over protective of our children not knowing that this leads our children astray with non-corrective behavior. After having noticed this habitual oversight by this particular mother, this development displeased the Lord and He commanded this girls’ mother to correct her daughter and not just overlook her mistakes and that she should discipline (spank) her if she repeats this behavior as a means of deterring her. Being as young as she was then, the Lord revealed the sins we may consider as innocent in this girl. In a powerful message to Charis, He exposed her lies, stealing habits, fighting, cheating in prayers by just sitting there and not praying, her secret swearing of others in her mind, jealousy, laziness and even gossiping. This might sound exaggerated for an eight (8) year old but we must remember that the Bible says humans are defiled “…I know that from the time they are young their thoughts are evil…” (Genesis 8:21 NIV).

Through many subsequent messages to the girl’s mother, the Lord brought to light what was hidden in children eight years old and more. Through these revelations, we may clearly understand that we should not overlook children’s mistakes and even side with them when they have done something wrong. Children in this age range including five year olds know if they have done wrong. We have observed that when we asked them why they did that, they would lie to hide the mistakes they did. By showing children their wrongs we allow them to grow and not to repeat these wrongs. If we do so in a gentle spirit, we obey and apply Scripture (Proverbs 22:6). Furthermore, if we overlook their little mistakes and turn a blind eye to their swearing, fighting or stealing we agree with the wrong they do and the psychological damage it is causing to them becomes a habit.

Punishment from the Lord

Furthermore, in one of the Lord’s own discipline to this eight (8) year old, He commanded that she get up at 01:00 A.M and pray for an hour until 02:00 A.M and sleep for an hour and then wake up again at 04:00 A.M and pray for another hour until 05:00 A.M. The Lord made her read the Bible for about three hours a day. After having to endure getting up early for one week, the Lord ended her discipline. During this time of discipline, we witnessed her struggles and crying and we knew that we should not interfere but to encourage her to obey the Lord. In a serious message to her back in 2010, the Lord warned this girl that she would go to Hell and that eight (8) year olds can also go to Hell if they do wrong things and disobey His Word.

This came as a shock to us and her mother and this led her mother to pray persistently very earnestly for her daughter’s salvation and deliverance from disobedience. With her mother’s consent, we obeyed the Lord by taking care of this girl. Through years of prayer, correction and reasonable discipline and in answer to our prayers, the Lord delivered this girl.

Today being more than four (4) years later, our patience, discipline, correction and teachings in the way of the Lord bore fruit in the life of this girl. Her spontaneous obedience and submission to us and the Word of the Lord led her to being used by the Lord. Brethren, the girl we are talking about is Jaydeen whose visions from the Lord you might have read in the Visions section.

Punishment or Discipline

Brethren, we need to stress from the onset, this ministry is not encouraging abuse of children and nor are we saying the Lord encourages us to just spank children for no reason or for any wrong behavior. In our understanding, reasonable discipline should be meted out after a few corrections three or four at most for repeated offenses. We would also like to acknowledge that the Lord said we should not discipline children out of anger as this may lead to abuse.

In another correction from the Lord on child rearing, a mother was warned not to just punish her daughter when she has done wrong; instead she should discipline (spank) her. In this situation, the girl’s mother and father were totally against using the rod of discipline. In their understanding, they believed it was not what the Bible teaches and hence in disciplining their daughter, they never employed the rod; they would rather use some other kind of sanction as a form of punishment. When this sister shared the Lord’s command of issuing discipline or spanking to the girl with her father, he questioned the context of discipline as explained in the Bible and the Lord’s command to his wife.

I know this comes as a great disappointment to many Christian parents who have adopted the worldly way of teaching and disciplining their children.

Brethren, as you know the worldly view of child rearing differs fundamentally with the Bible and as Christians we should decide whom do we follow the Biblical way of child rearing or the worldly way (Matthew 16:24)? This teaching is not intended to dictate to you but to share actual experiences and our failures.

Moreover, a few months ago, a good pastor and friend of this family and ministry shared this teaching on a social media platform, with many parents being blessed by this testimony and teaching; but a certain woman strongly opposed this message. In her anger, she hurled abusive insults against us and being a Christian mother, she extensively quoted from some secular sources to justify her beliefs that God does not mean we should spank children and that we are making up the things we said the Lord revealed to us. In truth, our testimony is not false and in addition to this sister’s insults there are several Bible verse to the contrary (Proverbs 23:13-14; Proverbs 29:15). Therefore to us, the same God of the Bible spoke to us reinforcing His teaching on child rearing and we only share our testimony looking to Scriptural support.

In the Bible we read,Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15). While we have the honour to discipline our children and teach them the Word of God, the Lord has also cautioned us not to be abusive to our children. I was once cautioned by the Lord for unreasonably disciplining two of my children.

In another incident, a then 14 year old boy was secretly watching pornographic movies and magazines material at a friend’s house when their parents were not home. Through feedback we received, these adult movies greatly influenced this boy and led him to make wicked advances at girls younger than him. After we learned about his behaviour, we informed his mother who joined us in prayer as we asked the Lord to reveal to us if what we heard was true and how we should help the boy.

Vision of Evil Entering Children as They Watch Secular Movies

In a vision to Charis, the Lord showed her on a flat television screen all the things this boy had been watching. While he and his friends were watching some X-rated adult movies and violent magic cartoon programs, she witnessed how evil spirits entered them as they were watching these programs. In the vision, Charis saw a demonic ghost coming out of him from his chest, a big red eyed demonic wolf, including the evidence of the things he watched and viewed two adult X-rated movies together with all the Ben 10 characters and a few adult X-rated magazines. Charis says as she saw some of these magazine pages coming out of him suddenly one naked woman seemed to become alive and laughed at her scornfully. This we know is the demonic spirit which operates in all the people involved in the production of porno movies and magazines. The message the Lord gave us through this vision was that these things were now possessing and controlling the boy.

By his own admission, this young boy was hooked to Cartoon Network (CN). This boy was also possessed by a spirit of lust and this led him to act out these evils the world calls fantasies. He made some lustful advances at some girls who reported to us. For his trouble, the Lord commanded us to discipline (spank) him for his wickedness.

Parents, as a preacher of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and as a father, I admonish you in the love of the Lord, the enemy Satan is creating habits and appetites of evil in our children through some things they are exposed to on television and this becomes a possession (James 4:4). I would like to confess, some time ago I considered the warning of some Christian brethren on this topic as nonsense but how can I not be convinced after the Lord made this known to us? I tell you the truth that screaming and anger on the television can potentially destroy and possess a child’s soul (1 Corinthians 15:33). Not only that, in a message to Charis about a 3 year old girl, the Lord revealed that this precious girl was being subtly influenced by her mother’s anger.
Encouragement on Children’s Prayer and Reading Times

As I mentioned in our previous article on prayer, Charis, Jaydeen and two other children of our ministry were commanded by the Lord to pray three times daily in keeping with the Biblical model (Daniel 6:10; Psalm 55:17). As a matter of principle, it is the Lord who set their daily prayer and Bible reading times. No holidays or chores may interfere in their intimate prayer and Bible reading times. It is very pleasing to the Lord if we encourage our children to be prompt in time keeping, Daniel did that and this was very pleasing to the Father (Daniel 6:10; 10:11).

Also, in the Bible, God chose Abraham so that he would direct his children and household to obey the Lord so that the Lord would bring about for him what He had promised him (Genesis 18:19). God commanded that Children who do not know God's law must hear it and learn to fear the Lord all their lives (Deuteronomy 31:13; 32:46). His will was for the next generation to know His commands that they may teach their children so that they would trust God, remember His deeds, and keep His ways (Psalm 78:5-7; Deuteronomy 6:4-9).

Are Born Again Children Permitted to Fast and Witness?

We must remember though that the Lord said His word applies equally to all people great and small alike (Revelations 20:12); the only exception in judging is that He considers people’s level of understanding. Therefore, in our experience, the Lord commanded our children to fast and witness to teach them faith and ministry service in the body. Like we said elsewhere, fasting is service to God and the body (Isaiah 58:6-9).

You would recall from Charis’ Hell visit, that the Lord commanded her to fast for four days (See Visit to Hell vision). In another witnessing and fasting experience which should be used by discerning parents as a model to encourage children their age, the Lord had the children fast for a full week. During this time of fasting, they had to witness for three (3) hours a day. This went on from Monday to Sunday every day; in addition to this they had to get up at 04:00 A.M and pray for an hour until 05:00. Like us, they were commanded to go house to house handing out tracts. I give solemn Praise and Glory to the Lord Almighty for His protection of them during that time of witnessing.
Being familiar myself with the area they were assigned to witness in, I can confirm that they were brave to witness in a drug infested, alcohol abuse and a gangster paradise. However by the Grace of God, our children conquered that area all by themselves. Being concerned for their safety, I intended accompanying them on their witnessing trips for the week but the Lord would not let me go with them, instead He said: No one must go with you. I will protect you”. With the Lord being a faithful God, they were protected against dogs, hostile children who made fun of them and against abusive adults.

In their report back to us, they said that some adults even mocked them when they said the Lord sent them to bless them with His Word, and that He loves them and that He was Coming Soon.

On another witnessing occasion, two of our girls were attacked by a security guard who took off his belt and spanked them just for witnessing to him. While this was a humiliating experience to them, this was a necessary test from the Lord to see if this would deter them from witnessing. In a message to them that evening, the Lord encouraged them to forgive the man who attacked them.

As a further testimony to you, witnessing is at the heart of the Gospel, and if the Lord would use eight (8), nine (9) year and eleven (11) year old girls to witness, how much more do you think God will hold the average church goers responsible for not witnessing (Mark 16:15)?

In my observation, the general consensus among Christians who don’t witness is that they have decided that it is the Pastor or church’s responsibility to witness and not theirs. My brother and sister you are walking in disobedience according to (Matthew 28:19), I encourage you, do some WITNESSING! Remember, it is good to give to mission work because these organizations take the gospel to nations around us, we however as individual members of the body of Christ have our neighbours to evangelise to. In the present situation, God is using children to carry forth His Word as an example to the individual Christian.

Prayer before Going Witnessing

As a rule from the Lord, He commanded that they pray for a few minutes before they depart for witnessing and pray and worship when they return from witnessing. As parents we were not allowed to police them.

Are We to Spoil our Children?

Before sitting to write on this subject, I have first read up on quite a few works on this subject of “spare the rod, spoil the child”, and I came across some radical interpretations to the Scriptures dealing with this, with other parents even suggesting that it was right to spoil your children.

In our experience, I will be referring to some of the Lord’s rebukes to parents in our ministry. A certain mother was in the habit of giving in to her children’s demands for unnecessary things. If her children see something they would cry and nag her for it until she gives in to their demands. This situation was very displeasing to the Lord and He rebuked the mother not to spoil her children. Prior to the Lord’s rebuke, this precious sister did not realise that she was spoiling her children, but understood when the Lord pointed her to the habit it develops in the children and the fact that this would lead the children to develop selfish and greedy conduct.

Similarly, another well-meaning mother was rebuked by the Lord for quieting her small children with treats when they cry. The Lord said this was spoiling and very wrong and not pleasing to Him. As we mentioned in the Gluttony article, this also encourages a spirit of gluttony. She has since learned to recognize those moments and discipline when necessary.

As a matter of truth, we are living in a permissive society where children are spoilt with luxury items to please them. In some instances, and because of their habit of getting what they want and not what they need, some children would hold grudges against their parents even refusing to talk or do certain chores until they receive what they want. In a sharp rebuke to a mother, the Lord told her not to allow her children to speak to her as if she was a child. Those precious daughters grew up with the habit of speaking to their parents as if they were friends. In such a situation, one cannot distinguish who is the parent and who is the child. The Lord however wants to see children honouring and respecting their parents as the Bible teaches (Ephesians 6:2).

Furthermore, in a separate rebuke to another mother, the Lord encouraged this particular sister not to treat her grown children like babies and being overly concern and acting on their every whim. This kind of spoiling leads to laziness, demands, disobedience to parents and disrespect. One such instances of spoiling in our community led a young man to kill his mother for refusing to give him money to feed his drug habit. The Lord says parents who spoil their children and fail to discipline them according to His Word will only blame themselves for disregarding the Lord’s Word. As a witness of the gospel, I can testify that parents who really work to teach their children on the will of the Lord do receive His mercy. As a gift to us, the Lord told us that He imparted a spirit of obedience in our then four year old daughter (Philippians 2:13).

As we all know, no one is born with obedience and as we grow up it becomes a choice if we want to obey or not. In our case the Lord made our work easy by imparting obedience in our daughter who is willing ready to do as we reasonably guide her.

As a God-fearing family, we provide our children with what is NEEDED and if we have it and not what they desire. Naturally, people always desire the things that others have (Exodus 20:17; Ecclesiastes 4:4). Therefore, humanity’s natural tendency is covetousness and it is Satan’s most powerful weapon to create bondage, greed and habits (Genesis 3:1-24). Also, pampering children with gifts is not a sin if those are needed but giving in the demands for something specific only to satisfy their desires is sinful and spoiling. If you give in to your children’s demands, you will have to do it again, but if you refuse after giving in the first time you stand to receive emotional blackmail and attitudes.

How is Your Parenting?

We live in a society where the number of single, part-time, or willfully absent parents is high. Even many Christian parents who are married and could easily be available to train up their children have instead chosen to pursue careers, business, higher education, or other selfish goals while leaving children to the daycare system, babysitter, or nanny. We are not saying it is wrong for both parents to work, however our responsibility to train children in the Lord’s will rests with us parents and not with those we pay to look after them. We suggest parents who find themselves in this situation should pray and seek the Lord’s guidance on this matter. Like we emphasized, the command to train up a child in the way he should go was mainly intended for parents (Proverbs 22:6).

We had a couple a few years ago who wanted to know how they were doing in their parenting. When we asked the Lord, He showed Charis a vision with three (3) pairs of hands. The first pair of hands held thumbs up, the second pair held thumbs sideways, and the third pair held thumbs down. Then a white finger of light appeared pointing to the thumbs sideways (medium). This is how the couple was raising their children. This couple was surprised but through prayer and studying the Word, they learned they were not properly training up their children up in the fear of the Lord. This also tells us that the Lord cares very much how we are raising our children.

We also have a father in this ministry whose wife desired to quit her career and take care of their children. For a while he would not allow her stating that they had many things to buy and needed the money. Soon after, the Lord rebuked him by saying he had ‘NO FAITH’. He humbly chose to repent, put His trust in the Lord, and allow his wife to quit her career to raise their children. As a result, the love between them and their children has grown and they are happy to be available to correct disobedience and doing their best to give their children a chance at heaven (Proverbs 27:23). The Lord also has showed Himself faithful in never failing to provide financially.

Unfortunately, many married Christians prefer to have a two-income household and have basically “outsourced” parenting while using the extra money to buy cars, couches, gadgets, and other wants. They say they want a good life, good things, and to save for good schools for their children. While we all want to enjoy a life without lack, this model promotes acquiring things in this life while neglecting the children’s souls and their need to obtain eternal life (Mark 8:36). What we have seen with this model is by the time children are teenagers to early twenties (20s), they bring their parents grief by being rebellious, promiscuous, in distressful circumstances, and displaying ungodly fruit which parents are unaware how and when it was planted (Proverbs 29:17). Dear parents, we admonish you to have faith and stop being selfish. The Lord Jesus promised to reward those who give up fields for His sake and for the gospel (Mark 10:29-30). The Bible calls it a good deed to bring up children (1 Timothy 5:10).

In conclusion, when children are young and tender we can easily influence them however, as they grow up to be teenagers, parents will often find it hard to influence them. In addition, peer pressure contributes to undue pressure on parents and most children or teenagers rebel against their parents and authority to please others. The point is, if we brought up our children in the Word we can easily influence them into corrective behaviour because of their fear for the Lord. Otherwise, the world will educate them and they will follow that lead.

Finally, as parents our fatal mistake is our failure to teach our children to have a relationship with the Lord earlier on in their lives. We give them knowledge about God, and our responsibility seems to ends there. The rest of the core teachings of the Word of God we leave to the preacher, or Sunday school teacher whom we task with the responsibility to teach our children about God. Parents: who told you it is someone else’s responsibility to bring up your child in the ways of the Lord? While we acknowledge the work of the church, parents are directly responsible to God for teaching their children in His ways (Ephesians 6:4).There are some parents in our ministry who never fully committed to bringing up their children in the fear of the Lord, and now they are sitting with tears of disappointment in some of their children’s poor and ungodly choices. So, dear father or mother, you might serve the Lord and have your salvation secure if you walk obediently. However, would you only want to realise in the hereafter that your sons or daughters did not make it to Heaven? The truth is that you will never see your child again; you simply failed in your responsibility as a parent to do as the Bible commands. Please take the time now to teach your children on the way of the Lord.

Therefore, don’t despise the Lord, obey His Word and give no rest to your soul until your child knows the Lord and actually serves Him. Paul says: “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). One mother once asked me: “What if my children are already grown up?” Well, if you have repented, it is not too late to at least pray for your children and encourage them in the will of the Lord. They might not be as receptive and willing to listen, but we rely on the power of Scripture and the conviction of the Holy Spirit to break through their hearts of stone (Hebrews 4:12; Isaiah 59:1).

For more on child rearing kindly refer to our articles on “Love Children Equally”, “Obedient and Disobedient Children”, and “The Youth”.

Blessed grace and love to you all,

Brother Glenn van Rooyen and Preparing for The Kingdom Ministry Team.