This is the eighth entry in a series of posts by Brian Hardin, author and founder of Daily Audio Bible. In his previous essay, The Spoken Word, The Living Voice, Brian considered the unique power of God’s spoken Word. Here’s his latest essay, drawn from Brian’s book Passages: How Reading the Bible in a Year Will Change Everything for You.
I have no doubt that you, like me, love your kids. And I have no doubt that you, like me, often worry about our children’s spiritual lives. We know that we can’t coerce our children into an intimate relationship with Jesus; it won’t happen by default. But we do want them to understand the importance of a relationship with Jesus and a life lived in fellowship with him.
The book of Exodus shows us that the effect we have on our children is profound, that the choices we make and the posture of our lives matter greatly both to us and to our kids. The children of Israel learned this lesson in a sobering way, and the next generation paid the price by not being able to enter the Promised Land, as God had intended for them to do. (You can read the whole story in the book of Exodus.)
There are parallels between this story and the state of the world today that should tug at our hearts and possibly bring us to our knees. We, like the Israelites, find ourselves bowing the knee to false gods that pull our hearts away from God. When we grumble and complain about what we do not have and cannot get to a place of trusting satisfaction in God, the longer it takes for us to arrive at a place of freedom in Christ, and the more we force our children to wander along with us.
As parents, we fail much of the time, but our falling short is not an indictment, judgment, or sentence—it’s a wake-up call. It’s a line in the sand. If we want our kids to learn to honor, love, and accept Jesus as Savior, we have to model it for them. If we actually want the Christian life to be abundant in our families, we will have to develop an intimacy with Scripture ourselves.
There is time and there is grace. It doesn’t matter where you are now; there is always an opportunity to commit to a God-honoring path for your family. Will you begin now? Would you join me in this prayer?
Heavenly Father, It is our deepest desire to introduce our children and our entire families to the truth of your Word. More importantly, it is our heart’s desire to fling open the doors and windows of our homes to you. We know this begins with us.
Come, Holy Spirit. We invite you into the attics and corners, the closets and basements of our very souls. Nothing is off limits to you. We invite you to shine the light of truth into every area of our lives. Create in us a clean heart and renew a right spirit within us that we may serve you well. Guide us in the coming days so we can introduce our children to your ways and show them what a true relationship with you looks like. Help us to create a passion for your Word in our families by having such a passion in our own hearts.
By the authority of the work of Jesus we now take authority in our homes and reject anything there that does not honor you. We commit our children to you. We commit our relationships to you. We bow to your authority by giving you your rightful place at the center of our lives. This we pray in the mighty and victorious name of Jesus our Savior. Amen.
Watch for the next post in this series later this month! In the meantime, you can read more of Brian’s writing in Passages, or follow his work at Daily Audio Bible. You can keep up with him each day at his blog, Twitter feed, or Facebook or G+ pages.