But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 2Timothy 3:1-5
Paul warns us that in the last days children will be disobedient to their parents, and many people including children will be unthankful, unholy, and unloving towards others. In the last devotional, I shared about the need for raising loving and respectful children. This is the continuation of raising Godly and responsible children.
The Bible does not mince any words about our sinful and carnal nature that needs to be shaped through obedience, discipline, and denial of self. This also impacts our parenting. One of the important areas in raising children is to teach them to take responsibility for their own actions. We need to hold them accountable and not rescue them from the consequence of bad actions. This includes learning to get along with their siblings, classmates, teachers, and friends. When they have a problem with someone, it can’t always be somebody else’s fault. If they are getting bad grades, most likely, it is not because their teacher dislikes them or she is mean.
Parents who are super-protective of their children become enablers of unhealthy patterns of behavior. We cannot save children from trials, but we can teach them how to appropriately handle them in the way that reinforces their identity in Christ and honors God and others.
A study by a major university found that the majority of teenagers believed that success was more important to their parents than kindness! That was convicting! How many times do we care about our children’s academic or social development, but we are not evaluating the condition of their hearts. When was the last time you asked your child or grandchild if they have shown kindness to anyone lately? We may focus on having them recite scriptures but acting on those verses and learning to live them out is more powerful!
Every parent wants their children to be confident and to do well. The problem is the way we go about it that can lead to raising proud and arrogant children who cannot accept losing. Our goal should be to raise meek and humble children. Struggles are great opportunities for children to know their limitations and appreciate the need to be in relationship with God and with others. Understanding their limitations gives them the opportunity to be teachable and to gain wisdom. Through struggle, they gain maturity and humility. They begin to appreciate healthy boundaries and as the saying goes, “Gravity is not a myth!”
The world has its messages of success for our children. However, as the people of God, we need to pay attention to the condition of our children’s hearts and ensuring that as much as it depends on us we are shepherding their hearts not just their performance! The perilous days have come and will continue to come, and the only hope this lost world has is for us to raise a generation that not only claims to be a follower of Christ, but it is able to live it out before a dying world.
I will continue with this subject in the next devotional.