There is someone who is deeply invested in your child’s spiritual development. He has analyzed her personality for strengths and weaknesses. He knows the intricacies of her relationships with family and friends and has studied every possible angle to win her over. He has a masterful plan for influencing your child’s walk with God. That someone is Satan the Devil.
Right now a war is being waged for the hearts and minds of our young people (Ephesians 6). The last two decades have seen a flurry of sociological research about Christianity which has revealed changes that have been previously unseen in American history. As Forrest Barry, author of a blog entitled, The Last Christian Generation? states, “The percentage of [American] believers in the teen and early adult years has diminished greatly compared to previous generations. It is undeniable that there are ominous implications if this trend continues.”
What can we do in the face of this onslaught? In Deuteronomy 6, God, our Great Commander, has given us a winning battle plan. We need only to implement it and trust Him. The instructions he gives us for winning this epic battle can be distilled down to just a few simple words: “Parents, talk to your children [about God]! Teach them the Bible.”
Research supports the effectiveness of putting parents on the front line of this conflict. While Christian churches are pouring unprecedented resources into elaborate children’s ministries, the data shows that parents are two to three times more influential than even the best program for children (Search Institute). Church programming is probably more effective than ever in reaching youth, yet families are less involved in the spiritual training of their children than at any other time in history. As a result, Christianity is losing its young people at a record rate.
How can we prevent our children from falling victim to Satan’s plans for them? Three activities double the odds of children remaining in the faith into adulthood: (1) faith conversations with mother, (2) faith conversations with father, (3) serving alongside their parents in a ministry project (Search Institute). Is it any surprise that these highly effective methods for instilling lasting faith in our children are reflective of God’s instructions in Deuteronomy?
God’s masterful plan for our children is family-centered. How do you know whether you are doing enough to direct your child’s spiritual development? A quick test for parents is to determine: What percentage of my child’s spiritual training is organization-centered? What percentage is family-driven? Unless we, as parents, are assuming responsibility for a significant portion of our children’s spiritual training, we are not fulfilling the biblical instructions in Deuteronomy 6. We cannot expect to win the battle against such a formidable foe if we disregard this mandate from our Commander.
So ask yourself: How intentional am I regarding the spiritual development of my children? Satan is very intentional. We can’t afford not to be.
To help parents, YEA offers a systematic, fun program for five different age groups for you to teach your children the Bible at home. Under the Youth menu on this website, click on YEA FREE Sample Lessons. You can order these lessons online (and many more) or you can call 1-888-BIBLE-44. CEM also offers additional FREE daily activities to do with your children for five different age groups. Click on YEA! Let’s R.E.A.C.H.