“And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed.” Malachi 2:15 (KJV).
[dropcap]A[/dropcap] child that lives a committed Christian life is a great blessing, and his or her parents should be commended (Psalm 128:1-4). Other parents, however, unknowingly raise children who profess lip service to Christianity but actually belong to the devil in actions and doctrines, like the children of Eli. Let’s take a look at godless seed first.
Godless children have not been exposed to godly standards in their homes. They freely choose their own lifestyles. They reject the Lord and are involved in godless pursuits such as:
Occultism. Games and videos involving occultic spells and witchcraft; the Harry Potter series; Zodiac symbols; the Ouija Board; Tarot cards; fortune-telling; tattoos (Deuteronomy 18:10-12); etc.
Ungodly music. This inspires rebellion, worldliness, sexual immorality, drug abuse, the occult, and blasphemy against God.
Watching evil movies and godless shows. Shows such as The Jerry Springer Show, Sex in the City, Desperate Housewives, and so on.
Wrong friends. Because being popular is important to some parents, they allow their children to hang out with the wrong crowd. Sleepovers especially can be dangerous: Watch out!
Liberal Christian teaching. Spiritual formation and sound Biblical doctrine are absent.
Why do these parents allow their children to be exposed to such evil? Two reasons: First, they want them to “fit in.” They do not encourage them to stand up for the Lord Jesus Christ, because they think it would make the child feel different and suffer rejection. Second, they are hypocrites who pass their own immoral values to their children.
The consequences of raising godless children are heavy. God’s judgment came on Eli the high priest and his children (I Samuel 2:30-34), who were called “Sons of Belial”: meaning a worthless, lawless person. Eli shirked his responsibility of raising godly seed; instead, he raised two evil boys who did much evil in their priestly positions in Israel (1 Samuel 3:11-14). Eli lost his children, daughter-in-law, and grandson in one day (I Samuel 4:12-21).
Raising godly children in today’s world is increasingly difficult as moral decadence devours values in our society. Whether we like to admit it, satan is attacking the very fabric of family values through avenues of government and media. Children are bombarded daily with lies dressed up as truth, but the Word of God remains the same on how to bring up our children. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Therefore:
Teach (Deuteronomy 11:18-21).
Always look for ways you can impart a godly lesson into your children’s lives. This will help them in their daily walk. (Deuteronomy 4:9; 6:6-7, 20-21; 11:19; Exodus 10:2, 12:26-27, 13:14-15; Proverbs 1:8; Isaiah 38:19, Joel 1:3.)
Train them to fit into God’s purpose for which He gave them to you. Training involves teaching, correction, and practicing what is taught until it becomes part of their lives. Do not spare the rod. (Proverbs 22:6, 15; 23:13-14; 19:18; 29:15.)
Children have needs such as love, affection, discipline, and guidance; provide for them. When their needs are not met, it leads to developmental and growth problems as well as an inability to fit productively into society. (Matthew 7:9-11; 1 Samuel 2:19; Proverbs 31:15, 21; 2 Corinthians 12:14).
The greatest gift we can give to our children is to love them. Children need to know they are loved unconditionally just as God loves us unconditionally. Many children fear they will be kicked out or abandoned if they do not behave in ways that please their parents. Your children need to know that you love them, even when you as parents do not approve of some of their behaviors. (Titus 2:4; Genesis 37:3; 44:20; 44:29-31; Luke 15:20.)
Show them Biblical examples.
Your language at home and the respect you show each other as parents go a long way to influence your children. (Genesis 18:19.)
Pray with and for them.
Be firm on the practice of family prayer. Maintain it fervently and encourage them to have individual times of prayer.
Show them its importance in their lives. Let it not be only on Sunday and at weekly services.
Watch the friends you keep and let them observe the standard.
They must be godly friends.
Do not leave the choices they make to them only.
Help them see why some choices can harm them. Don’t be hypocritical about it; be firm and fair.
Be interested in what they watch and read.
Put Christian DVDs, materials, and books in their hands and discuss them. Be deliberate, consistent, and diligent in doing this.
Do not succumb to pressure by allowing them to have what will destroy them.
Reject immodest clothing, gadgets, films or books that reveal the flesh.
Develop interest in what they like in order to vet or prune the grey areas of their choices.
Some parents focus on meeting only some aspects of their children’s needs, but it is important to try to meet all of their needs as best as possible, both physical and spiritual. The result of failing to meet these needs can have grave consequences in the family. There is ample evidence in the world today that confirms that many children have needs that have not been met by their parents and guardians. It is even more tragic that this is a problem among Christians. When we meet the needs of our children, we witness to the world.
Taiwo Ayeni is president of Rehoboth Bible Ministries, Inc., in Grand Prairie, where he lives with his wife Abidemi and their son and daughter. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.