It was brought home to me recently that we are deliberate in preparing our children to be successful in this world but somewhat nonchalant about preparing them for eternity. The Lord Jesus said we should seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness and everything else will be added. Yet as adults we pursue everything else and then give God what is left of our time, energy and material resources. We teach our children, by what we prioritize, that God’s Kingdom has last place in our lives and theirs. For the next 30 days I will be giving tips to raise children who can live successfully in this world and the next.
But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14, NKJV)
Jesus Himself indicated that children should be brought to Him which suggest we should not wait until they are adults and “can make their own decisions” to take them to church and to have them baptized. Contrary to popular opinion children can make decisions about spiritual, physical and emotional things.
We are meticulous in ensuring our children are trained academically. We but away a large portion of our monetary resources to ensure they are trained to the college level if they so desire. We give them all the support they need to be academically successful. We provide all the extra trappings needed for their academic success. We affirm their success by the praises we and society provide. They are allowed to skip church activities in order to complete projects. Parents are in church and children are at home or children are in church and parents are at home. Children give the church and its activities the same scant regard we do.
At the end of our lives here on earth the Lord will not ask for an account of our academic prowess or how much material resources we have acquired. We will be asked about the care we have shown to humanity in Jesus Name.
Children are smart and are aware of a lot more than we give them credit for. Teaching them to love the Lord and to hear from Him at an early age will provide the world with an adult who is caring, compassionate, peace loving, good, kind, competent, committed, joy-filled, self-controlled and visionary.
This world is practice for the next one and so we should do all in our power to ensure our children are ready for eternity. Giving it second place does not prepare them adequately to transition to this permanent space we will eventually occupy.
Veronica V. Sutherland is an author, teacher, speaker, minister, coach who ministers to families by helping mothers to build strong purposeful families enjoying good health, strong faith in God, rich relationships, and good communication.