At a Little League baseball game a few weeks ago, I noticed a father watching his ten year old daughter's game with one eye, and reading, "Already Gone" with the other eye. Walking over to him, I ask if his Sunday school class was studying the book, as ours had recently done. No, his pastor had given it to him to read, for his eighteen year old daughter, a college student, had left the church and left the faith. When he said he knew nothing of apologetics, my heart was sadden for him.
Does it make you tired just to think of priorities? To consider priorities, indicates you have a lot to do, and need to organize your many duties in the order of importance. That does sound tiring. We've been instructed to start with the smallest task and complete it, then move to the next smallest task and complete it. This will build confidence.
However, in parenting, there is a task that must take first place, and nothing else even comes close. Dr. James Dobson refers to this matter of introducing our children to Jesus Christ, and teaching them His precepts and principles, "the ultimate priority." They need to come to know Him as their personal savior; and the younger the better.
A familiar scripture for Christian parents is Deut. 6:6-9: "These commandments that I gave you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." Does that sound fanatical? Why would God want the children to see His word, or hear His word at every turn in their life? Is it because that is the only truth available to them, and without it there is no foundation for their life to be built on? So when do you start? The younger the better.
A three year old is capable of learning that the flowers, the sky, the birds, and even rainbows are gifts from God's hand. The same God that made these wonderful things, created each one of us, and loves each one of us. They can learn 1 John 4:8, "God is love." They can thank Him for their food, and ask Him for help when they are hurt of scared. As they grow and see your love for Christ, and your personal relationship with Him; as they see you pray and talk with them of answered prayers, their faith will grow.
A Barna survey says that kids from 5 to 13 have a 32% chance of accepting Jesus as their Savior. That rate drops dramatically to just 4% for kids ages fourteen through eighteen. Yes, we should start as soon as possible, but if our kids are four, fourteen, or forty and have not accepted Christ as their personal savior, that should be our "Ultimate Priority". There is no time to lose!
God bless you, and never forget that you are loved!!!
Henry D. is from Southern Indiana and writes these wonderful daily devotionals to encourage those at the Dogwood Community Church located in Paoli, Indiana. Henry has graciously agreed to share these wonderful devotionals here at Without Excuse Ministries to encourage you our valued guest!