Friday, March 04, 2005

A message to Christian Parents

World Net Daily is citing a report by the Barna Group that shows that the raising of children is no different between Christian and non Christian parents.

"You might expect that parents who are born again Christians would take a different approach to raising their children than did parents who have not committed their life to Christ – but that was rarely the case,” Barna explained. “For instance, we found that the qualities born again parents say an effective parent must possess, the outcomes they hope to facilitate in the lives of their children, and the media monitoring process in the household was indistinguishable from the approach taken by parents who are not born again.” (snip)

One of the most startling observations, according to Barna, was how few born again parents indicated that one of the most important outcomes parents needed to help their children grasp was salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. “Only three out of ten born again parents included the salvation of their child in the list of critical parental emphases,” he noted. “Parents cannot force or ensure that their kids become followers of Christ. But for that emphasis to not be on the radar screen of most Christian parents is a significant reason why most Americans never embrace Jesus Christ as their savior. We know that parents still have a huge influence on the choices their children make, and we also know that most people either accept Christ when they are young or not at all. The fact that most Christian parents overlook this critical responsibility is one of the biggest challenges to the Christian Church.”

What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and yet loses his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Mathew 16:26 Sadly, for many Christian parents they are willing to trade eternity for an education.

Parents described what they feel are the most important outcomes they are devoted to helping their children experience. By far the top-rated outcome was getting a good education. Four out of every ten parents (39%) listed that as a critical outcome they were committed to facilitating.
Jesus said, "But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. " Mathew 18:6

The study continues,

How do parents determine whether they have been successful in raising their children? By more than a two-to-one margin (62% to 28%), they define success as having done the best they could, regardless of the outcomes. Less than three out of ten parents say the fruit of their efforts is the defining factor.
The idea that the outcome does not decide the success of the parent is sad. The fruit of a tree is a way to determine the health of a tree. Children are the fruit of the parents and the way they are raised demonstrates the life and values of the parent. What this survey demonstrates is that parents are themselves not very well discipled in their responsibility so how could we even expect that they would know what to do with their children?

When our kids are exposed to the same influences, without much supervision, and are generally not guided to interpret their circumstances and opportunities in light of biblical principles, it’s no wonder that they grow up to be just as involved in gambling, adultery, divorce, cohabitation, excessive drinking and other unbiblical behaviors as everyone else. What we build into a child’s life prior to the age of 13 represents the moral and spiritual foundation that defines them as individuals and directs their choices for the remainder of their life. Garbage in, garbage out;
It is my earnest prayer that Christian parents would take seriously the admonition of our Lord Jesus Christ and begin to remove from our children the stumbling blocks that keep them so distracted from a life committed to His service.

(For more reading see The Myth of an Equal Education)

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