Let’s be honest, parenting is a hard job. Running here and there to keep our children fed, clothed, educated, well-rounded, and happy can be exhausting. Yes, parenting is a tough job, but it is also a great joy. Our children are a tremendous blessing from the Lord. They are like beautiful olive plants around your table (Psalm 128:3). How can we truly nurture and protect these gifts from God?
Most parents’ minds are completely absorbed in taking care of their children’s physical needs. But how are we doing with providing for our children spiritually? We can get so busy providing physical things (which are certainly important) that we can neglect the spiritual things that are far, far more important. Providing spiritual training and instruction for our kids is the most important thing that we can do as parents! For what will it profit our children if they are well-fed, well-educated, and well-entertained but lose their soul?
Is the Lord important to you? Is your faith important to you? Are there godly virtues that are important to you? Do you want your children to cherish these things, too? Of course, the church can (and should) help instill godly values in your children, but the most powerful way in which these things will be transmitted to them is through you! The evil in the world has a strong pull that must be counteracted with sustained effort. If we do nothing and just hope that our kids will pick up godly values on their own, the odds are very high that they will one day walk away from the Lord.
So, what can we do? I want to encourage you to start a tradition in your home of family devotional time. What might this look like? It will vary from family to family, but the idea is to spend quality time together as a family being near to God. Spend some time reading the word together. Give your children time to think and ask questions about what you read. You may be surprised by the great questions they have. Spend some time singing with your children. You might learn that your kids have hymns that are special to them. Spend some time in prayer together. You might find out new things that are on your children’s hearts. You don’t necessarily have to spend a long amount of time, and even if your children are very young, you may be surprised at what they are capable of learning.
Parents, it is up to us to instill the things of God in our children. Would you give family devotional time a try? I am convinced that it will be a great spiritual benefit to you and your kids, and it will make for some of your most cherished memories as a family.