[In our community, pastors share the writing of a regular column for the Logan Daily News. Here's the piece I just submitted.]
Parents have the most important jobs in the world. “You shall honor your father and mother” is the first commandment of what’s called “the second table of the Ten Commandments,” those addressing our relationships with others.
The relationships of parents and children are foundational to all other relationships in life. When parents relate well to their kids and teach their kids to relate well to others, the children are set on a path for happiness and fulfillment in life.
The responsibilities of parents boil down to two key elements:
(1) Preparing their children for responsible adult living.
(2) Sharing Jesus Christ, God-in-the-flesh, with them.
In fulfilling these two responsibilities, parents prepare their children for both their earthly and eternal futures. Both are important, but the second one is most important.
Jesus tells us, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Parents who fail to give priority to sharing Christ with their children are really saying that they don’t care about their kids’ eternal destinies.
Sharing Christ with children means more than seeing that children are baptized, that they go to Vacation Bible School or an occasional Sunday School class, or that they have Christian trinkets.
Faith in Jesus Christ is caught more than taught. Parents: Your kids will learn to know and rely on Christ when they see that you know and rely on Christ. When they know that you talk over the decisions of your life with God in prayer, that you read and heed the words of God’s revealed Word, the Bible, and that you worship regularly and receive Christ’s body and blood in Holy Communion regularly, it will have a powerful and eternal impact on your kids. They’ll know that you and the God revealed in Christ are for real.
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life,” Jesus says, “No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). To know God is to know peace in our lives, even in difficult times. To know God, it’s essential to know Jesus. There is nothing more important for parents to teach their kids than the truth about the God revealed to the world in Jesus.
Be a high impact parent: Live for Christ and share Him with your kids!