Family Matters

FROM DUNCAN AND SHIRLEY BROWN

For us, spiritual development in our children was of the highest priority. From the start of pregnancy our children were all prayed for, that they would become children of God. We were supported in this by Godly parents.

Deuteronomy 6 v7. (Part of our current church memory verse) Impress them (God’s commands) upon 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.

This was a scripture that was on our fridge for many years. It was the hands-on advice that we appreciated and needed to be reminded of. It was a moment-by-moment responsibility; talking  about God’s love, looking at creation, praying, saying sorry, teaching them that we really valued God’s word and what it said. We also read bible stories to them from a very young age.

Our goal was that as they learned and developed it would be natural for them to know about God and his love, that we all sin and need forgiveness.  Our commitment to this wasn’t always consistent, we failed many times, but it was always our overarching goal. We wanted them to see from our lives that we loved Jesus and wanted to live to please him with our decisions and interactions.

We have always been active and consistent in local church and held that with upmost importance throughout the parenting years. We appreciated the love and support through leadership, children’s programmes etc but understood that the primary responsibility for their growth was ours. At preschool level, we wanted their teaching to line up with our teaching at home so chose a Christian Kindy. On reflection I would say it was the next season that was more challenging, busy family life demands, work commitments, personalities developing and different learning styles.

Every child has their own journey of understanding. While it is so important to teach truth and sow the seed it’s also so easy for kids to parrot back the correct answers for stickers in Sunday school! Truth did not always reach the heart. Only God can do that.

In hindsight we wish we were more prepared for the challenges teenagers grapple with in this changing world, which is so different from ours growing up. Our young people want answers to their often deep and complicated questions, and we need to be well grounded in God’s word. The enquiring mind won’t be satisfied with a few parroted answers and will seek values elsewhere. Pray, pray and pray more, be ready to listen to their struggles and encourage trusted Godly friends and family to speak into their lives too. We need each other.

NEVER STOP PRAYING that your children will grow …. in grace and a knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ

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