Daniel Dye, associate pastor of Peninsula Baptist Church, offers a simple first step to making disciples in the home. Parents, your children are following in your footsteps. Take the small moments and turn them into gospel conversations. 

When parents lead, children follow

by Mark Smith, Faith at Home


Thursday, July 19, 2018

It comes as no surprise, parents are the most influential people in a child’s life. When moms and dads deny themselves, take up their crosses daily and follow Christ, their homes are never the same. Parents surrendered to the Lord make a deep impact in the lives of their children.

It is astonishing to see the parallels in the parents’ spiritual maturity levels and that of their children. More often than not, the spiritual level of the parents and their kids are remarkably related.

God has deliberately placed each child in the lives of their parents. His goal for moms and dads is to prepare them to live out each day with integrity to honor Him. God’s design is to have every parent constantly talk with their children concerning God, help them properly think about God, and show them how to carefully obey God. In the end, parents are ultimately responsible for preparing them for eternity. If children, especially teenagers, are ever going to experience a healthy relationship with the Lord, they need moms and dads striving to live inwardly pure and outwardly blameless lives of integrity.

Parents can ill afford to take living a life of integrity for granted. They must faithfully be eager learners of the Word of God and deliberately live it out with consistency. Why? Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research, observed, “Students are experts at noticing inconsistencies between what parents say and do.” It is easy for parents to talk the talk, but the real issue comes down to whether they can walk the walk.

Norma Schmidt is a parent, a hospice chaplain and a parenting workshop leader with a master’s degree in special education. She has stated, “My mother had put her finger on an essential truth: Kids absorb the values they see adults putting into action. Ever notice how quickly kids spot any inconsistency between what we say and what we do? Long before kids can spell ‘hypocrisy,’ they notice when our actions fall short of our words.”

What is the Lord desiring? Simple. He wants His people to eagerly learn His Word and then do it with joy and integrity. When Moses said in Deuteronomy 4:9, “be on your guard and diligently watch yourselves” (HCSB), he was giving an absolute command to be an authentic doer of Scripture. When parents surrender to the Lord, hope comes alive and generations that follow will flourish.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Mark Smith serves as the senior consultant for Family Evangelism and Discipleship with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.