Train Up a Child in the Way He Should Go” – Proverbs 22:6
As many or most of you are aware of, a new Sex Education Bill has been passed by our Washington State law makers, and is now headed to the Governor Jay Inslee’s desk for signature to be passed as law. There is no doubt, this is a very divisive issue in our state and a very concerning one for us as Christians. Currently, as the bill is still in limbo waiting to be signed, there are many posts on social media and otherwise calling for the church, especially, to band together and send letters to the governor’s desk asking that he reject the bill. By all means, I believe that we as Christians should be involved in our local government, being advocates for Christian ethics, and standing up for the rights of our kids. But I would like to take a minute to use my platform here in order to encourage you to see your role as far bigger than sending a letter to Governor Inslee. Your role as a Christian, especially as an adult, is to “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Please don’t hear me wrong. I’m NOT saying you shouldn’t take a stand against something you believe is wrong, especially in light of Scripture. That is RIGHT. But I see so many posts and people talking about how they are taking a stand to protect the rights of kids – and I want to remind you that the biggest and best way that you can be an advocate for the children in Washington State is not by sending a letter, it’s by being present and discipling the kids in your home, and around you in your sphere of life. I’m not simply speaking to parents (although, Parents, this is your God given responsibility). This is the biblical model that we’re given:
Deut. 6:20-25 When your son asks you in time to come, “What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the Lord our God has commanded you?” then you shall say to your son, “We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt. And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. And the Lord showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes.”
Psalm 145:4 “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.”
Psalm 71:17-18 “O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.”
2 Timothy 1:5 “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.”
Although we should stand up for our Biblical worldview within our culture and government, we aught not forget our responsibility to be teachers and shepherds to our kids. That is why I desire deeply to give you this encouragement:
Parents, with the changing culture, and the influences at school and especially on the internet, do not neglect modeling worship of God in your household! Meet together, study the Bible with your kids, and talk about the complex issues of sexuality, gender, and identity. They might at first resent you for it, but I encourage you, keep pushing! I promise, you will have more impact on your kids’ worldview if you do not neglect to meet with them and train them up than you will ever have by doing anything else. Train them up to be lights in their schools, to share with others the glorious realities of how and why they were created! Teach them to think critically, and to love the Bible as God’s inspired Word given to us for our good and joy!
Grandparents, spoil your grandkids not with things of the world, but with the knowledge you have gained from your many years of life! Invest in your grandkids by telling them stories. Share about your failures, and about the mercies of God. Share about the things that God has showed you, and reminded you of as you have run the race. Teach your grandkids about what it means to endure and press on toward the goal of Christ (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Singles, get connected with the kids in the congregation. It might be a big leap for you, but know that one of the biggest issues facing our kids is that they have very few people who are simply present. They live in a world of constant stimulation, and distraction. Be a solid rock of consistency for one of our students. Listen to them. Offer them counsel. Pour into them.
Congregation, PRAY fervently! Find a student on a Sunday morning, and pray for them. Seek them out, and let them know that you care that they are a part of our flock. Pray that God would give them discernment, that God would bless them and keep them, and that He would give them a passion for God that’s over and above anything else in all of life. Start up a relationship, not only with them, but with their parents so you can encourage them to keep shepherding, even when it’s difficult.
I am so grateful for you, church family. I am grateful for the ways that you are invested in the Kingdom, and that so many of you care deeply about the bills that are passed through our state legislature. I am grateful for Vicki Kraft and the work that she is doing in our state government. But I am also so very grateful that we have the calling, right, and ability to “train up our children in the way they should go.” Do not waste your opportunity with the kids, teens, and young adults in your lives, church. Continue in seeking to be people who say: “So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.” (Psa. 71:17-18)
With you and for you in Christ,