Our children. We provide for them, work for them, worry for them, provide and pray for them in things material. Parents who are Christian will provide for them, work for them, worry for them, provide and pray for them in things spiritual as well. Christian parents will seek to be an example, teach their children the word of God, and hope and pray those precious souls entrusted to their care will choose to obey the Lord when they reach the age of accountability rather than choose to obey Satan by rejecting the message God has given to man.
Many parents often feel guilty and likely responsible when their children will either reject the Gospel or fall away from the Lord due to a misunderstanding of Proverbs 22:6 which says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” In obeying this verse, the faithful Christian parent has fulfilled their duty. Notice the verse says to instruct (train up) a child (early in life) in the way he should go (the “way” is in accordance with the word of God). There is a right way to go, and from which one should not depart. Bob Winton, in his commentary on Proverbs said of this verse, “The result of this training is good. When he is old, he will not depart from the right way. This is the general rule; there are possible exceptions. Romans 3:23 says that all people commit sin and fall short of God’s glory, but that is not the case with those who are born with mental deficiencies, or those who die before they reach an accountable age. If the child departs after being properly grounded, the parents are free from his blood. (Ezekiel 18:20). But what if parents neglect their responsibility? They have sinned.”
Lot, the nephew of Abraham, is an illustration for us that sometimes our children will not listen to God’s word and warnings. In Genesis 18, the Lord God had come down with two angels to render judgment upon Sodom, Gomorrah and the cities of the plain due to their sin. Genesis 19 records the angels went into Sodom where Lot lived. Lot we remember, was judged by the Lord as “righteous” (2 Peter 2:7-8), meaning he was living in obedience to the Lord. The angels warned Lot of God’s coming wrath and to be saved he and his family must flee the city. Lot carried the message of God’s coming judgment and salvation to his sons in laws and daughters. Lot went to his family with the message of salvation “Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.” (19:14) They had obviously seen the righteousness of their father, how he did not participate in the immorality of those who lived in the city. Apparently, they had rejected his example by not following his fidelity to the Lord. They were subject to God’s righteous judgment when they chose to reject the warning and therefore died in the city. The only one’s who survived were Lot and two other daughters. Lot’s wife had also disobeyed God and died rather than follow her husband’s example and obey God. Lot was saved, two of his daughters were saved, but the rest of his family perished due to their own choice. The lesson: We are to teach God’s word to our children (and spouse), be an example to them, and obey the Lord until the end (Revelation 2:10). We must first save ourselves, then try to save our family, then try to save others. However, we must remember, they have freedom of choice the same as you and I.
“And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Deuteronomy 6:5-7
-Jerry D. Sturgill