When the opportunity arises I go out into the streets of Dallas, Texas to minister the Word of God. Before I go out, I pray that God will allow me to meet someone that desires to know Him and His son Jesus. I tell you God has never failed to answer that prayer. I always end up ministering to someone that seems to be expecting me. However, there are some instances when the people I attempt to minister to will say, they have heard the Word and know about Jesus and choose not to be involved in church right now. Most of the time the people that have misconceptions about God have been raised in church or family environments that did not adhere to the teaching of scripture. I have received personal testimony from more than two believers whose parents are in leadership roles in the church who say, without hesitation that their fathers lived contrary to the word of God daily. Ministering to people from this type of background uses much time and ministry resources, because these believers have been trained to mask their hurts and pains, even from the people that are seeking to help them. There is one particular individual who stands out in my mind. I have been ministering to this brother for a while and he would always say, “God doesn’t care about me and if he did why did he let my dad treat our family the way he did.” It is evident to me that Satan has used the fathers disregard for the Word of God to create a stronghold in the lives of his children, where receiving and believing the promises of God is concerned.
God’s original intention has always been that the father would teach his children the Word. Genesis 18:19 says the following with regard to Abraham: For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has Spoken to him.” Proverbs 4 admonishes the child to receive the instruction of his father. Now if we have a father or a family that is not providing the good doctrine Proverbs prescribes, then we will have a child, left to teach himself or be taught by the worlds system. James chapter 1 teaches we should be doers of the word and not hearers only, because if we hear only we deceive ourselves. James goes on to say if we hear only and don’t apply the Word then we immediately forget what type of person we are. Furthermore, Matthew 13:19 says, When any one hears the word of the kingdom, and understands it not, then comes the wicked one, and takes away that which was sown in his heart. Satan is able to steal what has been sown because it wasn’t put into practice.
Parents we can’t teach our children the Word of God and expect them to apply it to their lives just because we say so. Remember Abraham, the father of faith, God chose him because he believed God, obeyed God, and God knew he would teach Isaac and Jacob to do the same. In contrast to Abraham there is Eli the priest in 1 Samuel 2. Scripture teaches us that Eli’s sons did not know the Lord, but worshiped Belial, a pagan god. From the scripture we can see that Eli failed to teach his sons the ways of the Lord. Even after Eli was warned by a man of God to speak to the wicked behavior of his sons, which included robbing the synagogue of the daily sacrifices and committing fornication with the young women that appeared at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, he lightly admonished them. Because of Eli’s failure to restrain his sons, his family received the judgment of God, which included the death of his sons and removal of his family from the priesthood. God’s Word gives parents the tools they need to guide their children. 2 Timothy 2:14-17 says the following: “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” It is the responsibility of the father to know and apply the scriptures so that he will be able to instruct his children. Just as Abraham was an example to his children so must we be to ours. People are behavior oriented and most of the things they learn are from watching others, so we must remember our children are watching us. None of us will be perfect parents, but if we put God’s Word to use and give Him first place in every area of our lives he will sustain us. Yes, we will make mistakes, but if we continue to keep our eyes on Jesus and not the issues of life, we will continue to overcome as the scripture teaches.
God expects every man to be the spiritual leader in his home and that means leading by example. It means committing our lives to the things of God so that the favor of God will not be hindered. Men should demonstrate love in the home by loving their wives as Christ loved the church. That means our sons and daughters must see an example from the father how godly men treat their wives. Fathers, as the spiritual heads should not allow their homes to be filled with a negative atmosphere of criticism, unrealistic goals and intimidation, but one that’s positive, with encouragement, tenderness, patience, listening, affection and love. Sisters, don’t frustrate your husbands by merely pointing out their faults. Pray for them that God may increase them in all wisdom knowledge and spiritual understanding. You are the second wind men need when Satan tries to put doubt or fear in their hearts. Do not think God has relegated you to a secondary position because man is the spiritual head. Assist your husband by reverencing him and thereby show your sons and daughters how the family of God is to operate. Brothers, I speak to you again, Galatians 6:7 –9 says, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap. For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption: but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.” Brothers and sisters we are today what we’ve sown, whether it be the truth of God’s Word, a tip from the world or an evil lie right off the tip of Satan’s tongue. The same will be true for our children, if they see us preaching one thing and doing another, they will have less faith in God and more confidence in man and the world.
We are truly blessed in this age to hear the Word of God preached on every medium imaginable, so let’s not ruin it for our children. Let’s be what he created us to be, like Himself. Amen. I pray that this Word sown into the heart will help families’ plant their children in God’s truth.