We have heard this quoted many times from many sources. Pope John Paul II referred to this condition as contributing to the many changes and chaos in our society today. I know there are many wonderful families in our country today. Parents who have taught and directed their children well. Young married couples just starting their homes. Single parent struggling to raise and direct their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord as Ephesians 6:4 directs.
However, consider the general social condition of our United States at the present time. The divorce rate is more than 50%. This leaves many single parents trying to raise a family. Too many children are separated from one of their parents. Three states have passed laws to allow same sex marriages, leaving us with children with two moms or two dads. These children notice their families are different from their friends’ families. Please note Psalm 128:3 and Genesis 2:24. We have many teenage gangs today breaking the law, committing crimes, stealing and murdering. These children are not taught God’s word at home. They are not taught the rights of others and to respect human life. If they want something, instead of working for it they just go out and steal it. This is a picture of our nation today.
These problems facing our nation did not occur overnight. They have been getting progressively worse for years with each generation.
One of our religious neighbors says “Give us a child for the first six years of his life and he will not depart from what we teach him.” Why do you think this is true? Moms and dads, surely you have noticed how these young minds are ready to soak up anything they hear or see. Have you ever been put on the spot by something your children may have seen or heard from you? We must be very careful what we say in front of our children. Parents, these young children are looking for an authority person to learn from and to mold their lives forever.
Consider the family of God’s chosen people, the Israelites in Deuteronomy 4:9. Notice the instruction to teach children and grandchildren. In Deuteronomy 6:7-9 note the emphasis God puts on the responsibility of the parents. Verse seven says we should teach them diligently. When? When you sit in your house, when you walk in the way, when you lie down, when you rise up.
Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (NKJV).
Read Psalm 78:1-8. Notice the reference of the fathers telling the children, passing on to the children, making known to the children the commandants of God. Whose responsibility is it to teach and train our children? It is not the government’s responsibility. It is not the school’s responsibility. It is not the church’s, although the church shares a part of the training from a congregational standpoint.
Whose responsibility is it? Yes, you’re right—moms & dads. Children need parents, both of them. Honor your marriage. Children are emotionally affected if moms and dads do not get along. Moms and dads, teach and train your children. If they want to talk, listen to them. Don’t put them off! What may not seem important to you, may be to them. Read the Bible to them. Pray with them. It may not be convenient at the time but make time and communicate. The reward will be great and they will make you proud.
Remember they did not ask to be born into this world with all its challenges and problems. They will grow up someday and they will be moms and dads raising their children.
“As the family goes, so goes the nation.”