Recently, my husband and I came across a book by a beloved pastor/preacher, Voddie Baucham. In this book (free with those who have an audible account), Family-Driven Faith: Doing What it Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters Who Walk with God, he drives home intentionally creating a home rich in biblical values for your children. I challenge you to take a good look around your home. What pictures do you have on the walls? What music is playing during the evenings and weekends? While many people may not see these as important, they are the things our children will remember far into their adulthood.
Voddie warns that a recent Barna Survey showed that eight, almost 9/10 youth leave the faith by their freshman year of college, mostly due to not seeing it lived out at home, and gives many heartbreaking testimonies of this tragic truth. Eight million youth are projected to leave the church over the next ten years. While our children are going to church and are in a Classical Christian school where they are surrounded by things that are true, good, and beautiful, the home is an integral part of growing up. Ephesians 6:4 and Deuteronomy 6:7 make it clear that it is ultimately the parent’s responsibility to instruct them in the things of God. Baucham goes further by saying, “Discipleship and multi-generational faithfulness begins and ends at home.”
Like Voddie, I was not raised in a Protestant home, and neither was my husband. In fact, my mother was not religious, and my grandmother is Catholic. Knowing others who were blessed to be raised in a Christian home, we are more aware of the importance for our children. Knowing our children are on loan from the Lord, we are constantly seeking ways to raise our family in a Christ-honoring way, through books and our own understanding that God has provided.
One of the key points Voddie makes once we have decided that pursuing this home life is valuable is to schedule the time. Life hates a vacuum, and if time is not scheduled, it will get replaced by something else that is usually less important. Schedule a set time, once a day or once a week, whatever fits your schedule, put it down and commit to it. Start off with once a week, and then move forward to three times a week. Consistency is more important than quantity. Planning out what you want to do is also helpful. It could be reading a small portion of scripture and singing a hymn, or reading from an age appropriate family devotional book. We have been using the Grace and Truth Memory Book by Tom Ascoll, as well as the Big Book of Questions and Answers About Jesus by Sinclair Ferguson. These books combined with listening to, or recently, singing hymns, has made for precious family time and opened many opportunities to teach our children about God and what His word teaches.
Baucham goes further to say that” if God can teach the two of us to function as husband, wife, mother, and father, then He can teach anyone.” God has designed the family and has told us how it best functions, based on His design. He has also promised that those who seek Him with all their heart will find Him. Though having been Christians for more than ten years now, we have not done well in the area of family devotion, often utterly failing. Voddie seeks to apply the Gospel to every area of life and is quick to remind us that if we have failed in this area or another, the Gospel assures us that forgiveness is offered. We only need to humble ourselves, repent, and seek Him.
by Jennifer Puckett, Grammar School Teacher