ninety-nine…e must be left protected and the one be fetched. No one must be lost; it is the parents’ responsibility to guide and lead the souls in their own homes. From the child’s birth, the parents have to protect them from the darkness to the best of their ability.
All the children from Christian homes would not be saved; this is not possible to manage. But we should lay a strong foundation in our children’s hearts concerning God’s teachings from a young age. Merely plant the seed to the best of one’s ability, the rest will be in God’s hands. By this I am not saying that we should force the children into serving and thereby hating Jesus. We have to teach them in love and kindness.
Some children of this day and age are sheep leading the shepherd. It is all back to front. The children are telling the parents what to do. Who is to blame but the shepherd?
Moreover, we are not always capable of guiding our children the way God sees fit; but these are some of the main rules we have to enforce in bringing up our children for God.
Proverbs 19: 18-19 ‘18Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying. 19A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment.’
Again: God is not implying that we should beat the children to a pulp in their upbringing. We sometimes need to be strict and demanding as, Satan will do his best to harden the children’s hearts. The method of forcing the youngsters into serving God should not be enforced to such extent that they would break away from the parent and the church at the first available opportunity. Love, love and more love is the only way.
1 Timothy 3: 4-5 ‘One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)’
The children will remain on the path if they are guided with love and wisdom. The parents should always be a living example of walking the path. It is of no use for the shepherd to love the world and its lusts and expect of the children to be different. For as long as the parent will serve as the light, the children will follow.
Ephesians 6: 1-5 ‘1Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. 4And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. 5Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ.’
Being the shepherd: When our child plays with a knife, would we leave them to play and get hurt, or would we take the knife from them before they cut themselves? A good parent will most definitely remove the knife from their hands. Even when the child starts crying we will not give the knife back to them. We would rather replace it with a toy. The reason being, we are good shepherds protecting our sheep, physically as well as spiritually.
Children in their teens, tend to know more about life than everybody else on the planet. At this age, they want to go out with friends and attend gatherings which expose them to dangers which might scar them for life.
Some parents allow the child to attend venues where they are not aware of what activities are taking place. What shepherd will allow their young children to attend parties where people are abusing alcohol and where the child is exposed to the darkness without the protection of a parent or guardian? If so, we are not being a good shepherd. A responsible shepherd will not let his sheep dwell amongst the wolves.
Many parents are of meaning that it is good for the child to experience life for themselves. Well, those who toss the children into the lion’s den should not be surprised to see drastic changes come about in the child’s behaviour. These children are forced to fend for themselves and become independent fighters whom need no guidance from the parents. The weaker child will seek love and protection from their friends and are therefore easy to control. Some of these children are exposed to drugs and forever lost to the darkness.
I attended a sermon once, where a preacher told us on how he was allowed to partake in the lusts of the world when he was a younger man.
He told us about a conversation he had with a friend and fellow preacher at a meeting. The friend told him that his parents never allowed him to attend parties or worldly activities. His friend hated his parents at one stage for not allowing him to do what all the other young people were allowed to do.
At the end of the day, the fellow preacher told him that he was happy that his parents never allowed him to indulge in the worldly pleasures too much. He was not exposed to the world to such an extent that he had to have a struggle being released from its bondage later in his life. This helped his spiritual growth immensely as he did not have to rid his mind of the habits which became part of the other youngsters’ lives.
The preacher told us that he had a major struggle to conquer the darkness in his own life and that he wished that his parents were more strict shepherds in his youth.
Some have overcome their youth in life, and others remained in the darkness. But there is another problem to consider. What happens when my child dies at a young age while I am responsible for the soul?
What will we answer God when He inquires about all the souls that He entrusted unto us?
Or what will happen when we leave the body before our loved ones do?
We will look back and see them being imprisoned by the darkness. By this, I am not saying that we did not attend church services with our loved ones. I am saying that we have to make sure that they truly understand the correct path before we leave them behind.
Those of us who have failed our loved ones will attempt to return to the physical world and warn them.
We have to do what we are taught by God while we are on this side of the grave; we will not be able to lead our sheep when we are on the other side. It will be too late.
Heaven and hell are some of the topics most frequently spoken about when discussing the Bible.