p.p1 responsibility for their parents and grandparents, and

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Didot; color: #000000; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000}
p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Didot; color: #000000; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000; min-height: 18.0px}
p.p3 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Didot; color: #000000; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000; min-height: 14.0px}
p.p4 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Didot; color: #625529; -webkit-text-stroke: #625529}
p.p5 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Didot; color: #625529; -webkit-text-stroke: #625529; min-height: 18.0px}
span.s1 {font-kerning: none}
span.s2 {text-decoration: underline ; font-kerning: none}
span.s3 {font-kerning: none; color: #000000; -webkit-text-stroke: 0px #000000}

A Spiritual Reflection

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

Introduction

Over the years, as the culture changes and the financial benefits of being a UK citizen increase, we are regularly handing the over the to the state responsibility for our way of life, whether we like it or not. Since the introduction of the NHS (1948), the introduction of free schooling (1871) and the benefit system (1977). We have seen the average UK citizen come to rely heavily on the state for their welfare. As years go on, more and more people are using the benefits system. If we just take the example of housing benefits, according to the Guardian, in the period between 2009-10 and 2013-14 as a whole there was an increase of 478,000 in the number of claimants. Year on year, the demand on the state has increased and this is set to continue. Since 1977 numerous young people have seen the state take responsibility for their parents and grandparents, and accordingly, they feel entitled to have the state to take responsibility for them too. The word entitlement is a word closely associated with this generation. 

If in 2018 we have a generation of adults being looked after by the state, is there a difference in how the church looks after the children? With the introduction of Sunday school at church, is there a danger that we too will ask the state to take responsibly for the welfare of our children and allow the church to take responsibility for their spirituality, thus not taking responsibility ourselves at all? When our young people leave their homes and walk away from their home churches, could one of the reasons be that  they have not seen their parents’ faith in action, nor have they been taught the truths of Christianity in the home? 

Do we need to re-educate congregations on the importance of educating our children in the truths of Jesus, allowing them to hear the truths and also see the truths through the way Christian parents are active in their faith. This spiritual reflection will look at the role of parents in an entitled generation, asking what are the key fundaments that will best help prepare our children for a life following Jesus.

The term generation x and y 

Generation x are born between 1965 and 1980. They were mostly bought up by hard working parents who had to learn to be independent at an early age.  Generation x are known as the latchkey children, who saw the divorce rate rise amongst their parents. Generation x grew up in an age of technological advancement but also economic recession where redundancies and unemployment was high. 

Generation Y

Generation Y are also known as the millennial generation and were born between 1982 to the present. They have been bought up in a technological world. Due to the digital revolution, information has become instant. All cultures of the world have become accessible. Due to this, we have seen manual and unskilled work reduced as this has been out-sourced to cheaper countries around the world and thus the majority have been encouraged to stay on in further and higher education.  
 In his article “Millennials: The Me Me Me Generation” for Time magazine, Joel Stein alerts us to some statics to show some of the issues facing generation Y. He says …40% believe they should be promoted every two years, regardless of performance. They are fame-obsessed: three times as many middle school girls want to grow up to be a personal assistant to a famous person as want to be a Senator, according to a 2007 survey; four times as many would pick the assistant job over CEO of a major corporation. They’re so convinced of their own greatness that the National Study of Youth and Religion found the guiding morality of 60% of millennials in any situation is that they’ll just be able to feel what’s right. Their development is stunted: more people ages 18 to 29 live with their parents than with a spouse, according to the 2012 Clark University Poll of Emerging Adults. And they are lazy. In 1992, the nonprofit Families and Work Institute reported that 80% of people under 23 wanted to one day have a job with greater responsibility; 10 years later, only 60% did.

With this generation, I think what Stein is trying to portray is that generation Y wants to be successful, but they are not willing to put the work in. With an instant world, where most things are given to you in no time and with little effort, we have to question whether this is the fault of this generation, or whether previous generations have bought up this one to fail?

We want to be good parents but we are unwilling or unable to put the time and effort into doing so. Why is it that we are not willing to take the responsibility for this? The purpose of this spiritual reflection is to see what the biblical model of parenthood is. How does the bible encourage parents to bring up their children? 

Children are on loan

According to Psalm 127:3-5, children are a gift from the Lord. They are God’s possession, not ours. He has temporarily placed them under our care; in effect, our children are “on loan” from God for the 18 or so years they are under our roof. We have been given the task of raising them up from a state of complete dependence to a state of complete independence so that we can release them to God by the time they reach maturity. This is not an easy task, as most parents will testify to. But it is this that needs to be communicated to parents (generation y) in order for their children to know God.

A lot of our children’s spiritual education may be experienced at the local church, depending on the quality of youth and children’s work. But a home that is open to God should be filled with an atmosphere of love, forgiveness, openness, acceptance and honesty. Kimmel implies that the ideal Christian home should be a place of fun, creative activities, enjoyment, encouragement and relaxed attitudes. This can only be possible if Christ is the unifying factor in the life of the family and parents set a good example of what it means to be a believer in Christ. There is the need for a Christ-like attitude to prevail in parents so that every member of the household is made to feel very important in the family.

Biblical model for parenting

Swilldol outlines parenting guidelines from Deuteronomy 6. He points out that this passage outlines a basic program for the spiritual improvement of children. One of the fundamental standards is found in verses 4-5: “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! What’s more, you should love the Lord your God with everything that is in you and with your entire being and energetically.” 

Guideline 1 – SHOW THAT YOU LOVE GOD

Parents cannot model what they do not have to their children. It follows therefore that parents should have a growing relationship with God that their children can emulate. The first necessary condition for a Godly parent is to love God with all strength and might. This can be achieved through an unfailing relationship of dependence, trust, and communion with the Lord. Before love can radiate in our home, but it must first be in our hearts as we respond to God’s love and walk in it.

GUIDELING 2 – BEING OBEDIENT

Deut 6:2 gives an important promise, “If you obey all his decrees and commands, you will enjoy a long life.” Showing obedience is an important lesson to show to children. Obedience is defined as “dutiful or submissive compliance to the commands of one in authority.” MacDonald says using this definition, we see the elements of biblical obedience. “Dutiful” means it is our obligation to obey God, just as Jesus fulfilled His duty to the Father by dying on the cross for our sin. “Submissive” indicates that we yield our wills to God’s. “Commands” speaks of the Scriptures in which God has clearly delineated His instructions. The “one in authority” is God Himself, whose authority is total and unequivocal. For the Christian, obedience means complying with everything God has commanded. It is our duty to do so. 

Barker points out this is something that is echoed in the New Testament. Paul (Colossians 3:20, Ephesians 6:1-4), teaches that parents are encouraged to teach their children to be obedient. Culturally, times are very different. Families would live together, all sleeping in the same room. Gender stereotyping was such that the role of women was defined in terms of childbearing and house-keeping, and the child was associated with the appropriate parent, father with son and mother with daughter. But obedience is a key characteristic to learn. He implies that when children learn how to be obedient to their parents, they will learn to be obedient to God.

Guideline 3 – TALK ABOUT THEM, SHOW THEM

Another guideline that we can find in Deuteronomy 6 is verse 7-8 “7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” 

David Guzak says “This great command must first be in our heart. Then it must be communicated to our children, the topic of our conversation, and should always be in front of us – as near as our hand or our forehead, as ever before us as our door posts and gates.”  Harrington implies that parents not only have a responsibility to their children, but an assignment from God to impart His values and truth into their lives.

Young draws on a great biblical example found in the life of Timothy. In 2 Timothy 1:5 Paul says, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” Timothy’s mother and grandmother both loved God and raised Timothy to do so as well. Timothy joined Paul as a missionary associate as a young man and became one of his most trusted companions. The New Testament mentions Timothy by name twenty-five times as a missionary, aide to the apostles, and pastor.

As the author of Deuteronomy points out we are not just to recite these commands, but we are live them out. Children will copy and do exactly what they see in their parents. If parents are dedicated to positive spiritual change and growth, their children will follow suit. They will not walk in the way of the Lord just because they are told to do so. This is because children respond to reality, not pretense or lip service. For instance, if a father who wants his children to grow in the image of God is unkind to his wife and treats others with disrespect, the children will be confused with the distorted image of God. A healthy view is best transmitted by the parent who will allow the Spirit of God to make them loving and Christ-like. 

David and Kathy Lynn say that children and teenagers need to have interaction with people of faith from all generations. This helps them to see the love of God, from the older generation right down to the younger, and the different ways they express themselves. Kennemur believes that children are incredible observers and throughout their childhood they learn by watching, especially from their parents.

Guideline 4 – ANSWER THEIR QUESTIONS. 

Deuteronomy 6:20-24 encourages parents to take the time to explain to their children when they ask questions about the meaning of the requirements and regulations that have been commanded. In other words, parents should be ready to share their testimonies of the goodness of the Lord in their lives. 

Peter insisted that Christians always be ready to give an answer to those who ask concerning the hope that is within us. We should always be ready. To be ready to give an answer demands that preparation be made to give an answer. Therefore, studying the word of God is a must for parents, that when our children ask we might be prepared to explain and defend what we believe (2 Tim. 2:15; 1 Pet. 2:1-2; 2 Pet. 3:18; Heb. 5:11-14).  With the knowledge of the Scriptures, it shows our children that this is more than a fairly tale, that we have put in a lot of thought in to our decision. Also, studying scripture shows that this is more than a tradition, that this is a life decision. Our motivations has changed from pleasing ourselves and focusing on pleasing God. 

Conclusion

Godly parenting is essential today, just as it has been throughout history. Fathers and mothers are the key to raising Godly young men and women who love God and live for Him. Despite the blessing that pastors, youth leaders, and other godly influences are, no one can replace the role of Godly parents who live out their Christian faith and pass it on to their children. This is why the author of Proverb 22:6 could rightly claim, “Start children off on the way they should go, / and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”

Throughout this spiritual reflection, I have been looking to conclude that we need to do more as parents to take responsibility for our children spirituality. This is still true. We still need to teach more at home, encourage our children to read their bibles more, teach scriptures to our children and to encourage our children to serve. But since I have reflected on and researched this topic I have been surprised with my findings. I don’t think we should give up teaching our children stories from the bible, or explain where they have come from. But perhaps of greatest importance is the need to actively show our faith. If we allow Jesus to be our everything, we follow the greatest commandment and love the lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. This will be more of a witness to our children from infancy to adolecence.  Allowing the holy spirit to have an impact on the lives of a parent will no doubt be a real witness to the children. pareents need to be more like the apostles in the book of acts. Seeing God move in people, backed up with being a disciple of Jesus is only going to excite children to want to know more. Blackaby sums this up well when he says we should  
1. Live the adventure. 
2. Consider your circumstances and interpret them in light of what God may be up to. 
3. Pay attention and watch for the activity of God. 
4. Respond to opportunities to share God’s love and serve others (John 13:35). 
5. Teach your children how to recognize God’s voice.

The more we show God, in us, the more I believe they will see Him and want to know Him. 

Author:

x

Hi!
I'm Eileen!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out