Raising Holy Children In An Unholy World

By: Mary Wilson

Child rearing is a BIG subject – certainly bigger than this article. However, the following points have been important and useful in our family. I hope they can mean to you what they have meant to us.

1. It’s an Everyday Affair

You cannot be lazy in raising children. It’s an EVERYDAY affair. From babyhood on up, they seem to have crises in their lives – whether it is a bump on the head, a bruised knee, a lost lunch, or a fight on the school grounds. Later, it’s their best friend who snubbed them, etc. Then, can I just say the “Teen Years” and that says enough by itself. Many parents are not aware that the teen years do not alter this need of everyday attention. Teenagers don’t know how to raise themselves any more than young children
do. They need Godly wisdom, guidance, and oversight. It only takes one incident, one night, one situation, one wrong crowd to scar your child for life.

2. Prayer and Fasting- “…but by prayer and fasting.” Mat. 17:21

There are some things conquered only by prayer and fasting.

Rebecca was five and Sheila was four. We were pastoring in Flint, Michigan. I told God at the beginning of the year that I was going to make this a “dedication year” for my children. From 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m., I took the children to the church each weekday for that entire year. We made it an exciting time. The girls packed their little suitcases full of Fisher Price toys, snacks, etc. For three hours we went to the church. They played while I prayed for them. I emphatically remember praying: “God, put convictions
down deep into their hearts, not just because their Daddy is a preacher, but because they love you and you are a Holy God.”

Virtually every major crisis we ever had with our children was won through prayer and fasting.

Often times, I had no other weapon. I’m not just talking about one day fasting, but rather, however long it took to gain the victory. After all, it’s a matter of Heaven or Hell for your child.

The devil cannot withstand the power of Prayer and Fasting. Do not be afraid to let your children know you’re praying and fasting for them. It is very difficult for a child to withstand such a manifestation of love.

3. Communication

Parents, communicating is not just talking, it is also listening. Don’t just talk, but communicate EVERYDAY. They are going to go to someone – it is obviously best if it is you. I won’t happen, however, unless you make it happen. We always attempted to be our children’s best friends and confidantes.

4. Association

In raising our children, one of the most critical parts in their life was always who they ran with. We often “quarantined” our children from what we considered unhealthy situations and relationships. Many times, we refused to let them stay in company with those whom we felt would be a negative influence on them. However, when you do that, you have to make yourself available to them to fill that void. Everything removed must be replaced with something equal or better. You can’t be lazy. IT’S WORK. Parents! Parents! Beware of who your children run around with. It’s true of children- “you become what you run with.” Don’t be intimidated about checking who they run with and who their friends are.

5. Courage

There are vicious, violent, demonic forces making a bid for your children. Without sounding melodramatic, we faced demonic forces during our children’s teen years that we never knew existed. There were times that the struggle was so intense that we almost lived moment by moment. With love,
all-night prayer, fasting, faith, and gritty, non-stop, never-say-die determination, we have seen God give victory after victory. With head unbowed, face every storm with courage and determination! You’ve got what it takes. Don’t let the devil intimidate you one ounce! Have courage to say “no”, to be firm, and to lead.

6. Conclusion

I thank God every day of my life for my parents who taught me that you can break through every fetter, face any problem, and receive from God what you need through love, faith, prayer and fasting. Parents we owe this to our children.

Thank you seventy-six-year-old Dad for not just telling me these things, but for being an example to me and showing me the way. And, Mom, you’ve been in your grave about seventeen years now, but oh, I owe you so much!

Mom, thanks for handing down to me a legacy of what’s important and for helping me keep my priorities straight.

See you up there, Mom – with my children!

(The original source of the above material is unknown.)

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