Your Child, Your Imprint

About a month ago, I began teaching 6th grade math at a local middle school, and I noticed something very quickly – my students are not nice. They are not respectful. They do not like to put much work or thought into anything.

So, I figured, I should do something about this as a teacher. So do something I did. I put in rules and regulations, punishments and rewards, grades and tests that would ensure that my students would abide by our school’s rules. Those that command the students to be respectful and courteous, prepared for class and waiting their turn to talk.

But then I realized something: my laws can only go so far. If these children do not have a change of heart, they will only obey me so far as they are required to. So I looked to the parents. They are the ones who hold the most authority, and the most opportunity, in their child’s life. Some of them, I found, are caring and nurturing; others could care less about their child’s misbehavior.

The Bible tells us that it is primarily your job, parents, to educate your children. The responsibility falls squarely on your shoulders. Now many parents may deny it and pass it off, but the truth of God’s Word stands. I have the opportunity and privilege to teach them about math and some of life, but it is your calling to raise them up for the glory of God.

Your child, beloved parents, is often an accurate reflection of your parenting. Your understanding of God, your teaching of His ways, how much time you spend with them, the way that you talk to them, the kind of behaviors you do and do not tolerate, whether or not you discipline them – all of these things are reflected every single day in my classroom and in the world.

This is a sobering thought as I look at my own children. What will their character say about mine? Where have I failed before God? Have I taught them the Gospel of Jesus Christ well or poorly? Have I modeled it well before them?

Thankfully, the God of grace is full of mercy and grace for poor sinners who call on Him for help. We are beset all around with sins that try to drag us down – and laziness in parenting is one of them – but He is full of loving strength, fully able to uphold you when you feel too weak, too tired, too sinful to be able to love your children in His ways. Run to Jesus – He is able. Admit your sins and fall at His feet. Beg for mercy and He will answer. Amen.

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About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

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