Parenting Challenges in Today’s World
Brother Joe Velasquez: Parenting today is arguably one of the most difficult responsibilities that a person can have, especially with all the challenges brought about by the condition of the world in which we live. Economic hardship threatens the stability of the home environment; while moral decay in society can ruin the bright future that parents are hoping for their children to have. So, how can parents fulfill the responsibility to raise their children properly while overcoming the challenges that this world presents? That is what we will be studying today on The Message.
Brother Joe: Hello, I’m Brother Joe Velasquez, and with me here in our studios in Anaheim, California is Brother Marvin Mangune. Hello, Brother Marvin!
Brother Marvin Mangune: Hey, Brother Joe! How are you? While it may be easy to become a parent, becoming a good parent takes a great deal more effort. It’s not all about just making sure your children have clothes to wear, or maybe they have food on the table, or even they have a roof over their heads. Parents today must face the reality that their children will also be exposed to the world and the external influences that may shape their behavior and outlook on life.
Brother Joe: That’s right, Brother Marvin. And, you know, making sure that the material needs of your children are provided is just one of the duties that parents have.
Brother Marvin: And if being a good provider is a duty that responsible parents agree should never be neglected, what is an even greater duty that a good parent should always fulfill?
Brother Joe: Well, Brother Marvin, we can read the answer stated here in the Holy Bible in Ephesians 6:4, this is what we can read:
Parents, do not treat your children in such a way as to make them angry. Instead, raise them with Christian discipline and instruction.
[Ephesians 6:4 Good News Translation]
Brother Joe: So, according to Apostle Paul, the parents have the responsibility to raise their children with Christian discipline and instruction. So, parents should not delegate that responsibility to someone else, for example, a babysitter, or a school teacher, or relatives like their grandparents. Rather, parents themselves should be actively involved in fulfilling this duty.
Brother Marvin: Right, Brother Joe. And since it is Christian discipline and instruction which should be used in raising godly children, then it is God’s words that parents should teach, apply, and uphold in their child-rearing. Sadly, there are some parents who simply put an electronic device in the hands of their children to keep them occupied, or sit them down in front of a television while they take care of matters which they feel are more important.
Brother Joe: That’s true, Brother Marvin. You know, they may be thinking that it’s more practical to take advantage of electronic devices on a regular basis, but, you know, doing this takes up the quality time that the children need for them to receive Christian discipline and instruction. Now, this doesn’t mean to say that parents can’t apply practical knowledge in teaching their children.
From the moment that their children are born, parents are constantly teaching their children essential skills and behaviors because, well, they’re going to need these in the future. Parents teach their growing children, for example, how to put on their clothes, tie a shoelace, ride a bike, etc. But if parents take the time to teach their children basic worldly knowledge, well, how much more effort should parents exert in teaching their children God’s words?
Brother Marvin: Right, Brother Joe. The answer is here in Deuteronomy 6:6-7. This is what we could read:
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
[Deuteronomy 6: 6-7 New King James Version]
Brother Marvin: According to the Bible, [parents] should diligently teach their children the words and the commandments of God. Now, how diligent should parents be in teaching their children God’s words? The Bible says, “talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk, by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” That means that being a good parent, one who fulfills their duty to raise their children with Christian discipline and instruction, is a full-time responsibility. Parents should make the most of every opportunity that they have with their children to remind them and instruct them concerning God’s teachings. For example, concerning Who is the true God, Whom we should worship; who are the ones whom God considers as His people whom He will save; the importance of God’s sending of a messenger, among others.
Brother Joe: So, Brother Marvin, if parents are making time to go to work so that they can provide the material needs of their children, well, then they should all the more make time to teach their children God’s words and commands. And if parents are making sure that their children are going to school to get a worldly education, well, then they must all the more be sure that their children are educated when it comes to the teachings of God, because this is what will certainly lead them to a bright future. But, of course, parents won’t be effective in teaching their children if they will lead by example.
Brother Marvin: Right, Brother Joe. So, Brother Joe, [whom] is a biblical example of a head of a household or a parent whom we should imitate because he did not neglect his duty to teach his family about God. And what was his conviction in leading his family?
Brother Joe: Well, let’s read here, Brother Marvin, in the Book of Joshua 24:15. And this is what is stated here:
And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
[Joshua 24:15 New King James Version]
Brother Joe: God’s servant, Joshua, is a good example for parents to follow when it comes to leading their families. What was his conviction, which should also be the conviction of all parents who want to fulfill their God-given duties and who want that their children will have a blessed life, he declared, “…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Thus, Joshua was the one who led his family in worshiping and serving God. You know, he was actively involved in their spiritual upbringing, right, Brother Marvin?
Brother Marvin: Yes. This is also the quality of the parents, here, inside of the true Church Of Christ. Just as the parents actively attend the worship service for the adults and baptized the members, the parents also make certain that from a young age their children are able to attend the Children’s Worship Service, wherein they are able to learn God’s teachings and commands at a level that they can easily relate to and even they could comprehend. The parents who are members of the Church Of Christ do so because they want their children to grow up strong in their faith, always upholding our Christian values, and never forsaking our duty to worship God.
Brother Joe: But, Brother Marvin, what is another important responsibility that parents should never forget to fulfill so that their efforts in raising their children with Christian discipline and instruction will not go to waste?
Brother Marvin: Right. This is the answer here, Brother Joe, in Proverbs 31:27:
She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness.
[Proverbs 31:27 New King James Version]
Brother Marvin: If parents teach their children God’s words and commandments, even leading them by example because they want their children to have a bright future, then they must also see to it that they are watching over and aware of what their household members are doing.
Parents should know who their children’s friends are, and if they’re a good or maybe a bad influence on them. Parents should know where their children are going when they are not at home, and even where they are going when they are surfing the Internet. What is being taught to their children maybe at school? What are the activities that they’re involved in? Maybe they are having troubles at school? Maybe, perhaps, they would also be experiencing being bullied? And maybe they’re hanging out with the wrong crowd, or being encouraged by their peers to get involved in harmful or even illegal acts?
Parents who take no active role in supervising their children could find themselves one day on the receiving end of a phone call informing them that their children have done something that could no longer be remedied.
Brother Joe: That’s true, Brother Marvin. So, for this not to happen, what advice should parents give to their children, especially since we all live in a society where influences, whether on social media or in our communities, hold great sway over the decisions and actions of the people whom they are influencing?
Brother Marvin: Here, Brother Joe, is the teaching of the Bible. The answer is here in Proverbs 1:10. This is what it says:
My child, when sinners tempt you, don’t give in.
[Proverbs 1:10 Good News Translation]
Brother Marvin: As much as parents would like to shield their children from bad influences, they can’t be there to protect them every single moment. The time will come when their children will be off at school, perhaps working or involved in activities outside the home. So, what could the parents do? They can, and they should provide warnings [and] words of caution to their children—like what was mentioned here in the Bible—that “when sinners tempt you, don’t give in.”
Brother Joe: That’s absolutely right, Brother Marvin. And parents shouldn’t assume that their children are aware of the dangers that are facing them out there. While there may be those who would try to encourage their children to join them in drinking alcohol or perhaps doing drugs; there are those who even promote a promiscuous lifestyle; gangs also continue to remain a problem; you know, there are even those who might try to convince them to harm themselves or others. So, it is incumbent upon parents to train their children to be firm and determined to always stick to doing what is right and avoid doing evil at all costs.
Brother Marvin: On the other hand, Brother Joe, what can be expected by parents who diligently teach their children God’s commands, and raise them with Christian discipline and instruction?
Brother Joe: Brother Marvin, here is the answer recorded in the Holy Bible. And I John 5:4. And this is what we can read:
for whoever is born of God overcomes the world, and the victory that overcomes the world is our faith.
[1 John 5:4 Modern English Version]
Brother Joe: Parents often work tirelessly to provide their children with their material needs and worldly education, and they do this with the hope that it will lead to a happy life and a bright future for their children. But parents who never tire of teaching their children God’s commands can hope for an even greater blessing for them. Why? When their children grow strong in their faith because of their obedience to the commandments of God, they will be able to overcome this world and all the evils within it and above all else, achieve the great victory—that is the attainment of salvation and eternal life come the Day of Judgment.
Brother Marvin: This is what every parent should strive to work for and prioritize, even in the midst of all the challenges that they face in today’s world. And we encourage you to learn more about the teachings taught inside the Church Of Christ, which will guide every household in obtaining God’s abundant blessings.
Brother Joe: On behalf of all of us here at The Message, we would like to thank you for joining us today in our study of God’s words.
We invite you to continue watching this and other programs of the Iglesia Ni Cristo or Church Of Christ. Before we go, though, please do join us for a short prayer.
Our loving and merciful God in heaven, we thank You so much for teaching us Your words today; for allowing us to hear Your commandments and all of Your wisdom. Father, please continue to remember each and every one of us that were able to hear Your message.
We know that it’s not easy to be a parent during these times because of the many difficulties, and even circumstances that we face. But may You always have mercy on us. All of the parents, all of the children, all of the households that were able to watch this message.
Father, please allow us to receive Your kindness and Your mercy so that we would be able to receive the good things that we hope for in this life, but most of all, that we would be included among those that would receive the promised salvation. Please, Father, always bless the one you have placed in your holy Church solely to lead us in our faith so that we would be led towards our salvation. We humbly beg and ask for all of these things in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.
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