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Prepare Your Children for God

I spent a decade of my life teaching at a Christian Academy in the state of Delaware. My initial years at this school were eye opening. I just assumed that parents and students who attended were Bible believing and practicing Christians. After listening to conversations from my junior high students prior to homeroom, my soul was troubled by the secularization of these teenagers. After taking over as their Bible teacher in the middle of the school year, less than half could not pass a basic 10 question Bible quiz.

For the unbelieving husband is set apart (separated, withdrawn from heathen contamination, and affiliated with the Christian people) by union with his consecrated (set-apart) wife, and the unbelieving wife is set apart and separated through union with her consecrated husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean (unblessed heathen, outside the Christian covenant), but as it is they are prepared for God [pure and clean], 1 Corinthians 7:14.

Looking back now, these young people didn’t have the Christian friends, mentors and youth group that I was nurtured by and strengthened. My favorite night of the week was Sunday. This wasn’t because of sports or Sunday Night Football. Rather, I longed to attend a local Methodist youth group which had as many as 50 high school students there each week. In the summer, the MAYNE Event brought hundreds of students every Wednesday night from other churches to play volleyball and hear a short message. These experiences prepared me to follow God after graduating high school.

Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it, Proverbs 22:6.

According to the apostle Paul and King Solomon, parents are responsible for preparing their children to meet God. This call for parents begins by being set apart, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7, consecrated and dedicated to a life of purity. Jesus sets a high standard in his Sermon on the Mount, aiming for perfection, Matthew 5:48. When you do stumble and fall, confession and prayer is a vehicle to get right with God, James 5:16. When parents live out their faith at home, spiritual seeds are sown for God to water via the Holy Spirit. For current and expecting parents, may this blog inspire you to prepare your children for a personal relationship with God.

by Jay Mankus

Cursing with the Cross

While taking a few days off last weekend to visit a couple of Christian colleges with my son Daniel, I had more free time than usual. As a fantasy football commissioner, I scanned the television to check the latest update on NFL scores. At the end of Sunday, I caught a glimpse of a post game interview. This press conference sent a mixed message as this cornerback spoke about praying to God followed by several bleeps, curse words. This all took place as this player proudly wore a large golden cross on a chain.

You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye, Matthew 7:5.

Jesus anticipated situations like this during the first century. Instead of encouraging a Monday morning quarterback mentality, Jesus warns individuals against prematurely judging others. Rather than point out another person’s flaws, Jesus urges believers to get your own life right before judging a specific kind of behavior. When it comes to cursing, unless your own language is currently glorying to God, then you are not eligible to criticize, condemn or rebuke Jalen Ramsey.

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless, James 1:26.

Jesus’ earthly brother makes a similar statement in a letter written to Christians scattered throughout the Middle East. Following Jesus’ resurrection, James came to faith, believing his older brother was indeed the promised Messiah of the Old Testament. One of the themes within this Catholic Letter is that faith is dead without action. Thus, James declares that unless you keep a tight reign on your tongue, don’t consider yourself to be religious. While everyone is hypocritical at some point in time, if your faith is a priority, make sure you walk in step with integrity.

by Jay Mankus

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