Mentoring Your Child’s Heart – Your Church & Bible Time
8 July 2018 PM – Hebrews 10:25 – Mentor Kids – Scott Childs
Introduction: Unfortunately, I think that at times my goal in childrearing was for my boys to be good and not embarrass me. That is not a biblical goal. A biblical goal is to reach the heart of the child and seek to mentor him into the very best Christian he can be for God’s glory. That goal is a two-decade goal into which you must pour your heart. It is far more important that your child loves the Lord and wants to live for His glory than anything else you can do for him.
Transition: This evening we are going to examine two major influences that can help you reach that biblical goal.
1. The Church You Attend is a Major Influence
(Read Hebrews 10:25) You may already be an active member of our church, but it is important that you understand the connection between your church life and your child mentoring. If you are not yet a church member, I urge you to pursue it.
a. You need to be a member of a Biblical church
1) When Melody was a pre-teen, her family began attending a good Baptist church. That church greatly helped her spiritual growth. A truly Baptist church has biblically sound doctrine. (Chart) Many Baptist churches are changing their name to attract more people. Rarely does a church that drop Baptist from their name without changing doctrine. Your children need a church that practices truly biblical doctrine.
2) Your Baptist church needs to be conservative and separated. Contemporary music is destroying many good churches. When the music changes from edifying to entertaining, separation from the world always decreases. God’s way is the narrow way. The narrow way is the highway that is safe for our children and us (Pr 16:17).
3) The focus of your church needs to be on edifying preaching. Your family needs Bible preaching that is spiritually nourishing and challenging. Before the Apostle Paul’s execution, he wrote these words to preacher Timothy. (2 Timothy 4:2-3) “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;”
b. You need to be involved in church
1) Faithfully attend as a family. Church attendance should not be an option. Your child should never wonder if you are going to church. Get your child actively involved in youth activities. Each youth activity has a spiritual lesson that can help him grow spiritually. Never keep your child from a youth activity as punishment.
2) Get involved in a church ministry. By getting involved, you are showing your children the importance of serving the Lord. Find something that you can faithfully do at church as a service for the Lord (e.g., usher, lead songs, preach, teach, help set-up, take-down, help in kitchen, S.S., youth activities, greet, piano, sing special, etc.)
3) Tithe and teach your children how. A tithe is 10% of your gross income. Your tithe belong in your local church. That is God’s plan not mine to support His work. Any Christian who says he cannot afford to tithe needs to change his way of life. Spending God’s tithe on yourself or your family is stealing from God (Mal 3:8). If you desire to give to needy people or organizations let it be above your tithe and offering to your local church. Teach your children to tithe with all money they earn. Let your children know and see that you tithe faithfully.
4) Be a witness for the Lord. Your children should see and hear you witness to people in daily life. Take them with you to put tracts in letterboxes and to witness door-to-door.
5) Never have “roast-preacher” for Sunday lunch. Your preacher is not perfect. No preacher is. If you disagree with something he says, make sure you have a Bible basis for your disagreement, and then talk to him about it. Never discuss it with your children. Your children need to hear you uplift your pastor.
O While it is not your church’s job to mentor your child, your church should have a positive impact. Your church ought to be supplementing what you are teaching at home.
2. Your Family Bible Time is a Major Influence
a. FBT needs to have structure
1) God ordained FBT in Deuteronomy 6:6-7. If you have no sort of FBT, you are disobeying God.
2) Some parents try to interact spiritually with their children during the day rather than in a FBT. Interacting spiritually during the day is great, but it is usually not sufficient.
3) There is something special about a regular FBT. Yes, it takes work, but make it a priority. To be consistent, have a specific time and place for your FBT. In our home, we had FBT before bed in our lounge every night except Sunday and Wednesday.
b. Make it an edifying time not just ritual
1) FBT is a great time for singing. Occasionally quiz the children on the meaning of the songs you that sing to be sure they know what they are singing.
2) Use it as a Bible teaching time.
a) For little children, you may want to read a Bible story to them. Always make sure that you explain it, draw principles from it, and apply it to their lives.
b) Teach principles that you have discovered in your Bible Time. Once they are old enough, show them how to find principles themselves. Be prepared!
c) Teach character qualities. This is an endless task for any parent. Perhaps focus on one character quality per week. Be sure to review and praise progress they make. For a list of qualities see http://www.characterthatcounts.org/homenew.html
d) Instruct on salvation. As you teach, be sure to explain salvation. Allow God to do the work of conviction in the child’s heart. Once the child makes a profession of salvation do not assume that he fully understood. Keep the Gospel before them.
e) Teach how to have victory over temptation. Teach them how to flee temptation. Give examples. Teach them how to guard their thoughts. As they get older, be more specific. Teach (Proverbs 4:23) “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Teach (2 Timothy 2:22) “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (Jas 4:7-10
f) After FBT, you might read a page or two from a Christian book like “Sugar Creek Gang”. Be sure to identify principles as you read.
g) If some of your children are very young, first bring the lesson down to their level, and then expand it for the older children.
3) Memorise together. Do not neglect this. Their young minds can memorise scores of verses easily. Explain each verse carefully. Make it a fun time. Have quizzes.
4) Have Q&A time. Answer all questions truthfully. If they are old enough to ask a question, they are old enough to get a discrete truthful answer.
5) Pray together. Use Jesus’ model prayer and teach them what to include in their prayers (Mt 6:7-13). Discourage memorised prayers. Pray for missionaries.
6) Pray for wisdom to know their heart, to reach it, win it, and keep it!
Conclusion: Your church life is a major influence in your mentoring your child’s heart. I urge you to set a good example before your children in this area. Your family Bible time is also a major influence. If you have not yet established a regular FBT, I urge you to begin. If you already have a regular FBT, always be looking for ways to improve and make it the best tool possible in mentoring your child’s heart.
Song: Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord – 337