Garrett Oppel • Children’s Pastor
I’m sorry for the long post, but the Lord has laid this on my heart and I couldn’t stop thinking about this until I wrote it all down. As you know, your family is your #1 ministry—your top priority. It is vitally important that you set a godly example for your children, and demonstrate for them what it looks like to be a disciple of Jesus. I came across a Psalm in my Bible reading and I wanted to share it with you. I hope you take the time to read it and reflect on it.
I will sing of your love and justice, Lord.
I will praise you with songs.
2 I will be careful to live a blameless life—
when will you come to help me?
I will lead a life of integrity
in my own home.
3 I will refuse to look at
anything vile and vulgar.
I hate all who deal crookedly;
I will have nothing to do with them.
4 I will reject perverse ideas
and stay away from every evil.
5 I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors.
I will not endure conceit and pride.
6 I will search for faithful people
to be my companions.
Only those who are above reproach
will be allowed to serve me.
7 I will not allow deceivers to serve in my house,
and liars will not stay in my presence.
8 My daily task will be to ferret out the wicked
and free the city of the Lord from their grip.
The best thing you can do for your family is have a growing relationship with Jesus. As you fall more in love with Him, the better you will be able to lead your family. The world we live in is an evil one. Temptation is everywhere. Satan is seeking to destroy families. It is not uncommon anymore to see Christian marriages fall apart. What our kids need more than anything is not an active sports life, plenty of toys to keep them entertained, or the latest gaming system. They need you! They need parents who have a strong marriage. Parents who intentionally make time to date each other. Time away from the kids and keep the fire burning. You don’t take time away from the kids because you don’t love them; you do it because you DO love them! You need that one-on-one time with your spouse.
As verse two says, we need to live a life of integrity at home. Set the example for your children. Let them see you on your knees praying out to the Lord. Let them see you opening your Bible every day and depending on it daily. Take the steps necessary to make sure you don’t let your eyes look at anything vulgar. Get an accountability partner. Install Covenant Eyes on all of your devices. Pray to God that He will help you to stay away from evil.
On top of that, surround your children with godly influences. Yes, you are to be their main disciple-maker, but they also need other godly people in their lives that can point them to Jesus. Be careful with whom you allow your children’s main influencers to be. Let it be someone who is deeply in love with Jesus and you know will help and encourage them in their walk with God and reinforce what you are teaching at home. Keep an eye on what your kids are watching on TV. Even Disney Channel is not always safe, because a show called Andi Mack just introduced the first gay kid on a Disney show. Be careful of apps and to whom your children are talking to online. Recent research shows that 50% of 10 year olds have been exposed to pornographic material. Most of those cases were by accident (app pop-up, internet pop-up, TV commercial, billboard, YouTube, etc.). The YouTube kids’ app is much safer. Don’t let culture dictate what is acceptable and good, but teach your kids to always turn to the Scriptures.
If you ever have questions about TV shows or appropriate apps for kids, feel free to reach out to me. I keep up with kids’ TV shows, so I know what is out there, can better relate to the kids, and can see if any red flags pop-up like with Andi Mack. Please let me know if there is any specific way I can be praying for you and your family. I want to be your personal prayer warrior for your family. I love each of your families so much, and want to encourage and equip you, the parent, to be the best you can be for your kids. God bless, and thank you for allowing me to be a part of your family’s life!