We know that if we want to arrive at a destination that is to the east, we will never get there going west. The same concept applies to parenting. We must have a goal or destination in mind and be sure we are on the right path to get there. In Matthew 5-7, “The Sermon on the Mount” or “The Beatitudes,” Jesus sets forth what has been called by theologians as Our King’s “Inaugural Address.” Every Christian would be wise to be familiar with His teachings. Jesus spoke of two paths of which we can choose one.
“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” If my child follows my lead, where will we end up? Am I on the path that leads to destruction or the path that leads to life?” Matthew 7:13-14 (NLT)
Note that Jesus said few choose life. As I consider my thoughts, actions, deeds, and investment in the lives of my children, what motivates me? Do I strive for my children to be “right with God” and choosing His boundaries? Answering this question honestly will reveal whether I am leading them on the broad way that leads to destruction. It is difficult to choose the way of Christ in our daily lives; however, Jesus says it is “necessary” in order to find life. There is absolutely nothing destructive in the daily choices God would have us and our children to make. There are none who have ever chosen to live within the boundaries of God’s instructions that were sorry they did; however, there are many who are sorry they didn’t. To choose to “fit in” and the desire to “be popular” can be destructive.
“For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!”2 Timothy 3:2-5 (NLT)
It is not a far stretch to desire the blessings of God over the approval of man. When our children find favor with God, they will also ultimately find favor with man. They may not be popular or cool, but they will be unique and there will be no denying the One Whom they are following. Proverbs 3:4-6 (NLT): “Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation. Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”