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With our understanding of the difference between good and godly in hand from Chapter 9, let’s consider what we must embrace at our core to aim for godly.
There are two crucial elements that provide a necessary framework as we seek to do this.
Pure Oneness in Marriage
If we are faithless with our spouse, we are also being faithless with God. How is this so?
When we abandon or move away from our spouse, we are opposing God’s plan for oneness in marriage. Oneness in marriage has been His design from the beginning (see Genesis 2:24 and Matthew 19:6.)
Why is oneness in marriage a critical part of God’s plan?
Because oneness between the husband and wife accomplishes some of His greatest purposes. It is designed to:
- Reflect God’s sacrificial love and forgiveness
- Refine our character so we become more like God
- Reveal God’s glory and goodness
When a husband and wife faithfully pursue oneness, the power of the gospel is brilliantly displayed. This display is meant to deeply influence our children.
The state of our marriage, our faithfulness and oneness, profoundly affects the spiritual journey of our children.
Being faithless with my spouse robs my children of the impact of seeing God’s plan authentically lived out between their dad and mom.
Being faithless with my spouse is the same as being faithless with my children.
If we want to aim for godly children, we must aim for oneness with our spouse.
Note: In the book we list 7 ways to pursue oneness with your spouse.
Parent God’s Way
The ultimate passage on parenting in the Bible is Dueteronomy 6:4-9. It is called the Shema (sh-ma).
This passage gets its name from the fact that Shema is the Hebrew word for “hear” which is the first word of the passage.
This passage has long been one of the most revered texts in Judaism. The Jews immediately recognized its importance because it is God’s prescription for transmitting the deepest values from generation to generation.
In our modern thinking, it answers the question of how to create an entire family that loves and follows the Lord.
God offers us, as parents, the chance to form a deep and lasting impression on our children of who God is and what He is like.
How do we form this impression?
Through Our Example
The deepest impressions are made by our lives. We are always teaching our kids. Whether we like it or not, it is true.
When our children watch us love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and strength, they learn how to do the same.
As they watch our obedience to God, they can see what it looks like to have His commands upon our hearts. If they see us obeying God in some situations and disregarding His commands in others, they will powerfully learn that obedience to God (and other authorities) can be situational.
You have probably heard the saying, “More is caught than taught.” Children consciously and subconsciously emulate the behavior of their parents.
Through Our Instruction
Parents are not only called to be models for their children but also to serve as their primary instructors about God and His ways.
Many parents today feel they must delegate this aspect of training to “professionals.” But in both the Old and New Testament, parents are given the calling and privilege of this role.
Through Our Reminders Of His Truth
God has called parents to take action in keeping the truths about who God is and what He desires ever on our children’s minds.
What would your thoughts be like if every doorway from one room to another read, “Be joyful always,” or, “Pray continually,” or, “Give thanks in all circumstances.”
How would you respond if you saw, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” in huge letters on your garage door every time you pulled into the driveway?
God unveils a clear and consistent design in the Shema. We are to remember the truths about God and His ways at all times.
Parenting Is A Unique Calling
God has given us a unique calling in the lives of our children.
Like the coach, He is right with us, providing the passion and encouragement we need to wholeheartedly persevere as we invest in the lives of those we will surely care about in the rocking chair.
If you realize you have been aiming for good and not godly, take heart! It’s never too late to begin sowing the seeds of godliness into your family.