In just a moment I will be posting a movie that I fear may appear controversial to most people in the world today, especially within the church. Please know that my intent is not to cause strife or anger but rather to get you to dig into the Scriptures and seek out the will of God in all things, including what is happening in churches across America today.
We are told over and over in the Bible that it is the parents' responsibility to train up our children in the ways of the Lord. We are to instruct them, love them, Biblically correct them and disciple them. Proverbs 22:6 tells us, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
Malachi (a book we recognize as prophetic) chapter 4 is a short chapter with great significance for families. In it we are told: 1For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. 2But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. 3And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts. 4Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. 5Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: 6And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Before anyone should rant and rage or suggest that I am getting high and lofty, please know this is a topic that my husband and I have been praying over for some time and the more we seek out the Word and the will of the Father, the more we come to the same conclusions. We continue to pray for guidance from God. If God tells us tomorrow to remove our children from other programs, then we will.
I also want to add that I have absolutely nothing against youth ministers and children's ministers and teachers. I believe these wonderful men and women have a passion in their hearts to reach the children and youth for the Lord and that they desire a closer walk with the Father in the hearts of all the children they impact. Yet, as proposed in this video, if it is not a Biblical model, is this something we should be pursuing? I pray over our youth and children's pastors constantly, and give some credit to my own youth minister (back in the day) for teaching and preaching us but cannot help to think that even then, unknowing and unlearned as I was I would go to my youth pastors before my own father when it came to many thing, not just Scripture.
The problem comes then when our children's hearts are turned outside of the parents and parents who have been conditioned to believe it is better for "experts" to raise our children. I cannot remember what the advertisement is for (think it was for doctors or hospitals), but recently there was a commercial out that talked about how parents go to all different types of people to help raise their children (coaches, music instructors, teachers in schools, etc.). While it was presented as offering another resource for parents, I couldn't help but instinctively feel that it backhandedly told parents that they really don't know what they are doing and here is yet another expert to help with raising their children. Yes, I appreciate doctors and instructors and coaches for those things that I do not know about but they do not raise my children. If my children are involved in programs, it is my duty as a parent to be involved as well, to make sure that they are being trained up correctly. My responsibility is to first go the Lord for instruction to pass along to them. It is one reason we removed my daughter from Girl Scouts years ago. We did not agree with the direction it was going as it relates to my daughter's relation to God, our family and her life. It is also one reason we began homeschooling all of those years ago. I suppose that journey has helped us see more in this specific topic than some might see.
Most important though, it is from God, who has laid this on our hearts. God created the family unit for a specific purpose and as time has passed we have lost generations of courageous men, Titus 2 women, and a generation of youth and children whose hearts have been turned to youth pastors and other mentors instead of their fathers. And we have willingly given up our children to their instruction (oftentimes without involvement on our end), abdicating our responsibility and in essence, relinquishing our rights to our children's hearts.
One result is that we are a starving generation. We are hungry for Truth, discipleship and instruction. And I see this from my own peers around the world, women of God who do are seeking God's will in their hearts and the hearts of their families. Godly women are rising up, learning what they can to help pass along and disciple the younger women in Godly matters of marriage, child-rearing and homemaking. Just look at the blogs out today. We want to learn and are seeking God and His direction, returning to our first loves. Is this other topic yet an extension of that? Looking at Malachi 4, it could very well be.
So, please, prayerfully consider the movie (it is about an hour long) and ask the Lord for His will to be done in our hearts and our churches--if it is with age-segregated ministries or not. Right now this movie is free (for limited time) and if you feel led to, please share it and pass it on.
With much love and prayer,
Just As I Am
4 weeks ago