5 Things We Can Learn about Parenting from Daniel
- Misty Honnold Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2017 6 Jan
There is a real battle, and our children are caught in the crossfire. We have a real enemy seeking to “kill, steal and destroy” our sons and daughters. We are admonished in 1 Peter 5:8 to “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Unfortunately, this adversary seems to be devouring a generation. There is a great exodus happening in the church.
Researcher David Kinnamen, author of, “You Lost Me”, states that children have felt abandoned and left by the church. In a time of life when they are seeking for identity, the church has failed to help them answer questions that plague their mind: Am I loved? Accepted? Who am I? We, as parents and the church, are not helping them see the relevancy of following Christ.
We are told in Proverbs 22:6: “Point your kids in the right direction, when they’re old they won’t be lost.”
Other translations tell us to train up, teach, or start our children off. If our children are leaving the church in droves, falling prey to the schemes of the enemy, then perhaps we as parents, and as the church, need to address the problem of training up our children so they are equipped to fight the battles that are of the spirit.
Let’s face it; our children are growing up in a culture and climate that is violently opposed to biblical standards. Day after day, we send them into the lion's den to be eaten alive. Raising four children in the hostile climate of today’s culture, made me pause often and wonder how to equip them to survive like Daniel when thrown into that den. I knew it was not a matter of if they would be thrown, but when; and I wanted them to be able to rest in confidence and come out unscathed.
I have often wondered what Daniel’s parents did to equip him to stand firm in his principles. His life could be compared in many ways to the lives that many of the kids in today’s world. At the age of 13-14, Daniel was ripped from all he held dear. His family was most likely killed and his home destroyed. He lost friends and an evil empire came and demolished all that was familiar and safe to him. Today, many homes are being crushed and torn apart by divorce. Kids are uprooted from homes and taken to new places--oftentimes new schools--and forced to leave all that is familiar and comfortable. There is usually hostility involved.
The image is not as drastic as what Daniel had to face, so shouldn’t our children have a greater success record of holding true to the values and morals they have been taught in the home and church? Yet… the Great Exodus is happening.
I have come to the conclusion that Daniel must have had amazing parents and community that instilled values, morals, and a deep sense of God’s faithfulness.
So what can we as parents, mentors, and leaders learn as we try to turn the tide of our children leaving the church?
1. Study the Word of God
Make reading the word and discussing what it means a part of normal life.
Daniel had spent time in biblical studies. Daniel was likely from a well to do family in Israel and as a son, would have been required to study the Law. He had been raised like all good Jewish boys to know the Torah; the first five books of the bible.
2. Remember God’s Faithfulness
Discuss on a regular basis what God has done for your family.
Every week Daniel celebrated the Sabbath, which commands us to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. The Sabbath was a time set aside each week devoted to remembering the Creator and honoring Him.
The biblical feasts were a part of the yearly practices of Daniel and his family where year after year, he was reminded of the faithfulness of God as the stories were recounted.
3. Connect with Other Believers
Be a part of a faith-filled community and gather with those of like-minds and help your children develop relationships with other families of faith.
Daniel’s family was part of a community of believers. They worked together, broke bread together, and prayed together. God was incorporated in every part of his life.
4. Pray with and for Your Children
Our children need to know whom we turn to for our help and they need to hear us talk to Father God on their behalf.
Daniel had to grow up with the example of corporate prayer; otherwise he would not have initiated it when times grew difficult. Most likely his parents had a very outward expression of their faith, which allowed Daniel the confidence to express His faith outwardly.
5. Observe Religious Traditions
Traditions are important in helping us hold firm to something with times are tumultuous. They give us a sense of belonging to something (or someone) bigger.
Daniel had religious practices that were an outward expression of an inward commitment. Don’t eat things sacrificed to idols, don’t eat unclean things, etc. For him to eat the food from the king's table would have been like denying his God.
It’s time to take back the territory of the hearts of our children and equip them to stand firm in the knowledge of God’s faithfulness using the Bible as a guide. In addition to Daniel, there are many stories throughout the Bible that have much to teach us about parenting.
Please pray with me:
Father God, I praise You for your faithfulness, goodness and extravagant mercy. We want learn from You how to parent and lead our children well. God forgive us for releasing our responsibility of raising our children to know your voice to others and give us the courage and wisdom to instill biblical practices in our families. Thank You for the incredible honor of raising our children to know you as Father. Strengthen us as parents, mentors and leaders to lead with excellence and humility. Empower us to incorporate Godly practices and principles in our homes and workplaces, so that the generations coming behind us “see and hear and put their trust in You.” Holy Spirit, give us eyes to see and ears to hear where we can make changes, and courage to make those changes for the sake of our sons and daughters. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Misty Honnold is the Founder and Director of the non-profit organization The Single MOM KC. Misty equips, trains and empowers women to discover the source of their strength in Christ. She publishes a weekly blog on the website The Single MOM KC as well as freelances for other publications. She is working on her first book to be published in 2016; an autobiographical teaching of the Song of Solomon.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: January 6, 2017