“Daddy, you did not say, ‘thank You Jesus’.” This was the response of my younger daughter at the dinning on a particular day. We had taught and shown them the need to thank God as they pray over their food. She did not noticed when I said mine, so she thought it wise to remind me. My student has now become my teacher. She has learnt well and is now living the life.

Children do what they see you do, not just what they hear you say. They are good observers. They observe your devotion and dedication to God. They observe the way you treat their mum or dad. They observe your actions and reactions towards money. They see the way you treat your neighbors and people generally. They learn more than what you think you are teaching them. Your life is their school!

You need to maximize their growing up stage for instruction, correction and encouragement. A point comes when you can do little or nothing than to intercede for them. And when they become adults, you would need their permission to influence them. Understand what discipline really is, it is not punishment but correction and learning (Hebrews 12:9-11). Don’t just beat, let the child know what’s happening and why. Don’t let them perceive you as being wicked, let them see your love in all of it.

Be a friend to their mother, treat her well. Let your son know what it means to be a real man through you; serve, love, give. Let your daughter know the right things to look out for in a potential husband, don’t be a bad model. Let her know who a godly and virtuous woman is. Don’t only be a good man, be a godly man. Don’t be a good pastor (Boss or society leader) but a bad father. Your home is your first church. Don’t save the world and lose your home.

Be a provider. Be a friend. Let your children be happy to see you home and not run away once they hear your voice. Show them the way of the Lord. You determine the spiritual direction and temperature in your home. Don’t leave it to your wife alone or to chance. Guide what they watch on the TV, don’t let the TV or social media mentor them unknowingly. Start introducing them to the things of God early. Get them genuinely saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit (don’t assume this or leave it to chance). It’s beautiful when they know God from home, it does not have to be when they leave home. You have the responsibility, you are their first pastor and the family is their first Church.

Tap into Divine Grace to do a thorough job. Wage war in the place of prayers. The challenges are enormous. The battle against the family has been intense right from Adam. The devil is not joking. He wants to destroy posterity. He wants to truncate the program of God in and through your lineage. You must stop him. Like Joshua, you need to make a decision that; “…as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15b). Amen!

© ‘Demola Awoyele
Lead Pastor,
Destiny Impact Church
Akure, Nigeria