“Daddy, you did not say, ‘thank You Jesus’.” This was the response of my younger daughter at the dining on a particular day. We had taught and shown them the need to thank God when they want to pray over their food. She did not notice 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.

Friend, 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 (2 Timothy 1:5). 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 growth stage for instruction, correction, and encouragement (2 Timothy 3:15-16). 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 is really about. 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 wicked; let them see your love in all of it.

Be a friend to their mother, treat her well. Let your son learn what it means to be a real man from you; serve, love, give, etc. 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 (1 Timothy 3:4-5). 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 (Genesis 18:19). 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. It’s beautiful when they know God from home (1 Samuel 2:12).

Tap into Divine Grace to do a thorough job. Wage war in the place of prayer. The challenges are enormous. The battle against the family has been intense right from Adam (Genesis 3:1-15). 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, make a decision to serve the Lord with your entire family (Joshua 24:15). Amen!

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