Role Models within the Church

Finally, parents must also be role models to their children in matters relating to the church.

Bringing Up Children in the Lord (cover)First, parents must show an example in making time to assemble. In emphasizing the importance of the assembly, the Hebrew writer said, “Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25). Though some may be in the habit of forsaking the assembly, we must not. To forsake the assembly does not mean to simply be absent because one was prevented from assembling through sickness, travel, or something like that. To forsake the assembly is to be absent from the assembly because one has willfully placed other things ahead of his service to God and his commitment to the local church. Parents must teach by example that service to God comes first; therefore, the assembly takes precedence over ball games, choir concerts, and homework. is is all about teaching children priorities. Jesus said, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). It does little good for parents to tell their children to put spiritual things first if they are not showing by their example that spiritual things – like the assembly of the saints – are important.

Second, parents must show an example of being an active member in the local church. Paul described the local church as a self-edifying body. He wrote, “The whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:16). Notice he said that “each individual part” had a responsibility. Being active in the local church is not just for preachers, elders, deacons, Bible class teachers, and those who lead in worship – all Christians have things they can do to help the church carry out its work. In describing the church as a “body” with “many members” (1 Corinthians 12:12-31), Paul talked about the importance of every member by making a comparison to the human body. In our physical bodies, the foot cannot say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body” (1 Corinthians 12:15); nor could the eye say to the hand, “I have no need of you” (1 Corinthians 12:21). Every part is necessary; therefore, every member must be active. If parents fail to do what they can within the local church, then by their example they are teaching their children that some members are just not important. Parents ought to be active in the church, not only because God expects it, but because it teaches their children the importance of the local church.

Third, parents must show an example of adhering to the truth. Paul told Timothy, “Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13). God has given us a pattern to follow in His word. We must respect it and do what He expects us to do. Are we holding fast the pattern? Are we showing our children the importance of doing this? It has been said that the church is just one generation away from apostasy. is is certainly true. Notice what happened when an untaught generation came along after the deaths of Joshua and those who conquered the land of Canaan with the help of the Lord: “There arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel. Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals, and they forsook the Lord…thus they provoked the Lord to anger” (Judges 2:10-12). If children are not taught the difference between truth and error, right and wrong, the church of Christ and the churches of men, then when they grow up, they will often depart from the truth. Parents must teach children the importance of doing “all in the name of the Lord” (Colossians 3:17).

The above post is an excerpt from the book, Bringing Up Children in the Lord. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!

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