Founded Families

By Pastor Nate Powell

Many what a busy and awesome weekend! I don’t know if yours felt like the whirlwind mine did, but I was VERY grateful to crash on the couch Sunday afternoon, both for a nap and some chats with my family. While chatting with my college-age daughters for our weekly Sunday afternoon/evening chat, I was looking back thru nearly 20 years of family photos, and was overwhelmed by the blessings of family and life lived within a family. What a blessing we have been given by God to be Humans and to be made as Male & Female! We sit in a privileged position, and that is why I preached what I preached yesterday … to speak of the basics of life.

But as I also noted yesterday, we are constantly under pressure to cave to the new values of the world with regard to humanity, male & female, and the family. That is why I said first and foremost that we must pray for one another: for our families and for our kids. I do not think that there has ever been a time that it has not be challenging to be a parent, but these days are especially challenging, given the culture of confusion we live in, the media bombardment aimed at steering the hearts and minds of our kids, and the conversations that students are daily surrounded with in their local school, peer group, and activity contexts. The pressure to devalue humans, to become confused with regard to gender, and to fold on upholding the family is increasingly plied against our kids. Their minds and hearts are the battleground. As I say, every parent is in my prayers in navigating these waters.

But we must stand guard for our children. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 19:14) He also noted this promise for those who seek to entice children into lies and sin: “whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matt 18:6) So how will we guard and protect them?

  • Pray for them: Our children are not our own. They are blessings entrusted to us by God. We have them for a time, and then they will leave. The one thing we can do to support them as parents in all of their lives is to pray for them. This is the most essential thing that will both keep them grounded in, and will beckon them to return to the truth when they stray is that we lift them up in prayer.
  • Engage with them: We need this reminder. Put down your phone when your kids are ready for conversation. Really work to disconnect yourself from your work and your social media so that you are a parent that is actively involved, interested in and communicating with your child. This requires effort and maintenance on your part. And it is the way that you will call and encourage your children to turn in faith to and follow Jesus.
  • Read the Bible with them: In general, as your kids are young it is great to read with them. But in specific as a Christian, your kids youngest years is when you lay these biblical foundations in their hearts. Setting a pattern for reading thru a Kids Bible (we have taken our kids thru several) or other great Christian literature (the Narnia books have been a favorite at our house)
  • Get them to church: If you are concerned about the moral slide of the nation, then perhaps it is time to stop taking the one place where moral teaching IS the focus for granted. The church, with kids activities, youth ministry, and family focus are a strong and steady bulwark against the cultural slide and decay you see around us. If you’re not invested in the church with your time and resources, then you are indirectly contributing to the cultural decay you may be complaining about. The church is not a replacement of the spiritual influence of parents, but we are a key partner with parents and families to guide your kids in walking with Christ. Step up, be present and get involved with your church.
  • Stand as a guard against media/influencing predators: Parents, many of you know this … but it bears repeating: there is no trusted media. Not Disney, not Pixar, not PBS Kids, not Nickelodeon. There is no major media company that has not been infiltrated by those who seek to steer the hearts of your kids astray. And of course, the internet is the internet, which can be used for great good or unspeakable evil. You are the most key factor in guarding the eyes and ears of your children when they are in your care. So, a few helpful tips:
    • Watch what your kids are watching: Don’t simply trust ANY media company. Watch what your kids watch. Take an interest. Discuss it with them at times when the TV is off.
    • Monitor Devices: Do not allow your kids to keep or take devices to private places. Make it known that you get to know their passcode and see what’s on their device at any time. Help give guidance to times that are to be spent on devices versus being off devices.
    • Use parental guards and filters: There are many parental controls and helps on devices and routers. They do take a bit of time to learn or set up, but you will thank yourself later. Many internet routers come with filters like Circle built in. Learn to use it.
    • Be vigilant: The Devil is prowling, looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8) But resolve to yourself this day that it will not be you and it will not be your children. Be on your guard at all times against the attacks of the evil one, preying on the most vulnerable among us. The Lord will win, and His people must stand strong.

I won’t every claim to have everything figured out as a parent (or as a pastor), but I do my best. And I know that as a parent, you want to do your best too. Zach and I are here (along with all the other members of our church) to support you in seeking to raise your family right. Please let us know how we can best help, serve or pray for you!

Loving our families,

Pastor Nate