, Muskogee, OK

Fort Gibson

June 30, 2014

Ready or not, your child will do spiritual battle

Lately, I have spent a lot of time updating my family’s GPS units. I recently gave one to my daughter for graduation with a lifetime of updates.

There’s just something about coming to the reality that your child will be leaving the nest in a month and a half. From a dad’s perspective, the least I could do is make sure her GPS maps are all up-to-date before she hits the road for her next journey.

The same is true spiritually.

The only difference is that you don’t wait until the last minute to make sure your kids have the right directions programmed in to their brain. It starts very early on. In fact, the first time kids challenge their parents regarding spiritual matters, it usually catches parents off guard! This forces the parent to make a decision they may not have thought much about, or maybe they just thought it would come naturally. Yes, some answers to questions come natural, but others can require significantly more brain power to deal with. And even then, sometimes you’re not exactly sure if you made the right decision.

I remember one time when my now 16-year-old son was about 4 years old, he asked me this question, “If God created everything, then who created God?” Another question he asked was this, “Is God real in the same way that Santa is real?” I thought to myself, “Wow! Parenting is going to be fun! Ugh.” The questions have only gotten tougher over the years.

The Bible’s teachings have been a great source of comfort for me as a parent because God’s word is consistent in its teaching. There is no topic not covered. As time goes along, life presents opportunities to teach our children Bible based answers to life’s questions. Yes, Bible class is important. But if Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights are the only times children receive Biblical instruction, that is only about one-half of one percent of their time per week.

That is why it is important for parents to spend time reading the Bible on a regular basis, and then find practical ways to weave it into our children’s lives all day, every day (ref: Deut. 6) long before it is time for them to leave the house.

This way, your child will at least know now and later where life’s best advice comes from.

Just as we update our GPS units to keep up with changes to roads and highways, it is also necessary to update our children on a variety of topics that we may come across in life that might be spiritually helpful.

Your child may say, “Oh, dad!” or “Oh, mom, don’t worry!” But on the inside, they will always know you have their best interests at heart as you help them stay alert to the devil’s schemes (1 Peter 5:8-9), and as you make sure your children stay prepared to do spiritual battle away from home.

Have a great week!

Reach Barrett Vanlandingham at the Fort Gibson Church of Christ at (918) 478-2222 or

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