Parents: Take Righteousness Seriously

Arlene Pellicane
header for Parents: Take Righteousness Seriously

According to the American Bible Society, almost nine out of ten households (87 percent) own a Bible, and the average household has three. With more than five billion copies sold, the Bible remains the world’s bestseller. But true godliness isn’t measured in owning a Bible. It’s about the Bible owning us. Have we surrendered our lives to obey the commandments within the sixty-six books of the Bible?

If we’re not purposeful, the best book ever can sit for days on a shelf, while the family iPad remains popular and very un-dusty. Does the Word of God get thirty seconds of your daily attention or more? Dr. Kathy Koch is concerned about the number of people who admit they only use a phone app for Bible reading. That’s convenient, but does it lend to thinking deeply and pondering God’s Word? Dr. Koch says:

There are things that aren’t going to happen when we use our device. We’re not going to cross-reference. We treat the Bible in a casual way because it’s on our play device. It seems like a lot of parents aren’t keeping the Bible and God in the proper place. Pastors and teachers are telling me that children’s prayers are becoming shorter and more casual. We’ve got to be raising up a generation who knows they can trust God and admit their fears and concerns. Are we modeling that? Do they see us turn to the Bible for insights and wisdom?

Although they weren’t inundated with apps for handheld devices, the ancient nation of Israel also had a spiritual problem. Moses had instructed parents to teach their children God’s commands and all the miracles to preserve their faith. Joshua continued in this tradition, and so did the generation that followed him. But within a space of a few decades, the nation of Israel lost faith.

Joshua proclaimed, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15 NKJV). This commitment faded in Judges to, “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judg. 17:6, 21:25 NKJV). What happened in the gap? Parents stopped teaching their children the story of redemption and miracles. Parents didn’t obey the repeated command to drive out all the Canaanites from the Promised Land. The bridge of faith between the book of Joshua and Judges was broken as a result.

It’s time for parents to take responsibility and stand against evil flooding into our homes.

Maybe you can relate because your parents didn’t teach you about faith in God either. Without God-fearing leadership to restrain sin, “the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals; and they forsook the Lord God of their fathers. . . . And they were greatly distressed” (Judg. 2:11–12, 15). How did the monotheistic Israelites make the huge switch to worshiping other gods? Perhaps it started with a touch of apathy, rationalizations, and a few choice excuses. They decided to coexist with the pagan cultures around them instead of driving them out. Judges 1:27 says, “The Canaanites were determined to dwell in that land” (nkjv). The Israelites should have fought for their lives, but they decided it would be easier to have pagan neighbors.

The Israelites tolerated evil and eventually accepted it as normal. Ultimately, they imitated the evil by serving the Baals, turning their backs on God. Toleration turned to acceptance, which turned to imitation. Like the children of Israel, we live in an ungodly, pagan culture. We can’t (and shouldn’t) try to drive out unbelievers from our neighborhoods, but we can certainly put a gate at our front door. We can decide what is allowed in the culture of our home and do our best to return to righteousness.

Dr. Gary Chapman says, “We not only live in a multicultural world; we live in a multi-moral generation. People have all sorts of ideas about what is right or wrong. But we are not responsible for whatever others are doing. We are responsible for our own families.”

Parents, we must rise.

It’s time for parents to take responsibility and stand against evil flooding into our homes. We must rise up in this sense of the definition: to take up arms and to increase in fervor and intensity. We’ve been muzzled in our culture because we don’t want to offend anyone or be labeled as judgmental. Instead of getting angry when right is called wrong, and wrong is called right, we are silent. We don’t want to be known as haters. Hate has very negative connotations. But the Bible hasn’t changed, and it says to “hate evil, love good” (Amos 5:15)—not to hate people, but to hate evil. In Matthew 15:19, Jesus said evil thoughts included murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and slander.

We are long overdue for the return of righteous anger and zeal for God and His ways. Parents, we must stand against evil hurled at our kids and weave the Word of God into the fabric of their souls.

For Further Reading:

Parents Rising

by Arlene Pellicane

How to raise godly children in a godless world Do you feel like you’re fighting a losing battle? Against the culture, against the...

book cover for Parents Rising