Generation Cedar

This weekend, as I have deeply pondered the last several posts, and the resulting comments, I have so many different concerns, thoughts and directions that are simultaneously connected. Makes for a “blog-block”!

But the one prevailing thing, the one magnanimously profound thing that I see as an uncompromising tenet of Christian parenting, is that we be vigilant in passing on the Word of God to our children, keeping it pure and undefiled, and laboring to ensure our children are deeply rooted in sound wisdom and doctrine.


It sounds wonderful just to say, “Nothing matters except that we love Jesus”. In fact, some would say the Word of God gets in the way of the cross! But that’s not what the Bible teaches!

“Uphold me according to Your word, that I may live…You reject all those who stray from Your statutes, for their deceit is falsehood.” Psalm 119:116-118

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:3-5

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge….because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” Hosea 4:6

I have never felt quite as urgent as I do now that we must make the Word of God absolute priority in our homes. Read it, study it, memorize it, meditate on it, and let it encompass your lives.

Whatever effort you are placing on Math or English or Science, I would encourage you to double that effort teaching God’s Word.

When your children are kind to each other tell them, “You just obeyed the command to show brotherly kindness to one another.”

When they let others go first, tell them, “You know the Bible says that those who are last will be first in the Kingdom of Heaven.”

When there are money problems, tell them,”Jesus said, ‘Why do you worry about food and clothing? Your Heavenly Father knows that you need these things.”

Take every problem, question and concern to His Word. It is the lamp unto our feet and the light unto our path.


Psalm 119 is the longest chapter of the Bible, and one of the most thought-provoking and excellent passages of Scripture espousing the nature of God’s Word. Who’s up for memorizing it? Maybe you already have? We’ve made it to the 16th verse, but we’re going to resurrect that effort!

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13 Responses

  1. Very good points. I’ve been digesting what’s been going on around here myself as well. Thinking it through and trying to understand just what my role is as a mother to these children. I still don’t feel like I have my “footing” as a mother. You’ve helped answer a lot of questions. Pointing us back to God’s word is always good advice, and I know we could all do well to study it more deeply, and more often.

  2. I think those are great practical examples of how to put Deut. 11:19 into practice “talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” (ESV)

    I have thought about that verse in Deuteronomy and wondered how exactly it could be done. Thanks!

  3. This is so true Kelly, you cannot go wrong by living, drinking and breathing God’s Word.

    Our family has a goal of memorizing Matthew 5, 6, 7 this year. We are doing well with it!

  4. Yes, those are excellent ways to live out Deuteronomy’s instructions for teaching about the Lord to our children. I can’t help but think about what Paul wrote to Timothy: “and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). How important it is for our children (as well as ourselves) to learn the Scriptures. Many of you are familiar with Psalm 119:11: Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” I might add, it is through the law and the Scriptures that our children (and we) see like in a mirror who we really are and what our sins really are. Only when we realize our sinfulness can we realize we need a Savior and His mercy. I pray that I can be faithful and diligent to teach the Scriptures and the ways of our Lord to the precious little ones He has entrusted with us.

    In Christ,
    Rebekah H.

  5. It was so sad – yesterday at a family gathering of “Christians” someone asked, ‘how do you keep your children from doing drugs? what do you do?’

    My husband spoke up and said “You teach them how to love the Lord our God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength.”

    There was silence, everyone digested it, then they were like “No, really. What do you do?”

    And a man a few years older that my dh who works with troubled teens said that the problem is that most teens “Don’t love themselves enough.”

    It just broke my heart.

    Count me in on 119. I want to learn it! The spirit is willing the flesh is weak. 🙁


  6. But even God wasn’t able to keep His children from sin. So while we do have things we can do to try and help our children learn to love Him, we can’t force that. You can’t force love. Love has to be a choice, or it isn’t love. There is a point where children have to grow up and make that choice, and there is no perfect parenting strategy that will guarantee raising great kids.

  7. Anon,

    The fact that “you can’t force love” in no way changes what God has specifically commanded that we do as parents–teach our children God’s commands morning, noon and night. (Deut. 6)

    Not all children will grow to love Him–despite our diligent efforts…I won’g get into the discussion of God’s elect right now 😉

    But, failing to obey God in teachng our children about Him will certainly bring disaster.

    (It’s a bad analogy, but…we wear our seatbelts because it saves our lives in a crash, more often than not. In the cases a seat belt does not save a life, we don’t just give up on the general rule–we keep wearing them.)

    The formula for parents is, teach them to love Him, to love His Word, to obey Him,(lots of other things that fall under living out biblical principles) live it out while you teach it, and the results are left to God.

    But by all means, do your part!

  8. Wonderful post! I love your challenge and will be tackling it myself, along with my husband and 8 yo. I’ll also give the 3.5 and 2.5 yo some lines to memorize, and the baby will learn by osmosis I’m sure.

  9. in arriving here,once again, to revisit a very old blog post i have never replied to (which i was referenced in), i read this blog entry, as well as the newest one. i can say from reading these that i think, Kelli, the only thing i disagree in is some christians ‘micromanaging’ other christians. this would NOT be likened to ‘encouraging’ one another.

    anwyay, reagrding this particular post, and a particular comment…..i dont think it so off-based that someone who works with troubled teens states, ‘they dont love themselves enough’.

    oh…..they LUST themselves enough, that i believe. we all do; its in our nature. lust is different than love. this man was likely trying to say, in a simplified fashion……that kids today lack self worth. they dont have a reason or purpose in their life. they feel inadequate. they feel like failures.

    while IMO to some degree having God in ones life can heal them without self-worth, that individual will remain stagnant. that was me, 10 years ago. abused children need more grace….yes they need rules…….but they have been taught to fear UNHEALTHY fear and it has damaged them immeasurably. they dont know who they are. like a small baby, first lets encourage them, profusely…..they have been denied love, all at the selfish expense of adults in their lives. it wont kill them to be poured love on. yes, rules are needed. that is a part of love. but the simple picture painted for them that they are worthy, they are unique, they are special, they are lovely, they are delighted in…..will reap wonderful things. many of these children had so many darned rules that were INCONSISTANT on a daily basis. to not allow for a process for these kids to not ‘arrive’- where an otherwise godly child would be at age 15 due to a wonderful upbringing-is foolish. they are like little babies all over again. they are in turmoil. yes they are disobedient too. but much disobedience can be doused out with love and nurture and care alongside the needed rules. nurture and rules together encompass love.

    also remember-many many children today were raised with christian values and still turn to drugs. my husband is a crack addict. his dad took him to an evangelical church every sunday, and didnt spare the rod, and read him the bible every night. it didnt matter. there were holes and inconsistancies and selfihness on the part of his fahter, and my husband is a superb product of his parents. so dont be surpirsed when many parents are disenchated by a simple answer such as ‘we raise them to love and honor God’. the truth is, we raise BY EXAMPLE. you can read the bible, memorize scripture, and go to church every sunday. if you words are NOT put into practice for YOURSELF-your kids will quickly fall into your footsteps. its practical christianity. i have met many who attend bible studies, read the bible, stay married, dont drink smoke or eat doughnuts but still miss the point. i hesistate to say the amount of people in church today likened to this example is epidemic.

  10. authentically me,

    Regarding your first point…

    “i can say from reading these that i think, Kelli, the only thing i disagree in is some christians ‘micromanaging’ other christians. this would NOT be likened to ‘encouraging’ one another.”

    I have no idea what you’re talking about.

    Regarding Ashley’s comment about the man stating that teens don’t love themselves enough…

    You’re right in that troubled teens need a more intense kind of love to overcome devastation in their past; and even then, without a miraculous work of the Lord, they may never heal. (My parents have run a home for troubled children since I was 11–I know ALL about this thing.)

    I think Ashley’s point was that so many people rely on humanism–self-love, without spiritual renewal, to change a life. Only God can heal the wounds of abuse…whether you’ve come from a Christian home or not. “Loving yourself more” without the work of Christ, will never be enough.

    The post was directed at Christian parents, and it was a simple call to ground them in the love and truth of God and His Word (which are one and the same.)

    Your last point precisely explains that call:

    “i have met many who attend bible studies, read the bible, stay married, dont drink smoke or eat doughnuts but still miss the point. i hesistate to say the amount of people in church today likened to this example is epidemic.”

    My goal is to shatter the epidemic of luke-warm Christianity, and to spur families to a transforming, culture-changing love for Christ.

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