As we face the self-destruction of humanism, our task is to be prepared, and to prepare our children, to lead in terms of the Kingdom of God. This must include evaluating all subject areas, occupations, political decisions, and family and community life according to God’s law-word, and do so deliberately and self-consciously. If we fail to do so and continue to use the old wineskins of humanistic/statist law, the results are predictable.
Teach your children to delight in the law by demonstrating in your own life how the law equips you to avoid problems and dilemmas you face. Parents should share with their children how they reach their decisions and why they pursue certain courses of action. For instance:
Do your children see that you tithe? Do you share with them how you determine how to distribute it?
Do your children see that you live debt free? Do they understand how you set aside money for the things you want rather than rack up credit card bills?
Do your children witness you making choices about what you will read and watch based on applying Philippians 4:8?
Do your children see you actively pursuing fellowship with other believers and obeying the Great Commission (making disciples and teaching God’s law) with those outsidethe faith?
Do you correct your children using God’s law as the standard and helping them see how each and every offense is an offense against God?
Do you share with your children circumstances where you had to make a choice that was difficult because you knew the law must be followed?
There are many family stories I could share about living out the law of God in real circumstances. However, one stands out as a great example of how the law acted as a lamp and light for my family. It is a story that each of my children heard when they were mature enough to understand it and one that continues to strengthen me to this day. It was one of many times that Psalm 119 became a “personal” psalm in my family.
It was December 1984 and I was pregnant with my second child. The dealership where my husband worked had a Christmas party for the sales people. After the salesmen’s dinner, before the men got their Christmas bonuses, the management provided entertainment. It involved strippers. My husband faced a dilemma. He knew he did not want to have anything to do with this, but was concerned that if he left, he might forfeit his bonus which totaled almost $2,000—money that we could immediately put to good use. Because he was a student of God’s law, and had been practicing its application, he knew that he could not stay. Therefore, he got up and left as soon as he realized what was about to take place. The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies (v. 95).
He found the nearest payphone (that was before the cell phone revolution) and called me quite frazzled. He was talking so fast that all I could gather was that he was sorry that he gave up the $2,000 bonus, but he could not in good conscience stay. When I finally heard the entire story, tears came to my eyes. I told him that I was grateful God had given me a husband who valued his Savior and his marriage enough to do the right thing. Therefore, I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way (v. 128).
After he got off the phone, two other salesmen were waiting to talk with him. Each explained that they were uncomfortable with what was happening and knew it was wrong but, did not want to anger their boss and decided to stay put and not leave. However, when they saw my husband exit, it gave them the strength to do the right thing. Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies (v. 79).
As it turned out, when he went to work the next day, his bonus was waiting for him. My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly. I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my ways are before thee (vv. 167–168).
We must live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Deut. 8:3; Matt. 4:4). We must learn it, live it, and teach it. This is the real Kingdom work and it is only possible by God’s grace as we receive His every law as a command word.
*This essay is excerpted from my book A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven Family