What can I do to see that my children remain in church?
The next thing I am going to share is in no way trying to get you to change what you allow and do not allow in your home. This is a PERSONAL choice and conviction. And...if you do this I do not judge you! If I am in your house, I respect your convictions and what you feel is best for your family. You have to allow God to speak to you. I am only sharing this as an example of how God directs. He may lead your family to do something that He would not lead me to do. So, here goes...
We made a personal choice to limit tv for our children. The main reason (at first) was because I did a research paper in college on the effects of television and children. The research I gathered made me realize that my children would watch little television because of it's negative effects (and I was single with no kids at the time).
Then, when I had children, as time went on and we started to allow some television, I was disapointed in what I saw in the children's programs. I did not see many things that exalted God. I was concerned because I was teaching her about Jesus and I felt that some of the things that I watch on the shows contradicted what I was reading and telling her (as a baby even). I am referring more to Anna Grace since she is older and we did the same with Noah.
So, as we began to allow her tv time, I would buy DVDs at Lifeway. We also had a channel on our satelite at the time that was a christian kids network and it had some really cool shows. They were a little dated and "different" BUT one show really modeled the children praying and LOVING JESUS! She would watch that almost everyday. It was not long before she started praying and imitating what the children were doing and she was barely 2. I felt that if I allowed her to watch other things (not all bad), she would imitate that. What did I want my children to imitate and later develop in her own life? Prayer, a love for Jesus, etc. So, we stuck with the outdated shows. Sadly, we do not have that programming now. Noah has not been able to watch it, but he has a big sister who models it before him now. :)
This lead to our next decision. Number one, because my child did not watch most of the television show other kids watch, she did not know the characters other kids typically talk about and know. When we were in stores, they didn't really mean much to her. So, I decided to not buy character stuff (we have a few things). I did not want my children to be overly crazy about one character and want everything of that charcacter. I wanted them to have their hearts set on Jesus and make Him number one, not a character.
Don't get me wrong, I know this may sound crazy, but we followed God. It has been hard at times when other kids have things and Anna Grace doesn't even know who it is or what they are talking about. Hard for me, probably not her. Like one time, we were at the doctor's office and they wanted to know Anna Grace's favorite princess. She did not know what to say, then she said Gigi, God's little princess. If you don't know, it's a series at the christian bookstore. They ladies just had funny looks on their face. I had to explain who that was. I would have probably had a funny look on my face too. LOL
I didn't question God on these decisions, I just walked in faith. I look back and I am glad that I followed God because now my child wants every NEW Bible that hits the shelves. She has probably 10 Bibles or more. She buys them when she gets money, ask for them for gifts, etc. How do you deny a child a Bible? Oh, and devotion books. She reads them too, she doesn't just get them to get them.
I want my children to know God and make Him known. Can I be certain that they will follow the ways of God? No! But I am going to train them and pray that God will continually draw them to Him. I pray they will have a heart for Him and share Him with each and every person they come in contact with.
If you have read my posts in this little series, please know that we have made some different type decisions. You may agree or disagree. That is ok. I just pray that through the things that God laid upon our hearts as Anna Grace and Noah's parents, that God would reveal to you what He desires you do. Follow the Fathers voice, no matter how hard it may be. You will be glad you did!