February 14, 2021
This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, Family Faith.
Without a doubt, the most powerful, influential people on earth aren’t presidents, CEOs, or billionaires. Earth’s most powerful people are parents of faith. Your family is the world’s most critical classroom. It’s where the next generation is trained to love one another, become good citizens, productive adults, and most of all, know, love, and serve God. It takes a family to raise a child, and families change the village.
Family is the foundation of a stable nation. So the devil unleashes all of hell’s artillery against the family to strike a fatal blow to society’s foundation and sidetrack us from our primary mission: loving God and bringing others to Him. That mission begins with parents.
Parenthood is one of life’s greatest privileges but heaviest responsibilities. Parents face great obstacles when raising children today. But our generation isn’t unique. Consider what Moses’ parents, Amram and Jochebed, were up against. When Moses was born, Pharaoh was on a mission to kill every male Hebrew baby born in Egypt. How did Moses survive?
The Bible says, “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king's command” (Hebrews 11:23).
Amram and Jochebed are listed in Hebrews chapter 11, God’s “Faith Hall of Fame.”
Looking upon baby Moses, Amram and Jochebed knew God had a special destiny for his life. God has that for your child as well. Every child should be seen that way. They were people of great faith. Psalm 112:1-2 should be one of your “life verses.” It states, “Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; the generation of the upright will be blessed.”
Can we believe God on behalf of our children? We can and we must! We can’t control our children’s destinies, but we can certainly influence their destinies.
In Mark chapter 9, the father of a young boy, desperate for help, said to Jesus, “Master—if you can, do something for my son.” Jesus replied, “All things are possible to the one who believes.” The man cried out in anguish, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” Seeing his germ of faith, Jesus did for this boy what his father believed for. (See Mark 9:17-29.)
Ask your heavenly Father to open your eyes to catch the vision of what He wants to do in and through your children. No one knows your children better than their parents. There are qualities no pastor, Sunday school teacher, coach, or school teacher can see that moms and dads can see as they pray over their children, understanding that each child is special. You know their strong points and weaknesses. Proverbs 22:6 says: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
“Way” is a Hebrew word meaning “bend,” like the bend in a bow. Every child has a particular bent. It’s parents’ duty and joy to study that bent—to discover what gifts God has given. Become the world’s best student of your child. Children don’t come in standard packages. Read the label and see what God has put into each one.
You say, “My child has a disability…” “…has autism” “…isn’t gifted athletically.” Take your child’s unique gifts and challenges, and say with Faith’s Vision, “My child is a gift from You, God. Give me Amram and Jochebed’s faith to see Your plan for my child.”
Pharaoh had commanded all boy babies to be drowned in the Nile. But the battle was not primarily with Pharaoh. It was a spiritual battle. And so is ours! Our culture has fearful dangers as well.
Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age; against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
When we understand that our battle is not with flesh and blood, that should encourage us. Then we know it’s a spiritual battle and can be fought and won by faith! Say, “By faith, we’re going to raise this child in these dangerous days for Jesus.” Yes, there’s liberalism in the churches. Yes, there’s humanism (a polite way of saying atheism) in education. Our children are surrounded by atheism. In these dangerous days when history is being rewritten, our children will have it coming through the pores of their skin.
Amram and Jochebed were raising Moses, his brother Aaron, and sister Miriam in the center of Egyptian culture devoted to idol worship. Pharaoh’s magicians, by Satan’s power, could perform some limited miracles. Nevertheless, Amram and Jochebed were not afraid… and don’t you be!
Don’t say there’s no hope and give up the battle. Call upon God to give you the vision and valor to be the parents God wants you to be. Are you leading, nurturing, and training your children while they are still young, around your table? (See Psalm 128:3.)
It’s a challenge today to be “steadfast, immovable.” (See 1 Corinthians 15:58.) Moses’ parents’ courage not only spared Moses’ life but also instilled a sure belief in the one true God. This sustained Moses as he was first tutored in the palaces of Pharaoh, exiled to the desert, then sent back to confront the power of Egypt.
Real faith isn’t fanaticism. Moses’ parents didn’t just sit around saying, “Well, we’re going to trust God.” Faith without works is dead. They did something—they hid Moses from Pharaoh’s henchmen.
Real faith isn’t fatalism. “Whatever will be, will be. Just let it happen.” If you begin a garden, then leave it alone, soon it will be nothing but weeds.
Real faith is having the courage to train your child when that training goes against the culture. “Train” means “prepare for a contest, instruct by exercise, drill, form to a proper shape, discipline for use.” Pray, teach, and lead by example.
Political correctness says training stifles the child’s freedom: “Just let the little darling do his thing.” But we must guide our families by His Word even when it’s politically incorrect. It’s our duty.
Do you have your children in a Bible-believing church? Are they in a Bible class under a born-again teacher? Are you training in your home by precept and example?
Training is different from teaching. If teaching is all you do, you might teach one thing, then someone may come along and teach them something else. But when you train them, godly precepts penetrate their very hearts.
God describes training this way:
“These words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
Notice: diligently. Be intentional, continually seeking ways to weave the goodness and character of God into the day’s events. At every opportunity, point out God’s role in every facet of life.
Some may say, “But my children are grown—it’s too late!” Friend, there are two best days to begin. First, the day your child is born. Second, today. Cover them in prayer, starting today. Ask God to work in their hearts, whatever their ages.
“By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, for he looked to the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:24-27).
Moses faced tremendous temptation. In Pharaoh’s household, he was immersed in secular education—Egypt’s “wisdom.” But his parents prayed, trained, and embedded truths in his heart a university couldn’t take away. Now he must choose: everything royalty could provide…pleasures, treasures, power, position; or Pharaoh’s wrath, reproach, then deprivation and struggle. But he would gain the treasures of Jesus.
How did Moses make his decision? This is the crux of the matter. By…
“Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater...” (v. 26)
Moses thinks it over: follow God? Or the treasures of Egypt? He’s balancing the ledger. Through his upbringing, Moses saw that:
Moses gets his values straight. Teach your children to evaluate.
Having made that evaluation, Moses chose (he made a determination).
“…choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin” (v. 25).
Children won’t choose to live for God without proper values in their hearts, and you plant those values there. Their lives are measured by their choices. So is yours. We are a sum total of our choices. It’s one of life’s unavoidable truths:
We choose…then the choice chooses for us.
First evaluating, then determining, Moses came to:
“By faith, he forsook Egypt” (v. 27).
Parents say, “Don’t do this—don’t do that. Come out of Egypt. Don’t play footsy with Pharaoh.” But they’re not giving their children the reasons not to do it. You must get values into their hearts through consistent years of training and setting the example in your own life. Then they will eliminate the poorer choices.
Try to take a bone away from a dog—you might get bitten! But if you offer him a steak, he’ll drop the bone to get the steak. Continually show your children the steak—the riches of Christ. If you don’t, there’ll be no evaluation, determination, or elimination. Egypt will have them.
Be parents of faith. Faith’s Vision, Faith’s Valor, and Faith’s Venture will lead to Faith’s Victory.