It has been stated that, “He who controls the children, controls the future.” Vladimir Lenin, the communist revolutionary, said, “Give me just one generation of youth, and I’ll transform the whole world.” Studies show that the average child spends eight hours a day in public school and three and a half hours on media. Studies show that the average family spends less than an hour together each day. And even that one hour is oftentimes full of many distractions. The Bible explains that children are easily influenced and unstable. They are like a tender plant that needs constant care and nourishment to grow strong. Every child will be influenced and taught by someone. Everything that comes into their mind is shaping their worldview. The questions is: who or what is influencing and teaching them? In this world there are two opposing kingdoms: God’s kingdom and Satan’s kingdom. And both kingdoms are vying for lordship in a child’s heart.
In the book of Deuteronomy, God rehearsed to a new generation of Israelites the commandments of God. In chapter 6, Moses looked beyond the present generation and applied the commands to future generations as well. Moses made it clear that the goal of God’s commands was to produce a multi-generational faithfulness to God. Verse 2 says, “That thou mightiest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life…” The commandments of God were to be passed on from the adult generation to the children and to the children’s children. The Israelites would soon be confronted with idolatrous people who would try to cause them to depart from the one true God. God gave the Israelites a safeguard that would keep them from going “after other gods” (v. 14). This safeguard was multi-generational faithfulness. God explained to the people that faithfulness began in the home as children were taught diligently and daily the Word of God (vv. 7-9). To neglect the next generation, would be to swing wide open the door that would lead them into idolatry.
Multi-generational faithfulness ought to be the goal of every Christian. We live in a culture that espouses many godless philosophies that are constantly encroaching upon the minds of our children. Satan knows that children are the next generation of leaders in the home, church and government and is constantly on the prowl “seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). We must remember our duty to the next generation. Our duty involves teaching our children daily and diligently the commands and truths of God. This responsibility begins with parents, but particularly the father who is called to bring up his children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). A parent’s greatest goal should be for his children to love God with all their heart, soul, and might.