Last week, I began a series on Lionproofing our children – Protecting Our Children from the Attacks of Satan. We talked about the typical carnage we see today, with 85-90% of young people in Christian homes jumping ship as soon as they turn 18. Today, we’re going to meet the 10-15% who have Overcome, and in future posts we will learn what they already know.
Having seven children of my own, some already grown and serving the Lord themselves, I am intensely interested in the subject of retaining the next generation. I’ve watched the enemy stalk them! Some of my close acquaintances have had child after child turn 18, only to turn from God and live completely different than the way they were raised. It doesn’t have to be that way, however! I also know families who have had young person after young person turn 18 and continue on the path of serving the Lord.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to talk to parents who have raised their children for God successfully, to find out what they did? As I thought and prayed about that, I began to wonder, Why not talk to their adult children, and get the REAL scoop. If I could find out what their parents did right, how wonderful would that be? Finally I realized that if I could talk to a whole bunch of young people who are serving God and ask them about their childhood experiences, there may be many answers that are consistent with each other, and we would have some good, solid information.
I became possessed with a singular thought: instead of asking the question, “Why do many young people leave?” I want to know “Why do some stay?” In other words, how did some young people survive the attacks of the Devil? And more importantly, how can I help my own children overcome?
So I began interviewing second-generation Christians. I talked to many third and fourth- generation Christians, as well as a few fifth or sixth generation Christians! Someone surely did something right, and they are carrying the torch from generation to generation.
As I interviewed these young people, my goal was to find similar traits or qualities in the way their parents raised them. These people are completely diverse from each other, so finding similar answers would be very crucial. If several people gave the same answer to a question, then I knew that that point had more validity to it. Perhaps there are certain concepts and philosophies that produce happy, godly young people, no matter the personality, locality, background, or age of the parent. These are the things I began looking for as I interviewed folks.
Before we talk about any of the principles, I want to introduce you to The Survivors. Each person I talked to met the following qualifications:
- Believe in salvation by grace through faith
- Are actively serving God in a local church
- Are active in evangelism
- Are training their own children to serve the Lord
Through these interviews, I have been able to discern patterns of successful parenting practices. These parents have well-adjusted, happy adult children who are actively serving the Lord. I have taken these patterns and outlined them as well as I could. I then used the exact words of the second (or third, etc.) generation Christian to explain the patterns, just as I received them. The result is that the principles in this book are not just theories; they are not just someone’s opinions, they have been proven by generation after generation of Christians who have raised their young people to love and live for God. This is not just chronicling my experience, or how I’ve done it, but it shows how many people have done it, and their parents have done it, and in many cases, even how their grandparents and great-grandparents have done it.
Next week, join me as The Overcomers Speak Out: The Primary Key to Success
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