by Oscar Oviedo
Lay Missionary I Canada

We live in a very secular world. And by secular I mean the view in which we separate religion from civic affairs. This view has led our society to think that moving away from religion gives us the freedom to be more objective as we replace faith with facts. Sadly, that is not the truth. When we move away from God and His Word, we move into another type of faith. This is not evident at first, but we have seen the final results in our modern culture. People want to reject the notion of God, but they are open to believing that our sense of right and wrong is a product of evolution. We demand justice and equality without thinking that those are moral elements that without a Creator are preferences rather than principles.  It is then that we realize that faith needs to be exercised with knowledge and reason.

The apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 75, verse 33, KJV, writes:” Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” He has been developing the concept that ignoring the resurrection of our Lord Jesus will lead us to a foolish profession of faith. He asked, What sense is it to try to live godly lives if there is no eternal life? We might as well be like plants, just living in the present while knowing we are going to die any moment, with no expectation of an afterlife. But the opposite is much more powerful. We know that eternal realities based on the resurrection of Jesus will lead us to understand that every thought and action matters in our eternal destiny. Therefore, association or communication with secular mindsets will damage good manners, principles, and faith. But where do all these associations and communications start? They all begin at home, during childhood. What types of friendships do we parents cultivate? 

What types of concepts do we bring into our homes?  What examples do we set for our children? The Apostle Paul continues in verse 34: “Awake to righteousness and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of Cod: I speak this to your shame.” Paul gives us a warning, an encouragement, and a reproof. A warning against the dangerous conversations there are in our societies. An encouragement to seek to build godly and righteous relationships and habits that will benefit our present lives and influence our futures. A reproof if we have pretended to be Christians when in fact we are not. We read in Adventist Home, page 470: “The susceptible, expanding mind of the child longs for knowledge. Parents should keep themselves well informed, that they may give the minds of their children proper food.

Like the body, the mind derives its strength from the food it receives. It is broadened and elevated by pure, strengthening thoughts; but it is narrowed and debased by thoughts that are of the earth earthy” Our children long for knowledge and association, which is why they seem to grasp the social media platforms much faster the adults. But we need to be one step ahead of our children, knowing what is good out there so we can fill their minds with good information-things that will help children to be helpful at home and to be mindful of the burdens that their parents carry.

In Appeals to Mothers, page 76, it says: “Children should be instructed from their early years to be helpful, and share the burdens of their parents. By thus doing they can be a great blessing in lightening the cares of the weary mother. While children are engaged in active labor, time will not hang heavily upon their hands, and they will have less opportunity to associate with vain, talkative, unsuitable companions, whose evil communications might blight the whole life of an innocent girl, by corrupting her good manners.”

The passage brings the Apostle Paul’s warning home. Unless we choose proper intellectual food and practical activities tor our children, we will prompt them to seek to associate with companions that will ruin our children’s present and future lives.

Therefore we need to ask God in prayer to impress our minds, as parents and teachers, to show us where we can improve in our work with our children.

We need to “awake to righteousness and sin not.” Unless we wake up from the sleeping influences of the society in which we live, that invite us to allow technology to instruct our children, we may destroy our children’s faith. Jesus, whose childhood included godly influences in His home, should always be our example. His mother taught him from the Scriptures. He learned good manners, and He always sought to be around God-fearing people. He is still excellent company to be around. Bring Jesus’ religion into your life and home, and it will pay off in the lives of your children. 

by Oscar Oviedo
Lay Missionary | Canada

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