Meaning : Planning is the process of thinking about the activities required to achieve a desired goal. It is the first and foremost activity so as to achieve desired results. For instance planning for a particular purpose / goal . Planning are all the small tasks that must be carried out in order to accomplish a desired goal. Let’s say your goal is to raise godly children. Creating the plan is not enough to accomplish the goal but the plan must also be carried out . (Luke 14:28-30)
The Importance of a Good Plan
Every important work needs to be planned. If we wish to succeed in any important, difficult endeavor, first we must determine our goal. Then we must develop a plan for reaching our goal . Planning is important in everyday life.
- If a business is to succeed, it must have a goal and a plan for reaching that goal.
- In building a house, one must have a blueprint to follow. E.g consider the years of planning needed to send a spaceship to the moon
God even planned His work . (1 Peter 1:18-20) – Christ’s sacrifice for our sins was not an afterthought, not something God decided to do when the world got out of control. This plan was set in motion by the all-knowing, eternal God long before the world was created. He had a plan for our redemption before the world began. Ephesians :3-6
Often a times we parents fail to reach our goals because we fail to develop a clear plan for reaching them. A lot of parents, including members of the church, enter into marriage and parenthood with very little thought, study, or discussion about how they plan to succeed in raising their children.
Ask yourself how much time and effort have you and your spouse spent in determining exactly what rules and principles you will follow in raising your children? Planning is required to deal with Harmful Influences. Satan is constantly battling with us for the control of our children. Ephesians 6:12 – The journey of life is battle and the world is the battleground. Most Christians are ignorant of this fact.
When the children of Christians go astray, often the parents say, “I just don’t understand what happened.” Most times, what happens is that powerful forces are working against us that we either are not aware of these forces or we don’t deal with these forces effectively. Satan is determined to lead our children away from God.
Parents must realize that , “there’s war out there.” To raise godly children, we must fight the evil. That is where the planning comes in. What army can win a battle without plan? We often lose our children because we don’t recognize the fact that we are at war, so we fail to plan for the fight! .
2 Corinthians 2:11 – tells us that when we remain ignorant of Satan’s devices, he will outsmart us. We must be aware of the devices he uses to destroy our children’s faithfulness, then we must have a plan for combating those devices that influence our children.
Question: What are the devices that can influence the children’s life ? (to the young people)
- The desire to conform and be accepted is one of the strongest influences teenagers face. The way other children act, dress, and talk becomes a powerful force that Satan uses to get our children to accept the world’s values.
In the 60s the greatest influence was parents, after which then come teachers, then friends, then clergy, then counselors, and then popular heroes.
But as from the 80s the children are influenced by: first friends, then parents, then the media (TV, music, and movies). In this 21st century ,the children are influenced first by social media. No wonder a year and 1/2 old child can operate smartphone (How did they learn it ?)
1 Corinthians 15:33 – Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” But the fact is that many parents, including Christians, are deceived. We let our children have close friends that are worldly, irreligious, immoral, or rebellious, yet somehow we think our children will escape harm HOW possible is that ?
Proverbs 13:20 – If our children run with “the wrong crowd,” inevitably they and we will suffer the consequences. Time and again Christians have lost their children to Satan through the influence of friends.
Questions : So how can you as a parent possibly train your children to be godly in the midst of their peers ?
Answer : You must have a specific and effective plan for dealing with peer pressure?
Most of us realize that schools are facing serious problems. A group of teens, who had been raised by Christian parent were asked to list the problems they faced at school. The followings are enlisted:
- Profanity, dirty jokes, etc. (students and teachers)
- Violence and fighting (students with students or with teachers)
- Immodesty, lack of dress codes
- Peer pressure/bad crowds
- Drugs (7 of 8 students personally knew children who used drugs).
- Ridicule and making fun of children who are good or different
- Gossip, slander
- Stealing and vandalism
- Disrespect for teachers and parents
- False goals (popularity, wealth)
- Classes that justify evolution, abortion, homosexuality, situation ethics, contraceptives, divorce, premarital sex, disrespect for parents, etc.
- Reading assignments with immorality, violence, etc.
- Sexual promiscuity – unwanted pregnancies among girls, children talking openly about sexual relations, everyone expected to do it, etc.
- Schedule conflicts with church activities
Do you honestly believe that your children can face this environment for 8 or 9 hours a daily unmonitored without consequence? Can you succeed if you just send your children off with no plan for dealing with these problems? Of course not. If “evil companions corrupt good morals,” how can impressionable children face such an environment and maintain godliness unless you have a plan for fighting these evils?
Suppose your child had three good friends who continually persuade your child to accept all the following practices:
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- The occult – witchcraft, Satanism, astrology, sorcery, etc.
- Oriental religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, reincarnation, etc.
- Violence, murder, suicide
- Sexual promiscuity – fornication, adultery, homosexuality, immodesty and even nudity
- Profanity, cursing, obscenity
- Rebellion against parents, government, God and the Bible
Suppose your child was spending several hours every day visiting these friends and listening to them justify these ideas. Would you want your child to continue that relationship or would you try to break it off?
Many children of Christians have three friends who are just like we have described. Those friends are named television, movies, and music.
Consider the problems in modern music – Drugs ( e.g the Marlians ). Many celebrated artists have become cult heroes, and many of them take drugs. A lot of children can often identify the current celebrated stars, and may identify with their lifestyles …
If you would not just allow your children to run with any peer group of their choice , then why allow them to watch TV or movies or listen to music without a plan for supervising it? The point is not that raising godly children is impossible. It can be done, but no parent will succeed without an effective plan for dealing with these influences.
How to develop a good plan for raising godly children ?
Many people think it is impossible to know the best way to raise godly children. Often a times you hear questions like :
*Is there a sure guide?
*Can we know the best way?
*Where do we go for guidance?
1.) We Must Not Rely on Human Theories.
Many parents follow human authorities. These sources claim to offer parents with good advice, and many parents accept this advice: psychologists, sociologists, government officials, social agencies, and other child-raising experts.
Other parents just raise their children the way their own parents raised them. This may be done knowingly, but often it is done without considering a lot of factors like The level of technology and exposure . We just naturally treat our children according to what we are familiar with – we act the way we saw our parents act , thereby accepting parents as the best authority for raising godly children.
These are all human authorities. Human beings are fallible and often make mistakes, so it is reasonable that many of their theories do not work especially in this 5G generation . This is especially true if our goal is to raise godly children. The Bible warns about following human authority. (Proverbs 14:12)There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
Jeremiah 10:23 – The way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps. No man is as wise as God, so no one by human wisdom alone can know how to please God. This includes all child-raising experts. If they don’t follow God’s guidance, they cannot tell us how to raise godly children. 1 Corinthians 1:19-21
In matters of godliness and righteousness, we must follow divine wisdom, not human wisdom. This does not mean human advice is always wrong. Sometimes people give advice that agrees with the Bible. But it is always wrong whenever it disagrees with the Bible. When human ideas differ from God’s word, we have no more right to follow them in raising our children . Proverbs 3:5-6.
2.) Plan With The Bible Which Is God’s Guide for Raising Godly Children. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Raising godly children is a good work, and the Scriptures instruct us in righteousness and equip us for good works.
Makers of cars and appliances provide their customers with operator’s manuals to show how to use the equipment successfully. So the Maker of the family has given us a book of instructions for the family. Does it make sense to follow the ideas of fallible humans, rather than the wisdom of the all-wise God who created both us and families? We must turn to Jesus. Psalm 19:7-11, 33:4
3) Observe and Learn from Winning Parents
While the Bible is the standard, other people who know and follow that standard can help us learn it. Hebrews 6:12 – Imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Titus 2:3-5 – Older women should teach the younger women how to love their children and be homemakers.
Many parents will be glad to advise you on how to raise your children. Many will say that you are too strict, that spanking won’t work, that you should conform to the choices others make about how to educate children, etc. So before you accept advice, evaluate it by God’s standard. And then ask how successful these givers of advice have been with their own children. Are their children obedient and respectful? Do their children know God’s will, become Christians when they become accountable, and live faithful Christian lives? In short, do you see evidence that their children are turning out the way you want yours to? As parents , you are to imitate those who are successful, not those who fail!
4) Both Parents Should Discuss Their Plan and Agree.
Both the father and the mother or any adult must be involved in raising the children for better generation to come. Ephesians 6:4 – Fathers are told to bring up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Eph 6:1-3
Children should be obedient to both parents. Proverbs 1:8 – Mothers also have authority over their children.
To achieve their goal as parents and to avoid provoking children to discouragement, the father and mother must work together. Family rules must be consistent. This requires discussion and agreement (give examples)
The best time to make these plans is before problems arise. A couple should discuss their principles and beliefs about child raising even before they marry. Then they should continue to talk about what their rules will be and how they will handle problems. Then when specific problems arise, they can handle them quickly and confidently.
5) The Plan Must Be Accompanied by Prayer.
It is not enough just to recognize that the Bible is God’s will. We must study and use its teachings as the basis for our plan for raising children. And we must pray diligently for wisdom and for God’s blessings on our plans.
James 1:5 – We need to pray for wisdom. This wisdom will come as we study God’s word. But we must diligently pray that we will be able to apply His word properly for the good of our children.
1 Chronicles 29:19 – David prayed for God to give his son Solomon a loyal heart to keep God’s commandments. We should imitate this practice: Pray for each of your children each day by name, and ask God to strengthen them. Paul prayed diligently for other Christians and told them he was praying for them. Surely our children deserve at least that much from us.
Too many parents let their own children manipulate them. “I just don’t know what to do with them.” We need to learn to out-think our children. Our duty as parents requires us to study God’s word and apply it so we know how to raise godly children.
The Devil often defeats us, not because it is impossible for us to defeat him, but because we are not fighting him effectively. We either are not aware of the danger, or else we are simply too indifferent to fight. By the time we realize our mistake, it is often too late. But we can win the battle, if we follow God’s will and prayerfully develop a plan based on the principles it teaches.
For each child, you only have one chance to raise him/her properly, and that opportunity will so quickly be gone. When one is almost grown, it is too late to go back and start over if you haven’t done it right. To succeed, we need a plan based, not on human wisdom, but on prayerful study and application of God’s will.
Ask yourself these questions regularly as a parent:
Do you have a plan for raising your children?
Is your plan based on God’s word?
How often do you discuss with your spouse the principles on which you act?
- How diligent are you in your effort to fight Satan and his evil influence