In a nation that is currently bombarded with stories of racism, discrimination, and bigotry, one would think that we have crossed back over into the pre-Civil Rights Era. Given this, many African Americans and proponents of minority rights have voiced their opinions, often referencing the slogan #BlackLivesMatter. The question remains: Have we made as much progress since our parents’/grandparents’ generation, or are we walking in a circular path that leads to the same results?
On numerous occasions, I have come across various social media posts from Black parents, who believe that in today’s time, we must instill new codes of conducts into our children so that their fate may not meet that of other young adults. As a parent, this naturally hit a cord with me, and now I believe it’s only right to speak in terms of what every African American parent should teach his/her child.
Lesson #1—Repent and be saved. The Word of God teaches us that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). That means that because we are already born in sin, we naturally deserve its consequence—death! There is only one Way, one Person that can redeem us from the curse of sin, and that is found in Christ Jesus (John 14:6). It is an utter failure on the part of every parent, not simply Black parents, to neglect the Truth that comes to us from Heaven. If we reject so great a gift as salvation, we inevitably place ourselves and our children in harm’s way. Once we have been redeemed, we now step into another world, one that promises us life and life more abundantly. We are promised to live a full life on Earth as well as in Eternity. And whatever darkness pervades this current land, we have a promise that God’s angels will guard and protect us.
Lesson #2—Christianity is NOT the White man’s religion. How foolish we look when we think that we know more than what we know. Christianity is not a religion. It’s a term of disgrace given to those who followed Christ (Acts 11:20-21). It was a mockery, and one that others used to shame those who believed in the Word of God. Believers were first called “Christians” in the same way that people referred to people of color as “niggers.” They associated the term with ignorance. Over time, as with that derogatory, racial term, “Christian” transformed into a religious word that signified some form of spiritual acceptance. Yet, even before the word “Christianity” arrived, the Old Testament was a Middle-eastern text, one filled with people who looked like you and me. We did not adopt this faith after being forced into slavery. We knew of this faith from the beginning when God first made Himself known to man. Therefore, to associate God’s Word with one particularly “oppressive race” is to exercise a level folly and stupidity.
Lesson #3—Honor and respect others, and think of others more highly than themselves. Many of our children do not know the first thing about respecting authority. They are disrespectful to those who are for them and to those that are against them alike. Godly, moral character is absent among so many, and we have to wonder where it comes from. Teach your children how to live above reproach so that even when they are accused of doing something wrong, their accuser will be found at fault. Teach them that they are not entitled to anything from anyone, but that they must also work to develop their character so that it is pleasing to the Lord. Teach them that evil will always attack good; but that one’s service must be to the Lord and not to man.
Lesson #4—The end result is eternity. So often, we teach our children to protect themselves and to be careful because people have no shame in ending a life. And we should teach this to them. More importantly, however, we must teach them that there is a life after this life; and if they make the wrong choice, not just choices, but CHOICE, then they will suffer eternal damnation. Stop sugar-coating eternity, and assuming that your opinion will get your children into Heaven. The truth is there is only One Way, and that way comes through Jesus Christ. No person can come to the Father or receive redemption from sin than by going through Christ. Read all the religious texts that you want, and you will still find that there is only One Way. If your children reject Christ and they die in that state, their spirit and soul is lost in hell forever. There is no “second chance” after earthly death. Thus, we have an obligation to do what we have been ordained to do, and that is to train our children as they should go. No exceptions! Parents, stop being afraid to tell your children what is right. You are quick to correct others and to show them the Way, but you fail to minister to those in your own house, of your own body. And the Lord is aware of that. Remember, this life is temporal. But eternity is forever, and it is promised to each and every one of us. Where we spend eternity is based on our choice NOW!
Parents, we get one shot at this thing called parenting; so, let’s do it right!
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