P in Prepare stands for preach.
P stands for Preach. This word “preach” has a bad gotten a bad rap in our time. “Don’t preach at me!” may have even been a line you once yelled back at your parents when you were a teen. I decided to check out exactly what is the definition of this word. Under “preach” it said “to advocate moral principles, conduct, etc. as right and advisable” Our kids are definitely living in an atmosphere where they need us to advocate morals that are right – to point them in the right direction when those around them don’t seem to know the way! Studies show that parents are still the most highly influential people in the life of a child, so it is our responsibility to show them what is right by showing them God’s word.
Preaching to our kids simply means showing them the right way. Since we live in a cultural without absolutes, what may seem obvious to you and I is not so obvious to them.
I was in a situation recently with my youngest child, Madi, who is 11 years old. I was trying to point out some behavior to her that was clearly inappropriate to me. She just couldn’t get it! She kept saying, “but Mom, they were just having fun!” It has really alarmed me that the standards of this world are really trying to lay a foundation in her life.
Preaching can simply be pointed out right from wrong in day-to-day situations – lyrics to a song, behaviors on a tv show or actions of a friend. It could be teaching them to look up movie reviews on Pluggedin.org to find out what a movie is like before they go to the movie or reading lyrics to a song before they download it.
Teaching our children right from wrong does not have to be done in such a way where they feel we are coming down on them or judging them. When we communicate in a loving tone and give them our full attention, our kids know when we are being sincere and are teaching them because we love them.
Deuteronomy 6:4 – 9 commands us: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Let me put that in modern language: “Listen up parents who want your kids to know Me. I am IT. I am the One. Love me with your everything. Love me with your heart, with your time, with your money, with your life. I have told you everything you need to know to live a blessed life. Pass it on to your children. Talk to them about me all the time: when you are watching American Idol, when you are taking out the garage to the curb, before they go to bed at night and finally open up. Write them notes in their lunch boxes. Leave them letters on their beds. Chat with them on the drive to school.”
We have time – we just need to grab hold of those short moments. Be purposeful. Preach His word to your kids today!