As parents, there are certain beliefs we long to instill in our children. We want our children to be honest, courageous, and kind. As Christians, we want even more than that. We want our children to accept Christ as Lord, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith…(Col.2:6-7). Unfortunately, a LifeWay Research study done in 2007 stated that 70% of college students forsake their upbringing of Christian theology. This astounding statistic shows that we need to be diligent in teaching our children the ways of the Lord. Paul often prayed for boldness to share the gospel. If he needed boldness, how much more do we? We need this boldness as we share Christ with our own children.
Eliza Spurgeon was a mother who had the kind of boldness I'm referencing. In the presence of her children, she prayed, "Now, Lord, if my children go on in their sins, it will not be from ignorance that they perish, and my soul must bear a swift witness against them at the day of judgment if they lay not hold of Christ." Wow! That's bold! She also got down on her knee, wrapped her arms around one of her son's neck, and prayed, "Oh, that my son might live before Thee!" This may sound odd in our culture where many parents sometimes stand back and see what their children become. You may be wondering if Eliza's bold prayers helped or hindered her children. Eliza's prayers helped mightily as she is the mother of Charles Spurgeon, who is known as the "Prince of Preachers". Spurgeon was a British Baptist preacher who lived from 1834-1892. His writings still influence preachers and countless others today.
Years ago, after reading about how Charles Spurgeon felt about his mother and her influence on him, I began praying in front of my children as well. One didn't seem to care about God's word so I prayed for the heart to repent and develop a love for God's word. One didn't want to pray in public so I prayed for boldness in this child and for repentance in fearing people rather than God. I ask for repentance for my own sins in front of my children as well. We must be truthful as we pray with our children and teach them God's ways. Seize moments to take God's word and boldly apply it to the situation. Be humble and gentle, keeping the child's holiness in mind.
For more information on Charles Spurgeon's feelings toward his parents, visit www.spurgeon.org/earlyimp.htm.