Godliness

It is tempting to think that if we take our children to Sunday School; if we have family devotions; or if we make them participate in a host of other religous activities that they will become godly.  There is nothing wrong with religous activities and disciplines.  In fact, we did them with our children and I encourage parents to do God centered activities with their children that encourage a personal relationship with God.  However, we must give careful attention to the focus of these activities because they can do more to make our children religious than godly. 

To help our children become godly our focus must be to form in them god-like qualities.  This is a work of “being”, it is character before it is action.  If we think that it begins with “doing” and that actions of a religous nature will make them become what religion represts we are mistaken.

One of the frequent statements I remember my parents making related to behavior was this, “We don’t do that because Lane’s don’t do that.”  It was never said in judgment of another persons behavior but a comment related to the character of our own behavior.  When I came to know God one of the first things I understood was His character.  His character is represented in His name.  His name is faithful and just.  His name is righteous and pure.  His name is gracious, kind, and merciful.  He is trustworthy and generous.  The reason the righteous one’s of God can run into His name is because it represents the nature of His character — which is all that I have mentioned above and so much more. 

I have come to understand that as a follower of Christ the reason I don’t do some things is because I am now a “Christ One.”   “Christ One” is what Christian means.  Christian’s are supposed to do things that reflect God’s character.  Forming Godliness in our children is the process of modeling and shaping God’s character in them.  We must focus first on the “why” and then on the “what” of their behavior.  The reason we act this way or don’t act that way is because we are Lane’s and Lane’s don’t act that way.  This logic can be easily adapted to incorporate the personal commitment we make to Christ, and is then reflected by our families commitment as well, to serve God and reflect His character in our lives.  To the extent that His nature and character is formed in us we have become Godly.  We model and then transfer this work of character to our children.  It is a process.  God’s actions are always a reflection of His character.  By developing the character of God in our lives and then reflecting it in our words and actions we are becoming Godly.  Our children will see a model of godliness that is not built on religiously “doing” but is a reflection of the relational aspect of “being.”   When they see and understand this important difference along with the Holy Spirit’s help then it will further the process of developing the nature and character of God in their lives.

Here are the questions we must ask as we work to develop godliness in our children.  Is God-likeness being formed in me?  Am I focused on “doing” or on “being” in my own life?  The great thing about the process of developing godliness in us, or in our children, is we are not alone in the work.  God has given us the Holy Spirit as His agent to help us form the new nature of His character in our lives.  Godliness is the reflection of His character qualities in our lives.

Help us Father to become like you!

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Published in: on October 10, 2007 at 10:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

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