Everything rises and falls on leadership.
It’s an old saying and the truth of it has been demonstrated all around us throughout our lives. Weak fathers have weak families which produce children with weak faith. Self-serving political leaders sacrifice principle just to keep their jobs. Compromising pastors water down God’s standards, producing parishioners who compromise in their personal lives.
On the other hand, we have seen true leaders. Our nation was established by the caliber of men who would pledge their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor for what was right. And for almost two and a half centuries, though less often of late than in earlier days, such leaders have graced the pages of American history.
In our time, we are languishing for righteous, fearless, principled leadership. I believe that’s why God has raised up the home schooling movement. I think there is far more going on here than just a bunch of Christian parents trying to protect their children from the evils of peer socialization and secular textbooks. I believe that your kids are the answer to America’s problems. I believe God has called us to home education for such a time as this.
The only answer for our culture is better leadership. And those better leaders are growing up around your table now. So don’t wait until they’re grown to challenge them to be leaders. Teach them now, even the very young ones, that God intends for them not only to honor Him in their own lives, but to influence the lives of others too. That’s leadership.
If you want to show your kids what a young leader looks like, teach them about Josiah from II Kings 22 and II Chronicles 34. There are some essential lessons to be learned here and if we want to inspire our kids to be leaders rather than lemmings, we would do well to pay attention.
First, Josiah took responsibility early. Starting at the beginning of II Chronicles 34, we read that he ascended to the throne at the surprising age of 8 years. That sounds weird to our modern ears, but if you grew up on a farm you know that out there even the youngest members of the household carry significant loads of responsibility. Critters have to fed, watered, milked and doctored and it takes the whole family to keep up. Sometimes it means being out in rough weather and up in the wee hours to meet urgent needs. Things just have to be done and being underage is no exemption from the responsibility. Farm kids tend to grow up early.
Second, Josiah “did right in the sight of the Lord…and did not turn aside to the right or to the left.” We’re told that he personally “sought the God of his father David” when he was sixteen. He had a personal relationship with Jehovah, not just an intellectual acceptance of Hebrew tradition. We need to make sure that our kids are seeking God for themselves. How much time are they spending in the Scriptures?
Third, Josiah went on a rampage against all false gods. Verse 3 tells us that he had the idols torn down. Verse 4 goes farther and tells us that he wasn’t satisfied with that, so he broke them in pieces and ground them to powder. Are we teaching our children not to compromise with the false gods of our day? Have they ground the modern idols of peer acceptance, pleasure, celebrity and sensuality to powder? Or are perhaps their parents not modeling lives of focused commitment to Christ before them?
Fourth, Josiah restored true worship. At age 26, he rebuilt the Temple, restored the Passover and rediscovered the Scriptures. Then he had the Scriptures read to all the people. And verse 33 tells us of the people, “Throughout his lifetime they did not turn from following the Lord God of their fathers.”
Are we so concerned about the effect of the culture on our children that we’re forgetting that the purpose of their training is about their effect on the culture? Let’s ask God to raise up young Josiahs in our homes. And throughout their lifetimes, may they inspire others to follow the Lord God of their fathers.