Pastor Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in Redding, California has shared some practical steps for raising godly offspring and said that demonstrating God's goodness and faithfulness to children begins in the home.
In a Facebook video, Johnson said that parents have a responsibility to show their children "what God is like and what His world is like," and the "most basic place" for that to happen is in the home.
"Parents, we rule for the purpose of protection, but we also serve with the purpose of empowering," he said. "We want to release children, we want to release people in general into their destiny - that's the privilege of parenting.
The pastor, who has three children with his wife, Brenda, and nine grandchildren, encouraged parents to record or write down the prophetic words, scriptures, and insights they have for each child.
"It can really help if you have a journal and you write down ideas, thoughts, things that you get in prayer, and you just record for each child what the Lord is saying," he said. "I want to encourage you to...be fully engaged in hearing what the Lord is saying over each child, because they're unique."
Citing Proverbs 22:6, Johnson said: "One of the responsibilities we have is to raise them up in the way they should go, which really emphasizes the uniqueness of each child. It gives you such an incredible opportunity be involved in how their hearts, their minds, their values are shaped."
He continued, "Consider the honor that each one of us has to demonstrate who God is, to reveal who He is. He's so good; He's such a perfect father. And there's no better setting than the home for that to be illustrated, modeled for our children. I encourage you to do that full-heartedly."
According to a 2014 study from the National Study of Youth and Religion, just 1 percent of teens ages 15 to 17 raised by parents who attached little importance to religion were highly religious in their mid-to-late 20s.
In contrast, 82 percent of children raised by parents who talked about faith at home, attached great importance to their beliefs and were active in their congregations were themselves religiously active as young adults.
Overall, the study found that children of parents who believe that religion is very important and display their commitment by attending services are most likely to transmit religiosity to their children.
Johnson's "activation" advice is part of an e-course on parenting titled "Intentional Parenting."
Reads the e-course description: "As parents, it's important to get a picture from the Lord about our children, not so we can control them, but so we can fuel them into their destiny. In this teaching, you'll learn what it means to fan the flame of the things God has put in our children's hearts and how to speak to them as to what they're becoming."
You can learn more about the e-course here.