The greatest regret that any Christian parent can go to the grave with is knowing that his or her children either died or are being left behind without embracing Christ as Saviour and living for him. The pain and regret are indescribable. If the Christian parent did everything possible as urged by Scripture, perhaps faith can rest in the sovereignty of God. However, where this is largely due to negligence on the part of the parent, there is no solace. The conscience cannot be silenced.

Parenting is such an awesome task. It begins with great joy when you realise that God has been pleased to use you to bring a human being into this world. Before long, it dawns on you that this is not a doll but a human being with an eternal soul. You must begin to work hard at weeding the heart and being ahead of the curve as sinful tendencies begin to manifest. That sinful self-centredness must give way to a love for God and for others. Only the grace of God can change that trajectory and so you cry out to God for that grace.

This is where the church that Christian parents attend comes in. The expectation is that the church will help in this huge responsibility because “it takes a village to raise a child”. Choolwe Mwetwa’s article in this issue of Reformation Zambia is meant to help Christian parents have a right attitude towards going with children to church. Sometimes, Christian parents and the rest of the church can have the attitude that children are simply supposed to be tolerated until they are old enough to sit still and listen to the sermons. Choolwe Mwetwa counsels us that while they are still very young, children should be helped to participate in all aspects of worship, especially in the teaching and preaching of God’s word. This is for the sake of their eternal souls. So, his article should be read with the attention and seriousness it deserves.

Christian parents need role models in how to raise children in a godly way and sometimes it is possible to be in a church where such role models are few and far between. It is good to go into history and see those who have done such a good job that the fruit has borne witness to the correctness of their methods. This is where you cannot go wrong with the Puritans. In this issue of Reformation Zambia, Albert Ngoma gives us a quick bird’s-eye-view of how the Puritans raised their children. We can learn a lot from that generation of spiritual giants. They invested a lot in biblical child up-bringing. If we follow their example, and modify where somethings were more relevant to the times in which they lived, the Lord may bless this generation of Christian parents with fruit that the next generation will thank God for and seek to emulate.

Alfred Nyirenda has an interesting article that deals with the challenges of bringing up children in today’s world. Although sin is sin whether you lived in the 1st century or live in the 21st century, each generation tends to have peculiar temptations. For instance, any generation before ours did not have to deal with the smartphone, which brings the whole world into your hands at the click of a few buttons. Imagine the filth that can go past your parental defence mechanisms and enter your child’s heart today compared to yesteryear. The article written by Alfred Nyirenda is definitely worth the time you will spend reading it. You must know how to bring up your children in today’s world.

Finally, Simon Banda takes us on a voyage of discovery of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible so that we can see what God’s word says about raising up children in God’s way. It is a brief survey. The main points are harvested out of the various generations covered by the Bible. They leave us with the powerful realisation that children are a gift from the Lord and he wants us to bring them up in a way that enables them to fulfil the purpose why he brought them into the world. Negligence cannot be excused by God when he says so much about this responsibility. We must be equal to the task.

That is what this issue of Reformation Zambia is all about. It is about children of believers and how we should raise them up within the context of the Christian church. There is a lot in this issue of the magazine to enable us reach the end of our lives as parents with less regret. Let us devour each article so that the children being brought up under our care can be ushered into God’s world as assets and not as liabilities. May our churches be used by the Lord to enable Christian parents to fulfil their responsibility with positive fruit. Amen!