North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

     In the 1970s there was a popular T.V. series titled, “The Waltons”. It aired 210 episodes over a period of nine (9) seasons. Much of its popularity was attributed to the practical life lessons that were applied to everyday living. The stories took place on Walton’s Mountain, a fictional town set in the Blue Ridge Mountain range of Virginia. Each week, the show centered its theme around the loving and supportive relationships of the family. Considering the current state of our culture, the Walton’s portrayal is a by-gone era that most likely will never exist again. However, in small pockets throughout the United States, family closeness and reliance upon God still exists. The Christian principles portrayed in this television family can still be exercised today. We know this to be true because principles don’t change over time, only the setting in which they’re put into action. The driving force behind the Walton family’s strength was due in part to the parents (John and Olivia Walton). They tried to instill respect, love, and a good work ethic in their seven (7) children. This reminds me of a Scripture passage from Deuteronomy 6:4-7: “…Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and strength…these commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them upon your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

     The Lord has decreed that the home should be the place for teaching His truth. How often, however, do we find ourselves being so busy that we fail to give emphasis to the things that are most important? Society needs to hold the family as the most critical training grounds for its youth and adults. Today’s family, like the Waltons, should get involved with projects where the work is shared and family relations are established. Families ought to love one another, celebrate the good times, and console one another during the low times.

     It’s important we never forget that God established the family as an important unit, with the father, as the teacher in his own home. Where there’s no father, the mother or other guardians should follow God’s pattern. Teaching should become a regular part of the most basic daily activities—walking, sitting at home, going to bed and getting up (Deut. 6:7). What does this mean? As responsible adults, are we always to be teaching our kids something? The answer is a resounding, YES! They’re always watching you whether you know it or not. If you’ve been given charge over children or they’ve been placed in your care; take this job serious. It’s perhaps your greatest responsibility in life to make a positive difference in the development of a young life. Do not break this trust and hold it sacred.

     At 10 years old, my son David ask me if one of his friends could come home with him after-school and stay through the weekend. I agreed and we looked forward to a fun, event-filled two days. His friend attended church with us on Sunday morning and after lunch David pulled me to the side and asked, “Dad, can you talk to Dillian about becoming a Christian? I think he wants to, but I want you to do it and show me how.” I saw this as a teachable moment and I told him, “Sure, we’ll do it before carrying him back home.” About five (5) minutes from Dillian’s home, we stopped at a convenience store for snacks. With my son and his friend present, I asked, “Dillian, do you know what sin is?” After a brief conversation about it, I told him I wanted to read what the Bible says about sin. I pulled my Bible out of the console of my car and read a few verses: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23); “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. Whoever puts his trust in God’s Son will not be lost but will have life that lasts forever. (John 3:16); “If you say with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved from the punishment of sin.” (Rom. 10:9). When finished, I ask if he wanted to accept Christ as his personal Lord and Savior? He said, “I sure do!” Dillian was saved right there in my Camaro and David was thrilled to know his friend was destined to heaven like himself.

     Each one of us has opportunities to share the Good News of Christ with others. It’s a matter of looking for the open doors, knowing the truth, and waiting to teach it to those we care about the most; family and friends. Ask God to make your “homework” as important to you as it is clearly shown in the Bible. As parents, coaches, teachers, guardians, aunts, uncles, we have a responsibility to the younger generation. It’s good to pass on inheritance, wealth, and good things to your children. But leave them more than material things; leave them a heritage of faith. Teach them the way to a trusting, satisfying, and loving relationship with God Himself. This is the most important investment of anyone’s life. After all, our children deserve the best we can give them, for the heavenly Father gave the best to us. Hope in Christ and be faithful.

  •       This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, Univ. of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida and a 1LT Chaplain in the U.S. Army Reserves. Matt can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at
Posted by on Oct 13 2013. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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