Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Teach Them Diligently

     Children catch many things as they are growing up:  the flu, a cold, butterflies, balls and yes, even a worldview.  What little ones see in their home forms the basis for many of their perceptions as they are growing up.  This is why it is so important for parents to teach their children the truths of the Bible at an early age.  Praying together at meals and studying God's Word  as a family is just as important for children as doing homework.
     One of the reasons my husband and I felt called to homeschool our four children for 21 years was our desire to instill in them not only a love for learning but also how God is an integral part of every subject.  It took time and sacrifice to stay at home and devote ourselves to this endeavor but we knew it was our parental responsibility to train up our children to be well educated members of society and more importantly, believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Thankfully, all of our children committed themselves to Christ and have gone on to serve the Lord in various vocations.
     Not everyone is called to home educate their children as far as academic pursuits are concerned.  For those who have their children in private, charter or public schools, the influence and participation as a parent is key to their success.  In addition, instruction at home concerning the Christian faith is crucial because our children and grandchildren are facing an increasingly antagonistic society who have lost their moral foundation.  Going to church once or twice a week is not enough to provide them with all they need.  Certainly it reinforces their faith, but nothing replaces the instruction of parents.

Glenn and I with some of our grandchildren 
     In the Old Testament, God spoke clearly to His people in Deuteronomy 6:4-9 concerning the duty of all men and the responsibility given to parents:  "Hear, O Israel:  the Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  And these words I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and  they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."  Is there any doubt about the importance of passing on our faith to our children as well as demonstrating it to them in our own lives?    We are not talking about something casual here or every once in a while.  This is an immersion style of teaching which brings our faith into every aspect of life, and it is meant to be daily.
     R.C. Sproul in Tabletalk Magazine for September writes:  "I don't think there's a mandate to be found in sacred Scripture that is more solemn than this one.  That we are to teach our children the truth of God's Word is a sacred, holy responsibility that God gives to his people" (Pg. 5).  One tool which we can use with our children at an early age is the Westminster Shorter Catechism which is a simple question and answer format.  While some may say that this leans on boring tradition, we need to point out that according to Dr. Sproul Scripture teaches that the word "tradition" refers to the passing on of a gift.  We have a gift to share with our children and grandchildren.  We have the gift of salvation and the Good News of Jesus Christ.  How could we not want to pass this along to those we love?
     Indeed, whether we choose to home educate or send our children to public school, the need to teach them the truth of God's Word is imperative to their well-being and eternal destination.  Let us not miss any opportunity to pass along the faith that has been delivered to us .  This is a call incumbent on all parents.  May we be found faithful!  Selah!

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