Today, I was searching for a Bible Study book that teaches parents how to practically teach their children about God. What I found surprised me.
I found books that talked all about the desperate need of churches to focus almost all of their efforts on children.
I found books that talked about how to discipline kids and making them behave.
I found books for everything under the sun, but I found so very few Bible Study books geared towards teaching parents by giving them practical help, ideas, and guidance on how to teach, build up, and raise their children in the Lord.
We’ve missed it.
We have program after program geared towards children in our churches: Sunday school, children’s church, Awanas, and vacation bible school. So even Christian parents send their children off to these programs expecting them to come back wiser, more biblically grounded, and more “Christian.” Attending these programs becomes a check in the box for responsible Christian parenting!
The Bible doesn’t tell us as parents to send our kids off to the best church program and pray for the best. The Bible tells parents, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6 ESV).
Not only this, but the Bible says in Deuteronomy 6:7-9 that we are to “impress [God’s commandments] on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” The Hebrew word used for “impress” is similar in meaning to the English word “inculcate”, which means to cause (something) to be learned by (someone) by repeating it again and again. This is our responsibility as parents in the Lord!
We need to train up each other as parents to be confident as we inculcate (big word!) the word of God to our children as we sit together, as we walk together, as we lie down together, and as we get up together.
We determine how deep our children go in God’s Word.
We determine how deep our children go in prayer.
We determine how deep our children’s hearts learn to love God.
It’s a huge responsibility, but we are not alone in this. The Holy Spirit guides us even when we don’t have other parent’s coming along side us to train us. As we seek God, He promises to meet us and provide for us in our shortcomings. If you intentionally train up your children and inculcate them with God’s truth, they will have a firm foundation.
No matter their choices in life, your children can know Jesus and return to or remain in that firm foundation.
Teaching Your Children to Study the Bible – Kay Arthur
How to Raise a Modern-Day Joseph: A Practical Guide for Growing Great Kids – Linda Massey Weddle
Talking To Your Children About God – Richard Osbourne
Teaching Kids about God – John Trent, Rick Osborne, Kurt Bruner
Note: I am in no way saying that “Sunday school, children’s church, Awanas, and vacation bible school” are wrong, but rather I wish to encourage parents to venture forward in training up their children intentionally in their own homes.
© 2013 – 2014, Brooke Shambley. All rights reserved. Love it? Please share, pin, tweet or email but do not use my work without permission.