Over the last couple of months I realised that while I was reading my new study bible the kids were busy tucking into endless Tom and Jerry cartoons. The more I delved into the word of God the more I wanted to lovingly involve every body. Yes, even the 3 year old. So I started searching for good theologically sound family resources. I have come across very good and interesting resources for Christian families to explore the word of God together. Some study resources involve personal scripture reading like the Professor Grant Horner’s Bible Reading System and on the other hand there is the Heidelberg Catechism for Families and also The Shorter Catechism for Young Children.
Some people say that at times the closer you walk with God the more the rebellion that may develop in your children (to God and his commands). Well, they say haven’t you heard of the Preacher’s kid (abbreviated as PK)? That is a child of a preacher, pastor, deacon, vicar, minister or other similar church leader. Of course I am not a preacher, but I think PKs are (probably wrongly stereotyped) as the most devious in a sunday school or youth group. I have seen PKs that are the most adorable and God loving than my own. I have also seen children who behave worse than PKs. The point we should never forget is that we are all born with a corrupt and sinful nature. This nature always turns our wills away from God. None of us is born loving or desiring God.
I think parents are accountable before God for teaching the truth to their children. The scriptures countless times tell us to teach our children these truths that we have learnt and known about God. It behooves us as parents therefore to faithfully teach these eternal truths of the Christian faith. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (Deuteronomy 11:19 )
A good example in the bible of how God brought sincere faith through parental discipleship was Timothy. Paul wrote to Timothy, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.” (2 Tim 1:5)
I am not advocating for slavish or legalistic intellectual goose marching to the bible at every turn. I believe which ever way you desire to do it with your family, plant the seed of the gospel, gently water it and God will be the one to give the results and the increase. A blog article (Thanks Pastor Brett) I came across this week put it this way:
1. Model a love for God’s Word by letting your children see that you value spending time in God’s Word. This can be a difficult balancing act. On the one hand you want to spend quality time with God which usually means getting alone, away form the children, frequently before they get up in the morning or after they are in bed in the evening. So what do you do? I recommend spending time reading the Bible in front of your children in addition to your quiet time. Also, talk regularly with your spouse about what you are reading in front of the children. Speak enthusiastically about what God is teaching you through your own Bible reading and study.
2. Read the Bible with them at the dinner table and before bed. Not in a slavish, legalistic, “check off my to-do list” way, but in a vibrant, fresh and enthusiastic way. Mix up your approach. This may sound anathema to some, but don’t do it every time. Be flexible. Be joyous.
3. Get some musical Scripture CDs and play them when you are going down the road. There are a lot of these types of CDs available these days, so find some you like and play them.
4. Find ways to mention Scripture in your conversations with your children, whether it is a discussion about how to behave in public or a time of discipline and correction.
5. Make sure they have their own personal Bible to carry to church and to be responsible for. Get one that is age appropriate for them. We use picture Bibles for our young ones and now our oldest son has a New Living Translation Bible which he can read and understand.
Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
While Christian kids are over dosing on cartoons and Play Station games in their youth groups, have you ever wondered what muslims are teaching their kids?