Sometimes just thinking of what we should teach our children about God can seem overwhelming. Our duty feels so daunting, we may want to look the other way. We might not realize the opportunity we have, and how quickly it slips away.
Some of the methods we use to teach our children about God can damage them…for life.
I know there are all sorts of horrible crimes committed against children, here, and around the world. It is painful to speak or even hear of them. And we are in pain, because we have heard of a lot of them lately.
But today I am thinking of the eternal harm we can cause children.
We have a problem with assuming that our children cannot handle the real word of God, and so we water it down for them. Giving them small bits of fluff.
When it comes to sharing Christ, we owe our children more than to moralize the Bible’s teachings, to water down the Gospel into something barely recognizable, and to call that “leading the children to Jesus”.
Moralism, a seemingly harmless practice, is actually a noxious gas to a child’s understanding of God and truth.
When we value a child as a person, who is capable of grasping great truth, we teach them differently. We respect them enough to tell them the truth of God’s word. Not just a pretty story.
“There is great harm when the truth of a text [of scripture] is manipulated to force a lesson on the minds of children. The practice lacks integrity.”
We are going to be held accountable before God for how we did or did not share Jesus’ teachings with our children.
When we don’t read the Bible ourselves, we don’t know what it says.
How can we teach them to love a God we don’t even know?
We can weave the great Story into all of life. The Bible has an incredible amount of practical, hilarious, inappropriate, and heart changing lessons.
We must value and desire a life for our children that is completely devoted to God, much more than we value anything else for our children.
We must speak to them about Christ and the Gospel with more consistency and passion than we use to discuss getting good grades, excelling in sports, whether or not they should eat their vegetables, or if they lost their sweatshirt on the playground.
But it isn’t all serious! God has a sense of creativity and humor that you and I can’t even imagine!
It is GOOD to laugh with our kids about the things God created.
For reasons that will become obvious to you if you should choose to watch it, I was unable to post the Sea Pig video…I might get excommunicated. So instead…
Our children deserve to be shown the creativity and humor also. It widens and deepens their understanding of the God of the universe. As in “hmm, maybe He’s not boring after all”. Was anyone else surprised to come across the passage of Ezekiel in the desert begging God to let him use animal dung instead of human excrement for his baking needs?
I got off track…
We must live our lives with passion for the one thing that truly matters in eternity.
When we go around with such a somber face about all things gospel related, what are we showing our children? When we are passionate about something, it shows.
“Let us save Christianity for our children by bringing them into allegiance to Christ the King. How? How did the old Cavaliers bring up sons and daughters in passionate loyalty and reverence for not too worthy princes?
Their own hearts were full of it; their lips [spoke it]; their acts proclaimed it, the style of their clothes, the ring of their voices, the carriage of their heads- all was one proclamation of boundless devotion to their king and his cause.”
History has provided us with amazing examples of devotion and loyalty to kings and causes. Could we do any less for the Ultimate King?
Lastly, we must be careful that in our passion, we do not ignore the fact that a little goes a long way.
Parents talk too much. We just do. We get going, and we can’t stop. But if we want them to think, then we have to stop talking.
We read them God’s Word, we try to live it out in front of them, we apologize when we are hypocrites, and we keep walking in God’s grace. And we pray that the Holy Spirit will speak to their hearts. Because this is what matters, for all eternity.