It was Sunday morning and little Jason was piddling around and not ready to leave for church. As time was drawing close his father admonished, “Son “You better get ready, the bus will be here in a few minutes to pick you up to take you to Sunday school.”
“Did you go to Sunday School when you were a boy?” asked Jason.
The father replied, “Yes I did.”
As he was finished getting dressed, Jason mumbled, “It probably won’t do me any good either.”
While the church is afforded some opportunities in the education and edification of the family, the Bible squarely places that responsibility on the home. The Israelites were expected to pass on their spiritual heritage from generation to generation.
The Psalmist Asaph expressed it this way in Psalm 78:3-4. “Things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.”
Children need to know about God. About his works. His ways. And wonderful deeds. Bible teaching must be a priority in our home. We must imbibe into the hearts and minds of our children a love for the Lord. A realization that He is our Creator. And the wonderful Old Testament narratives that demonstrate God’s power, presence, and purpose in our lives.
Several years ago columnist Ellen Goodman wrote a powerful editorial entitled, “Battling Our Culture Is Parents’ Task.” It was published in the Chicago Tribune and reprinted in many outlets.
Goodman began with the observation “Sooner or later; most Americans become card-carrying members of the counterculture. This is not an underground holdout of Hippies. No beads are required. All you need to join is a child.”
“At some point between Lamaze and PTA,” Goodman continued, “it becomes clear that one of your main jobs as a parent is to counter the culture. What the media delivers to children by the masses, you are expected to rebut one at a time. But it occurs to me now that the call for “parental responsibility” is increasing in direct proportion to the irresponsibility of the marketplace. Parents are expected to protect their children from an increasingly hostile environment. Are the kids being sold junk food? Just say no. Is TV bad? Turn it off. Are there messages about sex, drugs, violence all around? Counter the culture.”
The culture in our day is more toxic than ever before. The internet, social media, and iPhones are constantly sending our children immoral messages. Faced with the onslaught of these challenges, we cannot hide the gospel message. Biblical knowledge, spiritual values, and divine association must be not only encouraged, but clearly taught. And lived by parents and grandparents.
Don’t just send your children to Bible class. Go with them to Bible class. Don’t simply encourage them to read the Bible. Read the Bible to them. Don’t merely encourage them to choose good friends, involve your family with godly people. Don’t only warn them about the wickedness of the world, but abstain from every form of evil yourself.
We teach our children both with instruction and example. “Bring up a child in the way he should go,” and walk that way yourself.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman