Many people are familiar with Children Desiring God primarily for our curriculum. But before there ever was any curriculum, there was a vision—a vision for spreading a passion for the supremacy of God in all things so that the next generation may know and cherish Jesus Christ as the only One who saves and satisfies the desires of the heart. Therefore, this vision is the "big thing"—the curriculum simply exists as a tool toward the vision. This is why we encourage people to know and understand the vision before using the curriculum.
How can you, other parents, and your church become better acquainted with the vision? Consider hosting a "Getting Acquainted With a God-Centered Vision for the Next Generation" informational meeting at your home or church using this free three-part series by David and Sally Michael. Here is a summary of each 75-minute video:
We've all seen and heard it, and probably commented on it—a child who seems to be continually preoccupied with his or her own self-interest. We might be tempted to sum up the child's attitude as, "It's all about me!" In the classroom, it can express itself in various forms—a child who always wants to be first to answer the question, or always wants to have things done his way. How can we help children (and ourselves, for that matter) biblically combat this "ME monster"? One way is to foster in our children and students an understanding of the true nature of the battle and provide them with the right weapons for fighting the battle.
To that end, here is a free lesson from our Midweek Bible curriculum titled Fight
As a parent, the thing that caused me the greatest amount of fretting and anxiety was the salvation of my children. Our daughter came to saving faith at a young age (that's the way it's supposed to be in a Christian family, right?) But as she entered her early teens, there came a crisis of faith...and I became a mom wringing her hands in doubt, "What have we done wrong? What can we do to make sure she truly believes?" Then came our son. He was 15 and still had a heart in rebellion against God. That REALLY caused a lot of anxiety and thoughts like, "Lord, what can we do to change his heart? If we do (such and such), will you save him?" God, in His sovereign grace, did bring him to true repentance and faith, but it wasn't in our preferred timing, or because of any merits within us as parents. So, although we are to faithfully instruct and live out the Gospel for our children in the hope that they will embrace saving faith, ultimately, our children's salvation in the decisive work of God.
Here is a new video from John Piper giving a sneak-peek at his new endeavor, "Look at the Book," which will be coming out in September. From the description, "Look at the Book" seems like a great resource for parents, teachers, and older students so that we might read and understand the Bible in a way that will cause us to better treasure God's Word and God Himself.
Remember, we needn't wait until our children are older to teach them to "look at the book." We can begin even before they are readers and continue to slowly and intentionally, step-by-step, lead them through the process of "mining" the Scriptures. Want to learn more? Check out this free handout.
Here are some helpful, practical suggestions for parents to aid their children in becoming more active participants in the corporate worship service.
In his excellent book Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens,Paul Tripp offers five strategies for preparing children and young adults (a.k.a. "teenagers") to interact redemptively with their culture. Here is a brief summary:
We live in an ever-changing world, a world filled with unpredictability. Whether relationships, the natural world, employment, health, technology, politics, or societal norms and values, everything seems to be in a state of flux. But over and above all, there is a God who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8). This is bedrock assurance. God need not change by improving His character for He is already perfect in every way. He will not change by age, and grow weak or feeble of mind. His attributes stand eternal, undiminished by time. Moreover, His promises and purposes regarding His covenant people will not change. He can be depended upon forever. Our children need to know and trust in the unchangeable nature of God. Here are some discussion questions to help your children and students better understand and apply this important attribute of God to their everyday experience.
This coming Father's Day, as you take time to reflect on the blessings of God's gracious design for fatherhood, take a moment to consider the call of the church and parents to raise the next generation of fathers. What will we need to do in order to sufficiently prepare these young boys and men to mature toward a proper understanding of biblical manhood?
Several years ago, Dr. Albert Mohler did a two-part series asking the question: When does a boy become a man? Here is one of his answers regarding preparing our sons to have a personal maturity sufficient to be a responsible husband and father:
In this Father's Day sermon, “Fathers Who Give Hope,” Pastor John Piper reminds fathers of their important role in encouraging their children to put their confidence in God.
The Goal of Biblical Fathers
Andrew Bonar, the 19th century Scottish pastor, said concerning the teaching of children, “We tell them, ‘You are sinners, exposed to God’s wrath and curse, and you cannot save yourselves; but God’s own Son can save you, by Himself bearing that wrath and curse.’” In other words you teach a child to despair of all self-confidence and direct his desire for confidence to the grace of God. The goal of biblical fathers is to have children who say (with Psalm 60:11–12):
The Lord bless you, and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26, ESV)