Kids are thinkers. They ask good and sometimes hard questions. My kids have asked me some of the hardest theological questions between ages 5 and 8. They’ve queried me on comparative religion, death, eternity, heaven, hell, Jesus and the cross, and what about all those people who have never had a chance to hear the gospel? Interestingly, these questions tend to come at bedtime. But frankly, I don’t care if they are at times bedtime-stalling techniques; such questions are always worth staying awake to talk about.
One of my children repeatedly pressed me with questions like, “How do you know that Christianity is the right belief?” That
Because parenting is difficult, and because you are imperfect, you will need the grace that comes to you through the gospel. God will use these problems to deepen your dependence on him. You will experience stress and obstacles. They will happen so that when your child comes to saving faith, your boasting will be in Christ, not your own best efforts.
(William Farley, Gospel-Powered Parenting: How the Gospel Shapes and Transforms Parenting, copyright©2009, page 20)
(Image courtesy of arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)
David tells us that God’s Word is precious. David is king over his nation and has access to all of its wealth, yet he looks at it all and sees that it is nothing compared to the surpassing worth of God’s Word.
…God’s Word is pleasurable. I don’t think there is any natural substance more delicious than honey (though perhaps maple syrup could be a close contender), and yet David can proclaim that God’s
In a world drifting on a sea of parental moral and spiritual confusion, the doctrine of the total depravity of our children is actually an important practical anchor. Parents who understand its significance recognize the divine wisdom in teaching the commandments of God, given as they are largely in negative form. God wrote them for sinners. They also recognize the importance of teaching God’s law in the context of God’s grace in Christ and through the Spirit. With Augustine we know that God will give what He commands.
God has not given us angels, but sinners to train to be saints. Since the situation is further complicated by the fact that parents are also sinners, we constantly need to rely on the teaching and directives of Scripture. While that is a subject all on its own, here are some simple guidelines.
While readying a classroom before Sunday school, I noticed a missionary family on home assignment. I hugged the mom and greeted the children saying how wonderful it was that they could be in Sunday school today.
The smiles disappeared from the children’s faces.
The mom told me she wasn’t sure about sending the kids to class since they were feeling uneasy.
I turned to the children and said, “In our classrooms we have pictures of your family. The children in your class know your face and your name, and they have been praying for you! They will be so happy to see you!”
Smiles reappeared on their sweet faces.
The following Sunday, I saw the mom and inquired as to whether her children had attended Sunday school. She said, “Yes, and they loved it!”
For the Christian, learning is not facts to be learned but truth to lived.
(Teach Them Diligently: How to Use the Scriptures in Child Training, copyright©2000, page 21)
Teaching that aims only at informing the intellect falls short of the potential we have to mold young hearts in response to God’s truth. Though knowledge of the truth is extremely important for faith to be born and to grow (Romans 10:17), children must act on the truth, appropriating it into their lives and walking in the truth.
I am strongly opposed to providing our kids with alternate worship experiences all the way through high school. They ought to be worshiping with adults, with their families, in “big” church, not having a special service tailored to their teen demographic.
Our children, it is true to say, may have no great part to play in the unfolding history of the kingdom of God. No-one may write a biography of them after they are gone. They may never serve on the mission-field, never hold office in the church, they may have no outstanding gifts. But if they have a heart for God, serve him faithfully, have the courage to do the right, and are clothed in godly humility, they will be great in the Lord’s sight. And nothing counts for more than that!
Arrive early to your classroom.