by Hector M. Earle
Who is God? How did I get here? What happens after death? Who am I as a person? What is death? What is sin? What’s my purpose in life?
Photo by Lorelei Nettles
Teaching our children find the answers to big questions through Scripture as a church and at home, is the most important task we have. Our aim should be to teach scriptural values in such a way that our children understand that all knowledge is of God and must be used to honor him as Creator and Lord of our lives.
Teenagers today have been the recipients of our public schools humanistic philosophy where evolution is embraced and Christian values are shunned, with the latter deemed unconstitutional in most educational institutions. A whole generation of young people are entering the new millennium with little or no conception of spiritual issues and the purpose they give to one’s life. Surrounded by material blessings and living in a world of instant gratification, many are ignorant of the purpose of life and knowledge of God.
In this secular world of human reasoning, everything seems relative and challenged, not the least the things pertaining to God. And yet in His infinite goodness, God has left us a place where our children may be instructed out of His Holy Word. Amidst all the trends of anti-God today, he has preserved his word for us. He has shown us His will, and given us the answers to all of the above and then some. God still gives us the window of opportunity to raise our children in the love of His commandments. Let’s not squander it. Their eternal destiny may depend on it!
Satan, the god of this age is still out to steal, to kill and to destroy. It behooves us to strive together as parents and church leaders to “hold fast to that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5: 1) and to prepare to live Godly lives until God’s Kingdom is set up on this earth.
Modern thinking tries to convince us that happiness comes only through worldly fame and selfish ambition of materials possessions. We must help our children to understand that the pursuit of money, power and status are only temporal things of this world which will not deliver the true satisfaction they crave. Instead, let’s remind them to build their hopes on things eternal.
We can begin by first reminding our children of the advice King David gave his son Solomon before his death. He said, “And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts. If thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off forever.” (1 Chronicles 28:9, KJV throughout)
By walking the walk ourselves we become role models for our children amidst the onslaught of worldly messages that bombard our children on a daily basis. To start, include family prayer, then establish regular family devotions and bible study. Make time for it, just like all the other stuff you make a priority. Yes, right up there with soccer practice, piano lessons and homework. What is more important than the eternal matters that impact your child’s relationship with God not only in the here and now, but through to the promise of eternal life that Jesus promises to all who believe on Him and keep His commandments.
I still remember my mother praying for every one of us when I was a child, (naming each of us by name) during our family devotion. She made it a practice once a week. We used to call it ‘family prayers’. It had a great impact on my life and certainly helped me to search God with a willing mind. Your children will respond too; maybe not right away but the values you teach them now will sow the seeds for greater things to come.
Family devotions and Bible study are a great opportunity for our children to ‘know thou the God of thy father’. Take time out, (the Sabbath would be a wonderful starter point) to discuss the big questions with your children. Mealtime is also a great opportunity for this. Again, let’s pray that our words can have the same impact as David‘s did on Solomon. “And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind,” (1 Chronicles 28:9)
Catch them early. Build faith in their young minds to search God with all their hearts and eventually they will find him (Jeremiah 29:13).
Building spiritual values in the young minds of our children in the early stages of their lives, teaches them to search God with all their hearts. This will eventually give them a strong foundation to develop that Godly faith that is so necessary in today’s secular world.