“All your children shall be taught by the LORD, And great shall be the peace of your children” (Isaiah 54:13, ESV).
Kids should have top priority in our lives. Dr. James Dobson has said, “Children must be valued as our most priceless possession.” Children and grandchildren are the future of the church. Every investment of time, energy, money and emotion will more than payoff, in this world and in eternity. The people of Israel always considered teaching and discipling their children a very high priority. They guarded family time and established family traditions which helped them maintain their identity as God’s people for thousands of years.
God had given them their instructions through Moses: “Place these words on your hearts. Get them deep inside you... Teach them to your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning until you fall into bed at night” (Deuteronomy 11:18a-19, MSG).
This is still God’s plan! Here are some things to teach your children:
- Teach your children that you think they are special – I’ve always told my kids, “You’re the best daughter in the whole-wide world!” “You’re the best son in the whole-wide world!” Spend some time with your children doing the things that they like to do. Our children’s first glimpse into God’s love is the love we show them.
- Teach your children that you love them – One of the best ways love is communicated is through patient, consistent and purposeful discipline. The Bible tells us that if we do not discipline our children we do not love them (Proverbs 13:24). God shows us His love by consistently disciplining throughout our lives (Hebrews 12:5-11). Biblical discipline is not practiced in anger or rage, it is always administered in love.
- Teach your children right and wrong and to obey – Kids want to know boundaries and what is right and wrong. While your children are young, teach them clearly what is morally right and wrong. Teach them modesty, and to always tell the truth, and to look away from evil. The Ten Commandments are a good guide for morality (with the exception of the 4th Commandment, which is not a moral issue, but the sign of the Old Covenant). These Nine Commandments are all repeated in the New Testament.
- Teach your kids to love God’s Word and God’s church – Reward your children lavishly and frequently for memorizing God’s Word. Encourage them with prizes, money and words of praise for every step they take in internalizing God’s Word. Make Sunday the best day of the week! Don’t burden them with tons of chores; instead, make it a day when you do special things together, get together with good friends, and eat special food.
- Teach your kids by your example – Our faith is caught even easier than it is taught. Nothing is as powerful an advantage and blessing to your children than for you to live your life sold-out to the Lord Jesus Christ!
Pastor Mark Martin
Calvary Community Church