As Christian parents, we have been called by God to disciple our children in the ways of the Lord. Solomon gave parents their marching orders in Proverbs when he said that we are to, “Train up a (our) child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6).
This verse is not a promise that our children will never depart away from the faith if we train them up in the Lord, but rather this verse is a reminder to us as parents of our God-given responsibility (Train them up in the way he should go) and in many cases, God honors that training by producing good fruit in the lives of our children as they get older. The good seed of God’s word in our children’s minds and hearts at an early age has the potential of producing into a plentiful harvest for generations to follow.
But how do we as parents cultivate these blessings in the lives of our children? Overall, we must rely on the sovereignty of God to provide the harvest. As parents, we can do all the right things but in the end, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” (Psalm 127:1)
The good news is that the Lord uses means to accomplish His ends, and the means to our children’s end is our intentionally training them up in the way of the Lord.
That brings us back to our responsibility as parents. What does it look like to train our children up in the way of the Lord?
The good news is that we don’t have to go far to find out what God is calling us to do. As Christians, we believe the Bible is the breathed-out word of God and because that is the case we likewise believe that the bible is sufficient (complete) for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16)
Training our children is a good work that God has called us as parents to do, and the reality is there are few things more important than doing this work as best we can with the means that God has given us to accomplish His ends.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 reminds us of our call as parents and the extent of our influence in our children’s lives. We are told the following, “
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
There is much that can be, has been, and must be reiterated from these verses but for now, let me make some observations that will serve well for the purpose of this post.
In these verses, there are commands that God is giving to his people that have a multigenerational impact. These verses are not limited to parents only but are given to the people of God as a whole. That said, there are individual families within the whole and God has called those subsets to faithfully obey what he has commanded and as a result, the whole community will be built on a good foundation.
The people of God and the subfamilies that make up the whole are called to:
“teach their children diligently”, talk to their children about the truths of God “when they sit in your house, when they walk by the way and when they lie down.”
In other words, Parents are always on duty. We are called to always be shaping our children’s minds and hearts and the means that God has given us is the word of God.
What are we called to teach them?
Teach them that, “…The LORD our God, the LORD is one.” Teach them that they, “… shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”
In short, teach them that they are under the authority of God. Teach them that God is their creator and that He is Lord over every area of their lives and expects them to obey him as they are instructed in the ways of the Lord.
This is where family worship comes into the picture.
Parents, especially Fathers (the Heads of our home) it is our God-given responsibility to put God’s word before the minds and hearts of our children every day. One of the ways we do this is by calling our family to worship God through reading, singing, and praying His word.
In a future post I’ll tae about what Family worship looks like in our home but for now, let me encourage you that family worship does not have to be complicated.
If you have a bible, a good hymnal (or Psalter), and a willing spirit you can have sweet fellowship with the Lord and with your family.
Doing this every day (or as often as possible) for the next 10-20 years will (Lord willing) produce an abundant harvest that will transcend all the hard work it took for you to do what God was calling you to do. In the end you would have pleased the Lord by your obedance and your children would have grown in the ways of the Lord. Keep pressing on Mom and Dad.
Keep making disciples in your home.