One of the most important lessons to teach children is that they were created for a purpose. Unlike the ludicrous theory of evolution that posits random occurrences that result in people appearing in this world, the Bible teaches that we were personally known by our Creator before the foundation of the world. Of course, parents cannot teach this perspective if they don’t hold it themselves and mere assent to this doctrine is not sufficient. Beliefs should manifest themselves in our thoughts, words, and actions. Children should be able to witness that their father and mother live out their callings in a deliberate and purposeful manner.
This means that children need to be acquainted with the reasoning behind specific family practices. For example, why are we being educated at home, or why do we go to Christian school, or why do we attend public school? If parents cannot give a good apologetic from Scripture for decisions such as these, they will be teaching their children that certain matters are outside the jurisdiction of God’s Word. They should not be surprised when their children grow up to discount God’s law as binding on their lives.
From the time they are babies parents should explain their rules to their children, and as they grow, encourage them to repeat, not “what” is required, but “why” it is required. If they can articulate the reasoning behind their family culture they will be better prepared to learn how to govern themselves so that they remain on the straight and narrow path the Bible proscribes.
PARENT: Do you know why we pray before meals?
CHILD: Yes, because we recognize that God is the provider of our food and that by His grace it enables us to be nourished.
PARENT: Do you know why we don’t go into debt for the things we want?
CHILD: Yes, because God’s Word says that the borrower is a slave to the lender. God wants us to work for what we get.
PARENT: Why is it wrong to complain about the work you are assigned to do either in chores or school work?
CHILD: It is wrong because God wants us to serve Him willingly and cheerfully. If we are constantly complaining it means that we are more interested in doing our own will that His.
When young people grasp the idea that they have been placed into a Christian home because God determined them to be Kingdom-oriented in their endeavors, they will better respond to the concept of service. Instructing them that God saves people to serve Him should do much to dispel the culture’s constant meme that people should be constantly entertained and that it is OK to be occupied with mindless activity.
As these young people grow and take their place in an adult world, they will be the key factors in rebuilding and reconstructing the society in terms of God’s Word. This is no small matter even though it can seem inconsequential if the world’s standards are used to judge. We are told to be faithful in the little things. If this becomes the standard fare of Christian children, we can expect a brighter future led by a dedicated minority that seeks for the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. The promise of what follows should give us reason to be encouraged.