Saturday, November 17, 2007

Biblical Parenting 101: Truth

These are my notes for the class that I will be teaching tomorrow at the Contact Church of Christ.

*In our previous sessions, we looked at the importance of raising our children in peaceful homes and spending time with our children. Both of those concepts are crucial for developing godly children.

*Today, we will discuss the importance of personally teaching biblical truth to our children. The Bible stresses the importance of this in passages like Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Ephesians 6:4. (Take time to read these verses.)

*When we make the effort to teach our children the truth of the Bible, our kids have the potential to grow up with a strong faith and commitment to serving the Lord. It happened with Timothy, one of the great leaders in the early church. He was taught the Bible from infancy (2 Timothy 3:15). Who was responsible for his knowledge of the Bible? His mother and grandmother (2 Timothy 1:5). Our little boys and girls could become great servants of God for decades with our help in teaching them the truth.

* While our Sunday school classes and youth ministry can help us in teaching our children, we must not rely upon them as the primary teachers of our children. We parents are responsible for our children.

*So what do we do? This is what Janet and I do:

At one meal a day, we take time after the meal to have a devotional. I will read a devotional article from Our Daily Bread. Then we will give Christopher a memory verse. He repeats it. We discuss what it means. When he is able to quote the memory verse on his own, he will get a new memory verse the next day. Depending on the difficulty of the verse and Christopher's enthusiasm, he will memorize it in a few days or a couple of weeks. Then we will pray.

*Tommy Nelson has good advise about praying with children. "Pray intelligently with your children at meals and at night time. Pray with them theologically---they won't even know they are getting good teaching. Don't just say, 'Thank You for the burrito. Amen.' You can do better" (The 12 Essentials of Godly Success, pp. 182-183).

*At our son's age, we can still rock him in a rocking chair before he goes to bed. At that time, we read a story from one of his Bible story books. He gets some exposure to Adam, Eve, Samuel, David, Esther, Mary, Joseph, Jesus, Paul, and other great men and women of the Bible. Then we sing a few hymns (like I Stand in Awe of You and How Great Thou Art) with lyrics about the greatness of God.

*When occasions arise, it is good to point out biblical principles in our routine lives. When you notice something positive in your child, you may say, "You were very kind to your sister" or "It took a lot of courage to stand alone like that."

*When you are watching television, listening to music, or working on homework together, you may be able to discuss a scene, lyrics, or a reading assignment from a biblical perspective.

*With our teaching, our children have a better opportunity to become who God wants them to be.

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