Intentionally Teaching Your Children God’s Word

christian family stewardship christian parenting family Jan 07, 2024
intentionally teaching children

Ephesians 6:4 - “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”


 

Introduction

As parents, the most important job we have is teaching our children God’s Word. These precious little ones are given to us to steward and train, and the heavy responsibility of this privilege must be taken very seriously. Teaching God’s Word to our children cannot happen by accident, which means parents must be intentional if they are to fulfill this glorious command. When we obey God in this sacred task, we can have faith that our labor is not in vain. Homes built upon the foundation of Scripture will experience many blessings from the Lord and even future generations will be impacted.

 

You Shall Teach Them Diligently to Your Children

Intentionally teaching God’s Word in the home helps establish the Bible as our family’s authority, cultivates a Christian household culture, and brings joy and excitement to the study of the Scriptures. In recent generations, there has been a pattern among some parents to leave spiritual matters to “professionals.” Many have assumed that simply by taking their kids to church and a Wednesday night program, their children will grow up into mature, biblically-literate believers. This kind of thinking has pervaded the church, and it is simply not true.

Discipling children is an all-day, everyday endeavor. And while pastors and teachers are tremendous resources and supports to parents and children (and the fellowship of corporate worship should be central to family life), the task of this constant education is put squarely on the shoulders of the parents. It is a significantly bigger job than many Christians realize, and it is not an easy one.

We always have Bibles at home lying around the house so that we can quickly turn to Scripture throughout our day: during times of conflict, when someone is upset or frightened, and when we are overjoyed. We want to train our children to turn to Christ in all circumstances, joy-filled and sorrowful. We strive to practice this in our own home ourselves as well, since parents are the ones who must model for their children how to live daily in light of God and His Word.

 

Fathers…Bring Them Up In the Training and Instruction of the Lord

The responsibility of training children in the knowledge of God is primarily given to fathers. They are to lead the process and have an active role. This does not mean that mothers aren’t important or that pastors and teachers are inconsequential, rather this is simply the fact that the father of the home is ultimately on the hook for how his children are instructed. Touchstone Magazine reports, “It is the religious practice of the father of the family that, above all, determines the future attendance at or absence from church of the children.”

When children are young and still living at home, fathers should place their training at a higher priority than their own interests and hobbies. This training should also include more than simply the stories of the Bible, but the doctrine and theology that provides a robust Christian faith. Mothers also must be involved in this instruction, submitting to her husband and working as his helper, or even stepping into this role if the father is unavailable (Proverbs 1:8-9). This process will not be perfect, but God does promise to bless it. He is faithful to work through imperfect parents and imperfect family situations.

 

When You Lie Down and When You Rise

Again, faithfulness does not happen by mistake. It is imperative that parents have a clear plan for teaching their children the stories, truths, and doctrines of the Bible, as well as ancient hymns. Memorizing verses, songs, and catechisms is another excellent practice. We encourage you to have a plan and routine in place so that this can happen on a daily basis.

We personally choose to have a Family Worship time at dinner. We pray, sing, and study the Bible together. It is something we all look forward to each evening. We’ve also found that various media can enrich our worship time: TV, podcasts, youtube, etc. Our family favorite is Time of Grace.

 

To A Thousand Generations

The Christian culture and spiritual routines you establish in your household can reach farther than you realize, on into future generations. Children who are raised in homes with deep, all-encompassing Bible instruction are much more likely to teach their own children in a similar way (1 TImothy 1:5). On the other hand, if you choose to completely outsource the biblical education of your kids, they will likely follow suit. And while some outsourcing can be very beneficial, there are many options (most of them, actually) that will teach your children incorrect theology and doctrine. If you do choose to do any outsourcing, be careful and wise. Asking your pastor if he’s willing to look over any resources you’re considering is one great way to help prevent this. Many pastors will make the time because they want their people being built up in the truth and not discipled by poor teaching.

 

Conclusion

Teaching our children the ways of the Lord is primarily the responsibility of fathers and is not something we should outsource out of habit. This great duty can be difficult, but there are many blessings for the household, parents, children, and future generations that will be impacted by obedience to this command. We exhort you to put a plan in place as quickly as possible and not put this off. We cannot know the future, but we do know what obedience must look like with the time we have with these precious souls entrusted to us.

 

Key Points

  • Teaching our children God’s Word is our most important task as parents.
  • There should be a plan for teaching the truths of the Bible. The parents should come up with it together and the process should be led by the father.
  • The father should be involved in the Scriptural teaching, not simply outsourcing to his wife or other pastors and teachers (though their involvement is crucial as well).
  • Faithfully instructing children in God’s Word will be a blessing to the home, parents, children, and future generations.

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