Monday, April 09, 2007

So what are we to “teach” our children? And, why should they listen?

In my last post I made a brief mention of teaching our children. And that got me to thinking. Admittedly, that may be a dangerous thing.

If your kids are anything like mine, it is entirely possible that they might have some questions. Look at verse 20 in chapter 6 of Deuteronomy.

“In the future your children will ask you, `What is the meaning of these stipulations, laws, and regulations that the Lord our God has given us?”

Tell them this.

Everything that comes from God has a special meaning. And further, there is a specific purpose for it. Otherwise, God would not have told it to us.

Tell them that our job is to first of all obey. Then, if we have time, figure out the “Why?”.

I would also make this observation to parents. A good healthy (yet reverend) inquisitiveness is a good thing. If children are curious about such things then it is a good sign that they are concerned about the things of God. Capitalize on that teachable moment and recount some story from your own life about how you saw God's hand at work in your life or in an important situation.

Again, if your kids are like mine, there is still another “Why?” coming. Why should we even obey God's laws and commandments?

We teach them to obey them out of gratefulness to God for all that He has done for us. The people in the story in Deuteronomy were not all that far removed historically from the great exodus out of Egypt. They certainly had much to be grateful to God for. See verses 21 to 23 for more on that.

We teach them to obey so that God would sustain us and continue to grant us favor in His eyes. see verse 24. This verse seems to indicate that our very life may depend upon it.

We teach them to obey so that we may be righteous. See verse 25. Now hold on. Don't get nervous. Any of you who know me well know that I am in no way indicating a works based theology here. Far from it. But there are some things required of me by a Holy God. And obedience is just one of them.

I John 3:7 says,
“Dear children, don't let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it is because they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous.”


  1. Anonymous9:20 AM


    I know you and I know it is not a works based theology you are speaking of. Maybe a better way of stating it would be a response based theology. We are in a relationship with Christ, He expects a response to the amazing and blessed acts He does for us. Relationship isn't just one sided. I at least know what you are saying in that regards.

    I don't have much of a comment on what you have said at the moment, other than AMEN! I am still fresh off of our bible study last night at mens group. It went well and we talked about children in our conversations. 2 specifically come to mind, one was about a man who did raise his child in the way of our Lord, but his son walked his own path, but like the prodigal son, came back. The other is about a man who is learning grace from his two small children of 3 and 5. It is amazing how grace comes so naturally to the young ones and how we truly know what Jesus was talking about when He told us to be like the children.


  2. Scott,

    You are not the first person to point out a better way of stating what I am trying to say!

  3. Kevin,

    I think I have just been in too many conversations with a certain doctrinal stand point (I think you know who I mean) who always try to claim our theology as works based. It wasn't a correction to you, it was I think a normal reaction to the topic of works, lol. Sorry if it came off wrong way.


  4. No problem my friend. I am glad to have your thoughts and comments.

    See you Sunday.

  5. As I was raising my 2 sons people used to warn me of the teen years. I held to the promise that if we raised up our children in the way they shuold go...the teen years weren't so bad at all PTL, but once they turned 20 all hell broke loose in both their lives. Still, now, one is 26 and the other 25, both reeling from serious crisis and exposed sin, they claim faith in our LORD and say it is that faith that is getting them through these very dark times...they know the WORD and HIS grace...they trust a God who is faithful to forgive and have hope in a Future.
    I guess what I am rambling on about is that we have some really powerful guidelines about parenting in the Bible, and we need to trust in them, even when it seems like it might not be working out the way we'd like.

  6. Great topic, lots to discuss, one quick thought:

    Parents need to teach their children the unconditional love and tender mercy and forgiveness of our Risen Lord by mirroring it (living it, showing it to them, talking about it, etc.).

    Parents also need to teach their children how to be living it: by working hard to live a holy life full of obedience and selflessly living "God's will," not their own.

    "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven..."