Thursday, October 27, 2011

MrsDrPoe: Teaching Children

Once again it's Theology Thursday on the blog, and as always, I invite you to open your Bibles as we look at another portion of God's word.

A few years ago in Starkville, the theme of the ladies' summer Bible class was 'teaching more difficult Bible passages to children.'  Many of us younger ladies learned a lot from those who have had much experience in this area through teaching both their own children and others'.  After much waiting, learning, and praying, last Sunday I had my first experience in a children's Bible class.  It went well, and I'm very excited to learn more about teaching young minds what God has revealed to us through His word from the lead teacher.

While some people may view teaching Biblical truths to children in a negative light, preferring instead to 'let them make their own spiritual decisions,' this idea is contrary to the Biblical model.  In Deuteronomy 6:6-9, the Israelites are commanded, "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.  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."  This passage points out the great effort with which they were to strive to continually teach their children through both word and example.

Although this command was given as part of the Old Law, passages in the New Testament clearly demonstrate that it applies to Christians under the New Law too.  For instance, Ephesians 6:4 says, "And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord."  Clearly, teaching our children things of a spiritual nature is important to God, and as such, it should be important to us as well.

Suppose someone wanted his/her (young) children to make their own academic decisions.  How many kids would choose recess or staying home over learning how to count or multiply or work with fractions?  Obviously not everyone will enter a math-intensive field, but we teach our kids basic math because we see that these skills are important.  And math is important...but the word of God is so much more so!

Ultimately, our children will make their own decisions about whether or not they will follow the Lord, just as they will make their own decisions about pursuing a career in engineering or public relations.  However, this fact does not negate our responsibility to teach our children the Bible.  Our refusal to do so is not just 'allowing our children to make their own spiritual decisions' or even 'taking the easy way out'- it's blatantly choosing to disobey a command from God.  I encourage you all whether you're a parent or not to join me and help teach our children about Jesus and what He did for us all!


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