The Biblical Mandate for Christian Education
Cooper P. Abrams III
Modern fathers/mother seen to care very little about the spiritual growth of their children. Reason is that the state operates the schools. My own son was almost growth before I understood this Biblical principle.
Read Psalm 78:1-8
The excuse are many today, blame is lain on fast pace of today's life style, and a hundred other excuses.
Church members are seeming to say: The Bible might teach this, but my circumstances make it next to impossible. You see, my circumstances excuse me from my responsibility to God. I do not have to obey the Lord in this matter because of my situation.
There is a story of a mother who made no excuses. She had a difficult situation, yet see still raised her children to love the Lord. Susannah Wesley spent one hour each day praying for her 17 children. In addition, she took each child aside for a full hour every week to discuss spiritual matters with him or her. No wonder two of her sons, Charles and John, were used of God to bring blessing to all of England and much of America. Here are a few rules she followed in training her children:
(1) Subdue self-will in a child and thus work together
with God to save his soul.
(2) Teach him to pray as soon as he can speak.
(3) Give him nothing he cries for and only what is
good for him if he asks for it politely.
(4) To prevent lying, punish no fault which is freely
confessed, but never allow a rebellious, sinful
act to go unnoticed.
(5) Commend and reward good behavior.
(6) Strictly observe all promises you have made to your child.
She was a mother who demonstrated her love in raising her children to love the Lord.
Most parents make great plans for their children, making sure they attend a good grammar and high school. They prepare for years for the child’s adulthood by planning for college or special training.
No one would for a minute, who loved their child, would neglect seeing the child attend school and getting a good secular education. It is next to impossible for a child to be successful without a good education.
However, often there is no attempt at all to prepare the child spiritually.
Many a parent is grief stricken by what their children become as adults. They are shocked when they live immoral lives. They are heart broken when their children ruin their lives because they are undisciplined and rebellious. The prisons of our nation are filled with adults who as children received no spiritual and moral training and were unprepared for adulthood.
There are children who are raised properly who seem to be born with a rebellious spirit. I not talking about them.
God placed the responsibility on the parents to teaching the child in the home.
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6
Statistics tell us that:
One percent of the child's time is spent under the influence of the Sunday school; seven percent under the influence of the public school; 92 percent under the influence of the home. (Albert S. Taylor)
The key to loving the Lord in the right way is to grow up doing it, and thinking of it as normal.
Even a Christian mother or dad who did not have the benefit of being raised by godly parents can take the Bible and learn exactly what to do. They can start a new legacy in their families.
With the Bible as our instruction book there is no excuse
teaching our children to love the Lord.
If you don't teach them to Love the Lord, you are teaching them to love the world and the ways of the Devil.
Let us look at the four "H's" of raising our children.
I. GOD'S WORD SHOULD BE IN THE "HEART." Deut. 6:4
A. We are commanded to love the Lord with all our heart and soul.
1. We normally think of love as an emotion. But it is more than an emotion, much more.
2. How can you have an emotional feeling for someone you never saw. It is difficult to know them.
ILLUS: I read where a girl in Washington State, began to write a soldier who is in Saudi Arabia. She got his address through a group that was supporting the soldiers there. In this short time they both had written often and developed a relationship, although they have never met.
3. We learn of God and develop a relationship be reading and learn of God from the Bible.
As we learn God's principles for our lives and we apply them, we see how though them God changes our lives and brings peace and satisfaction, that endures whatever our circumstance.
Thus our relationship and respect and yes love for the Lord grows and we experience his power in our lives.
Yet, if we do not learn of Christ, how can we know Him, and how can we love someone we do not know? How can we love someone to whom we have little or know relationship with.
4. God commands us to love Him. I have friends and people I know to whom I would not say I really love them. Why? I have not relationship, and have no need to pursue a close relationship.
God commands us to pursue a close relationship and as we do we will learn to love Him.
5. Many times parents can not teach their children because they themselves have never learned this truth, nor have tried to live for Christ.
C. Children basically become what their parents are.
This is a fact. Many times a child brought up in a home with an alcoholic will hate the embarrassment and heartache this causes. Yet, many will become exactly what they hate.
1. God has given us a nature to mimic our environment.
2. The reason I believe is that we learn from example. We must be taught how to live. Be it good or bad we learn from those around us.
3. Many a child has gone astray from being around rebellious children they meet in school. The child naturally gravitates toward doing wrong, because he has a sinful nature.
4. Parents should work to teach their children of Christ and work to see them saved early in life.
5. Then after they are saved, they need a godly example to follow.
6. Many a person has accepted the Lord and then lived a life doing knowing for the Lord.
Many surrender to the idea that sin in the life of a believer is normal and OK.
Take drinking as an example. No one ever became an alcoholic who never took a drink. Most children get their first drink from the refrigerator of their own home and from their own parents.
Even the lost person who loves their children would not want the to grow up drinking.
God tells the Christian to absolutely, not even look on wine when it moves around by itself. That means it is fermenting. They listen to the Catholics and Protestants who drink and instead of God's word.
A Child of God must run from sin, live trying to escape a burning building. If you stay in the building you will get burned. Yet, many times they claim they will only drink moderately and etc.
In the home, that teaches the child that drinking is OK. Even child know that drinking is wrong! When Christian parents drink then confuses the child. They claim to be one thing and by their actions do something else.
No child ever learned to drink from parents who did not drink themselves.
D. The parent first loves God, and by their obedience to the Lord both in word and deed teaches their children to love the Lord. They do it by obeying the Lord themselves.
Many a child was taught right in the home and went astray when they grew up. Yet, came back to their upbringing and lived their lives for the Lord.
II. GOD'S WORD IN THE HOME. V7,9
A. Worshiping the Lord is more than just a church function.
1. It begins in the home. It has been correctly said that leaves his religion at church, really does not have any.
2. The best place for a child to learn the Bible is in the home.
3. God says to diligently teach our children in our homes.
4. The word teach means to: repeat, iterate, or do a thing again and again, hence to whet by reiterated friction or grinding.
5. Formal training in Sunday School and Church is an important part of a child spiritual training, yet it is only a very small part.
6. It is done in the home and reinforced at Church.
B. God says we are to teach when we walk and when we sit down, when we lie down and when we stand up.
1. That means all the time.
2. That will be hard for parents who don't live that way.
C. Verse 8-9, say to bind the word of God upon their hand, on frontlets between your eyes and write them on the door posts of your house.
1. I believe this is figurative language.
2. Many Jews follow it literally and did not have the Word of God in their hearts. Like wearing a cross as a good luck charm.
3. The point is that the Word of God is to be the vital part of our lives.
III. GOD'S WORD SHOULD BE IN THE HAND. V8a
A. It does not mean that write on our hands, but that our hands are to be lead and directed by the Word of God.
B. It means we are to have the Word of God in our hands. That means to read to it. It is to be often in our hands.
C. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for the Scripture arm
bands. He did not criticize them for having them, but only for trying to have the biggest. They wore it on their sleeves, not in their hearts.
IV. GOD'S WORD SHOULD BE IN OUR HEADS. V8b
A. Frontlets between thine eyes.
1. God was using a figurative expression to teach them that the Word of God should be in their minds.
2. It should be the motivation for their lives.
B. Merrill Unger's Bible Dictionary. correctly says,
1. God did not in any way point to symbolizing the divine commands by an outward sign to be worn on ones body.
2. Spiritual people understood this. Yet, those who were not spiritual misunderstood and thought that wearing an outward religious sign pleased God.
Nothing was further from the truth.
C. God was saying have the word of God as one commentator said, "in the chamber of one's mind.
1. What a responsibility we have as parents and as Christians. To know that our degree of serving the Lord will be the degree of our children.
2. God promises blessings to those who obey his word. He also warns that to fail brings disaster and heartache in our lives and our children's.
3. Parents are responsible for their children's spiritual
4. We should pray, " Lord, we have heard your Word as you commanded, help us to keep it in our hearts, our home, our hands and our head so that we will forever love and obey you"