In today’s materialistic and troubled world, we must not underestimate the importance of teaching our children about God. The Bible makes it clear that as Christians, we should do this: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22v6)
Abraham was one of the first people to be commended for how he brought up his children: “He [will] command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice.” (Genesis 18v19)
Jesus rejoiced when the little children came to him and said that we can learn a lot from our children by their approach to God: “Whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18v5)
It is a well-known fact that children need boundaries in their lives. Otherwise, things like this happen:
This is a picture of some of the damage caused by youths in the 2011 riots in Tottenham. The media was very quick to blame the lack of discipline, respect and obedience amongst young people nowadays, but the truth is, there are precious few places left for them to learn these valuable things.
And that is why I will teach my three month old son about God, as he grows up, and why I will take him to Sunday School. This way he will hopefully learn the following:
- The importance of obedience. There is no greater example than the Lord Jesus Christ, who willingly gave his life in order to save his friends. (Hebrews 5v8, John 15v13-14)
- The lesson of forgiveness. True forgiveness does not keep a record of wrongs and does not bear grudges. Otherwise how can we hope to be forgiven by God? (Matthew 18v21-22, 1 Corinthians 13v5)
- That whatever wrong he suffers in this life does not make it right to inflict wrong on others. Instead we must always show respect for other people. (Matthew 5v38-42, 1 Peter 2v21-24)
- That suffering, pain and death happen to us all, but they are merely reminders of our mortality, and there is a glorious future awaiting to those who are faithful when all of these things will be wiped out. (Luke 13v2-5, Revelation 21v4)
- That morals, and conscience, are very important. There is an absolute sense of right and wrong, despite the world trying to tell us it doesn’t matter what we do as long as we enjoy it. (Isaiah 45v19, John 8v31-32)
I know too that my example will influence him, and that gives an important responsibility to me, and likewise all parents. Of course, as he grows up, it will be his decision what to believe, and how to live. But I’d like to think that whatever he chooses, these early lessons will make a big difference in his life, and the lives of all he will meet.