Training our Children…
We all want the best for our children, right? Never have I heard, “I hope you grow up aimless. I hope you make the same or worse mistakes than I have made. I really hope you have to wrestle with doubt throughout your entire life.”
No! Usually we strive to make things better for our children and to set them up for success whether that is with academics, sports, relationships, and more. Sadly, though, we often forget to set them up for spiritual success as they grow and mature. It seems we have forgotten to train them to know and study God’s Word and the advantages this will yield throughout their lifetime. I have listed at least 4 of these, invaluable benefits to our children.
Benefit #1 – They can know TRUTH.
We all face people who do not personally know God or who have rejected the truth of who He is. Quite often, those people are friends, mentors, instructors, and even our bosses. In college, I sat under many professors, highly educated and intellectual men and women, who insisted that God was merely an idea, and that truth is what you believed it should be. How confusing! If it is different for everyone, then it is not truth, which Webster’s Dictionary defines as a “transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality,” but rather, it is an ideology or persuasion. There are enough struggles in this life without adding to it the confusion over the existence of pure, absolute truth. It is truth that sets us free.
Benefit #2 – They can know GOD’S WILL.
One of the greatest challenges our children will face is knowing God’s will. Somehow, we confuse knowing the will of God with knowing the mind of God. Solomon himself admitted, “then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun…Even if a wise man claims he knows, he cannot really comprehend it” Ecc 8:17. Our finite minds cannot comprehend the mind of an infinite God. Even if we think we do, we don’t.
But it’s not about knowing His mind, anyway. Paul told the Romans “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is– his good, pleasing, and perfect will.” Rom 12:2
We (and our children) can know God’s will by resisting conformity to the world’s patterns in thinking and living and by renewing our minds, allowing that transformative process to reveal His good, pleasing, and perfect will to us, (and our children!)
Benefit #3 – They can know what is SIN– and avoid it
When we train our children to know and study God’s word, it takes root in their hearts. David wrote it beautifully in Psalm 119:11, “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”
We often confuse mistakes for SIN. As children learn anything new, there are mistakes along the way, errors which simply need correction. Mistakes are not sin as they demonstrate ignorance and immaturity. Sin is failure to do what we know is right, or doing what we know to be wrong.
Benefit #4 – They can know His REWARDS.
Countless Scriptures reassure us that God is good and gracious. He loves and disciplines his children, but also blesses the faithful and “rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Heb 11:6
I hope my children grow up with purpose. I hope they avoid the same mistakes than I have made. And I really hope their confidence grows stronger in this loving God that speaks to them through His word.
We all want better for our children and since this is a matter of eternal life and death, training them to know and study God’s Word may be the most beneficial training we do as parents!
In my next blog, I will highlight some PRACTICAL ways in which we can train our children to know and study God’s Word. And if you are thinking, I don’t really know how to do this for myself much less my child(ren), this will be a wonderful opportunity for you to share in the endeavor with them! Stay tuned…