Sunday, May 26, 2013 The Duties of Parents To Their Children: Today’s public education system places the government in charge of educating the children of parents, instead of parents educating their children. Using hindsite, if I could turn back the clock to 1980, we would have homeschooled our children. The homeschooling network today of abundantly resourceful and those parents who state they are “not qualified” to educate their own children are mistaken. There is no one more qualified to educate children than their own parents.
And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
Teaching Your Children Spiritual Truth
My earliest childhood memory is a pre-kindergarten Sunday school class. I suppose I was four years old—maybe even younger. Our church was an old, imposing building that smelled like someone’s attic. The windows in our classroom were huge, and I loved the way the sun shone in. I was mesmerized by those little particles of dust that dance in the sunbeams in a dusty room.
I clearly remember one Sunday sitting in that room and learning the song “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam.” Our teacher eagerly pointed to the huge streams of light coming in the windows, and she tried to make them an object lesson.
The only trouble was, none of us understood anything about metaphors. All I could think of when we sang that song were those shiny little specks floating in the shaft of light, and I couldn’t figure out why Jesus would want me to be one of those. I loved the song, but I have to admit it made no sense to me.
That memory is so deeply etched in my mind that even today when I hear “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam,” I am immediately transported back to that old room with the big windows, and those little flecks of sunlit dust come to mind.
My own kids are now older than I was then, and one day several years ago it suddenly occurred to me that the earliest memories they would carry to adulthood had already been formed. Nearly everything they are learning now will stay with them for the rest of their lives. That’s a scary thought for a parent.
Most Christian parents will admit to being somewhat intimidated by the weighty responsibility Scripture places on us. Our task is outlined in simple terms by verses like Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go” and Ephesians 6:4: “Bring [your children] up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
Understanding our solemn duty as parents ought to provoke a certain amount of fear and trembling. Then again, it needn’t paralyze us. Teaching spiritual truth to children is a joy. No one is more receptive, more hungry to learn, or more trusting than a child. Chances are, you’ll never find more eager disciples than your own children. Don’t squander the opportunity.
Let me suggest five practical principles to remember as you teach your children spiritual truth.
1. Understand that children can grasp the essence of almost any truth.