Do You Desire To Bring Your Child Into The Kingdom?

It's hard enough to be a Christian parent in this world. How do we combat the forces of evil while at the same time raise our children to desire to walk in God's light? By seeking His face, His Word and inspiration from each other as we stumble through this parenting process together. You will find all the instruction, encouragement and resources you need right here at The Greatest Mission Trip You'll Ever Take to help you be the most effective witness to your child that God would have you be. Look around and come back often. Let's learn together.

Friday, May 9, 2008

More Caught Than Taught?

The right words, used in the right way, help create great meaning to the things we read. However, some words have become so familiar and commonplace that their meaning actually changes. So today we are having a vocabulary lesson.

We’ve heard that certain things are better ‘caught’ than ‘taught’. Passing our Christian faith down to our children has often fallen within this category, where the speaker assumes that by sheer observation, a child will pick up more by watching than listening to the droning sermon of an adult. It seems to me, then, that the onus for learning falls squarely in the lap of the child. If he doesn’t get it, it’s his fault. He clearly wasn’t paying attention.

If we look at the words chosen to describe parenting in the Bible, however, we’ll find the onus is placed squarely on us, the parents. We’re to assume an active role and not a passive one. Here are some Scripture verses (NIV translation) with a highlighted vocabulary word then defined by

“For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just….” Genesis 18:19
Direct - to manage or guide by advice, helpful information, instruction, etc.

“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” Deuteronomy 4:9
Teach - to impart knowledge or skill; give instruction.

Impress them [the Lord’s commandments] on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:7
Impress - to fix deeply or firmly on the mind or memory, as ideas or facts
Talk - to communicate or exchange ideas, information, etc., by speaking

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Train - to develop or form the habits, thoughts, or behavior of (a child or other person) by discipline and instruction

While it’s important that our children see us modeling our faith, our Lord intended for us to instruct our children in His ways and truths. Purposeful, deliberate and consistent interaction is the approach we’re to take. There’s nothing in the Bible that says anything like, “Parents, let your children see you following the Lord and hopefully they’ll get it just by watching you.”

Direct. Teach. Impress. Talk. Train. There is no mistaking that these are action verbs.

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