>As my girls grow as Christians, I see a behavior in them that is so absolutely precious to me. Whenever I say to my girls, “The Bible says…” in relation to some aspect of their behavior – good or bad – their faces take on a very serious look and their response is inevitably, “It does?” They have a beautiful hunger to know not only what the Bible says, but also how it applies to their daily lives.
Now, I cannot say that discovering what the Bible says automatically improves their behavior, but there is something powerful about realizing that an instruction is not just from me. There is something compelling about discovering that I am simply a messenger sent to teach them how to apply the Word of God to their lives.
Proverbs 1:8-9 says it best when it explains why my precious children should listen to me…
Hear, my son, your father’s instruction
And do not forsake your mother’s teaching; Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head
And ornaments about your neck.
In all honesty, we greatly limit our children by our mentality of what they can and cannot accomplish. We make sure we give them portions of a Scripture verse, or at the very least give them the most simplified translation of it, when we teach a lesson or encourage memorization. We teach them children’s songs. We read from children’s Bible storybooks instead of the Bible itself. We separate them out for services rather than encouraging them to learn to listen to a sermon.
Then, they do something that surprises us.
They learn an “adult” song we listen to in the car and can sing every single word.
They end up sitting through a sermon with us and begin asking questions about what they heard.
They pull out a “real” Bible and begin reading for themselves.
They walk up and spout off a complete Bible verse – or passage – that they have managed to memorize simply by reading that favorite passage over and over and over again.
We stand amazed, when in reality we should be holding them to that standard all the time! No, not at the exclusion of allowing them fun, child-like learning treats. But, I think we sometimes focus on the fun and child-like and in the process miss what they can actually accomplish with the Word of God!
If Christ is Lord of their lives, children will respond to the Word of God. If we do not feed it to them now, though, when will they learn to use it and respond to it? If we are all to come to God as little children, then is it not possible that God has the ability to make His Word clear to those little children?
We have to be willing to
- use the Word of God with our children in training, discipline, encouragement, prayer, and guidance.
- realize that it is our responsibility to truly teach them what the Word says and how to use it in their lives.
They love God’s Word! I think that’s a love worth encouraging and feeding!