Teach Them to Know the Lord

Recently my daughter asked me what the most important job in the world was? Many people may answer with doctor, lawyer, teacher, or president. However, I told her being a mom and dad is the most important job in the world. You see, in Genesis, one of God’s first instructions to man and woman was to “be fruitful and multiple” (Gen 1, ESV).[1] The first thing God told Adam and Eve to do, was to become parents. Not only was this a command from God, but also a blessing. Children are gifts from God (Psalm 37:26). There is nothing more important than raising the next generation.

A part of raising them is to know and understand biblical truths, to hear the gospel, and see their parents live it out. Deuteronomy reminds us to “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, 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” (Deut. 6:4-7).

Before I entered seminary, while I was decerning my call, I met with a Chaplain who reminded me as a father my first ministry is my family. As fathers, we are to disciple our family, to “bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). This is clear in Scripture, but for me, I was lost at first. You see, I wasn’t raised in the church, I wasn’t discipled as a child, so I didn’t have a model to adapt. A great resource that I have since started to use is Long Story Short, which was written by a youth pastor for children.[2] It has been a blessing for me as a father. Long Story Short uses a model that examines a line of Scripture through illustrations, a guided discussion, and prayer prompts. It’s opened several great discussions with my daughter, and I pray that it will offer us both years of fruitful study together.

https://martymachowski.com/book/long-story-short/

Christians have always lived in trying times, and we are no exception.  It’s the job of parents to see to it that no one takes our children “captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ” (Col. 2:8). In a world where children are seeking the truth, but in some areas being taught unholy curriculum and led down a path of radicalization, fathers must take responsibility for their “first ministry.”

If you have any resources that you have found useful, drop a comment below!

Notes


[1] Unless otherwise noted, all biblical passages referenced are in the English Standard Version (Wheaton: Crossway, 2001).

[2] Marty Mahowski, Long Story Short: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God (Greensboro: New Growth Press, 2010).

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