Lesson 10 – Teaching your children to believe in God
Upon parents rests the responsibility of teaching the word of God to their children. It has always been so (Deut. 6:6-7). Ours is to also nurture in the admonition of the Lord (Col. 3:21).
As parents we must recognize the needs of our children and provide them (I Tim. 5:8). The greatest of these needs is the spiritual development of each individual child.
It is, without a doubt, imperative that one must have faith in God in order to be found in favor with God (Heb. 11:6). Faith, as the Bible speaks of faith, is based upon knowledge – not just any knowledge – but knowledge of God’s word, the Bible (Romans 10:17). It is impossible for any person to come to a proper relationship with God if it is not based on a Bible-based faith. Children, though born innocent of sin, must grow physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually, and are, therefore, not an exception to this rule.
Parents can’t afford to wait for children to be able to pick up a Bible, and read for themselves about God. All mothers and fathers must come to the aid of their children in terms teaching them what the Bible says. Those mothers and fathers who understand their godly duties to their children will seek to instill the will and word of God upon their children as soon as possible.
Ø II Tim. 3:14-15
Ø Ephesians 6:1-4
Ø Proverbs 22:6
Ø Is. 38:19
A part of those godly duties will be to read their children the Bible. In order for children to believe in the God of the Bible, they must learn about him.
1. About the nature of God
1.1. His grace (Eph. 2:8-9)
1.2. His power (Jer. 32:17, 26-27)
1.3. His care (I Peter 5:7)
1.4. His omnipresence (Ps. 139)
1.5. His eternality (Gen. 1:1)
1.6. His changelessness (Mal. 3:6, James 1:17)
1.7. The countless other aspects of God’s nature.
2. About God’s love
2.1. Mankind is the special object of God’s love (Gen. 1:27)
2.2. John 3:16 declares God’s love for the whole world
2.3. John 14:21, 23; 16:27; 2 Thes. 2:16
2.4. The fact of God’s love (Rom. 5:8)
2.5. Love is more than a word; it is a demonstration (Jesus).
3. His existence
3.1. From the creation (Ps. 19:1; 139:14; Rom. 1:18-20)
3.2. Based upon design (Heb. 3:4)
4. The principles behind God’s actions
4.1. Far too often we remain content to teach children the books of the Bible, the accounts of Noah’s ark, and the flood, Joseph and his coat, Samson and his strength, and then fail to teach them about the great principles involved.
4.2. Principles of obedience versus disobedience and the consequences of each (Deut. 11:26-28). Is this not the basis behind the story of Noah and the ark?
4.3. God’s hatred toward sin (Ps. 5:4; Gal. 5:19-21; I Cor. 6:9)
4.4. God’s mercy toward sinners (Rom. 5:8; Eph. 2:5)
4.5. God’s desire to save man (Tit. 2:11; I Pet. 3:9-12; I Tim. 2:3-4)
4.6. God’s plan of salvation (Eph. 3:8-11; Mark 16:15-16; Matthew 28:18-20)
4.7. Being steadfast (I Cor. 15:58; II Tim. 3:15-4:5)
4.8. Count the cost of discipleship (Luke 14:26-33; Phil. 3;17-21; Luke 9:57-62)
4.9. Children need to, must, and can learn about the great principles taught within the Bible.
5. Asking and answering questions about God
6. Living in harmony with God’s word in such a way that their children will want to follow them (I Cor. 11:1)
Children need to see their parents practice what they preach. A parent who teaches a child about God, his love, his power, his holiness, his mercy, and his care needs to live in harmony with the same principles that he seeks the child to live up to.
Parents must show their children that:
Ø God is first in their lives (Matt. 6:33) by actively involving themselves, as well as their children in good works.
Ø We must show our faith in God by attending all of the services of the church (Heb. 10:25).
Ø We must read our Bibles daily (Acts 17:11; II Tim. 3:15-17).
Ø We must pray without ceasing (I Thes. 5:17).
Ø We must show our concern for lost souls by visiting and teaching (Gal. 6:1; James 5:19-20; II Tim. 2:2).
Ø Children need to understand that the word of God is held in such high regard by the parents themselves that the parents practice what they preach. Parents must not only profess that they know God, they must demonstrate it in their way of living (Tit. 1:16; Jas. 2:14-26; I John 3:18). Parents need to make God real in the home. Children do not learn about God only through instruction. They learn about him through the reverence, honor, and respect their parents give him. The opinions children form about God are largely the outgrowth of their parents’ attitudes about him.
The spiritual development of our children takes time. We must understand this and be committed to take the time to develop a companionship, partnership and cooperation to bring about their spiritual maturity.