Top 10 Reasons to Teach Your Children Biblical Truth Every Day
Dr. Paul J. Dean's Weblog
We're losing our children. Seventy-five to ninety percent of young people raised in Christian homes walk away from the Christian faith when they hit college. And, it's not more programs or youth functions at church that will stop it. In fact, those things are part of the problem. According to the Scriptures, the solution lies with you. With respect to this issue, the missing dynamic in contemporary Christianity is parents discipling their own children. God commands Christian parents to train their children in the way they should go and such a dynamic involves more than taking them to church. It involves teaching them every day. There is no more important thing you as a parent can do for your children than to teach them Biblical truth. Why?
1. Because they won't learn it on their own.
Apart from the new birth, no matter how good they look, your children don't really love or desire God. And while some have been converted by simply picking up a Bible and reading it, God's primary means of bringing people to Himself is through discipleship: people explaining the Scriptures. We're commanded to make disciples (Matt. 28:18f). We're also given examples like Philip inquiring of the Ethiopian eunuch, who was reading from Isaiah, as to whether he understood what he was reading (Acts 8:31f). The eunuch responded by asking how could anyone understand without someone explaining it. Your children will never learn the Scriptures unless you teach them.
2. Because their friends and teachers are leading them astray.
Paul warns us against being deceived and says that bad company corrupts good morals (1 Cor. 15:33). The Bible also says that foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child (Prov. 22:15). When a bunch of fools (children) get together, foolishness abounds. Most Christian parents have no idea what their children talk about with their friends or how much they're influenced by them and the larger culture. I've driven buses for Christian and public school athletic teams. The conversations on those buses are no different and they certainly don't glorify God. But more than that, every statement someone makes is rooted in a worldview. Seven hours a day for nine months of the year, your children are being taught that God does not exist. And it's not just in science class. When the math, English, or history teacher presents the material apart from the reality of God or without looking at it through the lens of Scripture, your children are being taught that God is not real. They are also being trained to think in unbiblical terms. They see the world through a secular lens and not a biblical one. As such, your children are being led astray.
3. Because their electronic devices are leading them astray.
From television shows, to music, to YouTube videos, to Facebook, and more, your children are being influenced away from Christ. Values and attitudes are shaped by entertainers, musicians, fashion models, advertisers, etc. If your child's mind is being filled with nothing but the world's message, he can't help but think like the world. This is why the Scriptures tell us constantly that we must renew our minds (Rom. 12:1-2). Unless we fill our minds with truth, we will find it impossible to think in a way that glorifies God. Beyond that, salvation is not a matter of repeating some words in a prayer. It's a matter of one's mind and heart being changed by the grace and power of the Spirit. Ask yourself how much time your child spends in school, with friends, and with media of some kind vs. how much time she spends in the word. You might be shocked.
4. Because they are not learning truth at church.
You might be in a wonderful church with gifted teachers. But one hour or even two on a Sunday is not discipleship. It's not nearly enough time to combat the ungodly influences on your children throughout the week. And the truth is that most children's Sunday school lessons involve little more than moralizing. Most children in Sunday school, youth group, or children's discipleship, are not being taught what God's word actually says.
5. Because you don't really know what they believe if you don't talk to them.
You can assume your children are saved and even knowledgeable in the Scriptures. You can assume they think like you and have the same attitudes as you about everything. But unless you talk to them, probe their understanding and attitudes, explain the Word, and apply it to their hearts, you don't know them. If you don't spend time regularly talking with your children about what's going on with them and applying the Scriptures to their lives in that regard, you will be very surprised one day when you find out they aren't who you thought they were. If you care about your children, you'll care about what they think.
6. Because you really hate your children if you don't.
Hate is a strong word but the Bible says "He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly" (Prov. 13:24). Biblical discipline is not only corrective but formative. Note that discipline and discipleship share the same root word. Discipleship is formative discipline and involves teaching the things of God while discipline is corrective discipleship and involves rebuke, correction, and instruction. Moreover, in biblical terms, love is action. To love your children is to teach them the Scriptures. If you don't teach them, you're not loving them.
7. Because God commands you to.
Paul tells us to bring our children up in the training and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). Again, we are to make disciples of our children. The way we do that is found in Deut. 6:6-9: "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." If you're not saturating your children with God's word, you are not only being disobedient, but you're failing your children.
8. Because Satan is real and is trying to destroy them.
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Pet. 5:8). Peter gives us a critical command for our good. A lion roars when he's ready to pounce on his prey. If we don't think of our children as prey, then surely they will be devoured. Satan may get at them through sex, drugs, or violence. He may get at them through the influence of rebellious friends or activist teachers. He may get at them through the ideas that permeate our culture. Your only means of protection is Christ and His word.
9. Because they are sinful by nature and have no ability to overcome their own flesh.
The truth is that if you simply leave your children to themselves, they will always choose the wrong path. It may be that God in His grace and providence uses someone else to point them to Christ. But you have no guarantee of that, and in reality, it's almost certain He won't. If seventy-five to ninety percent of young people raised in Christian homes walk away from the faith when they hit college, what will make your child different? Those children are walking away because they're not being taught biblical truth by their parents.
10. Because one day it will be too late.
No one knows who and when God might save. But in practical terms, there will come a day when your child has chosen his beliefs and path in life. For most young people it happens in college or shortly thereafter. If you let your child get to that stage without teaching her biblical truth, it will most certainly be too late.
But it doesn't have to be that way. God has given us His word and told us what to do with it. And remember, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Rom. 10:17).
Under His grace,