Are You Neglecting the Needful?
by Tamara Eaton
In the flurry of gathering curriculum, planning lessons and teaching academics, let's not neglect the most important responsibility of Christian parents--bringing up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and teaching them His Word!
The principles found in the Bible cover everything we could possibly go through in life, therefore, it's crucial that we teach our children His Word and how to apply it. We don't want them to blindly follow traditions of men or even of our Christian family. We want them to understand WHY we believe the way we do and back it up with Scripture. For example: Should the Sermon on the Mount be taken literally? How should we apply it to our lives?
We talk about these issues constantly with our children. Not in a "preachy" way, but in everyday discussions where we challenge traditions or discuss options and search the Scriptures to find principles that would apply to different situations in our lives. We discuss current events in light of Christian principles with our children. Something comes up on the news and we'll ask the children what they think about it. What should be a Christian's response? Why?
Our children need to learn how to discern God's Will for their own lives, cultivate a close walk with Him, and understand how to interpret Scripture. Why are there so many Christians who think just like the world? Is it because they have assumed that the world's standards are the same as God's standards in so many areas? Have they not been taught to reexamine things in light of Scriptures? Or do they not make time to read their Bibles and seek the Lord for themselves?
We can read books about the Bible and find many different interpretations, but it's only through reading and studying the Bible ourselves that we find out for sure what God actually said. We all probably know Christians who change their theology and beliefs according to the book they've read most recently; we want our children's beliefs (and ours!) grounded in THE BOOK, the Bible!
"...it is the bound duty of all Christians to reexamine their spiritual philosophy in the light of the Bible. Having discovered the scriptural way, they must follow it, even if to do so, they must separate themselves from much that they had accepted as real, but which now in the light of truth is seen to be false.
A right view of God and the world to come requires that we have a right view of the world in which we live and of our relationship to it. So much depends upon this that we cannot afford to be careless about it."
--A.W. Tozer in This World: Playground or Battleground?
Concerned Christian parents today seek to protect their children from ungodly influences and the negative attractions of this world. They teach their children to be separated from the world, even as they witness and minister to those in the world. Over one hundred years ago, Andrew Murray wrote this strong admonition to the parents of his generation--how much more do we need it today?
"....too often Christian parents allow the world to prey upon their children. Children grow up in comparative ignorance about the blessed Saviour, are entrusted to the care of irreligious or worldly teachers, are allowed to associate with those whose spirit and influence is altogether worldly...."
"To what a large extent the education of the young has been left to the State, to the secular school, and to the spirit of the age, until the youthful heart has lost the simplicity and tenderness of which the Master spoke when He said, "Of such is the kingdom of heaven".....Would God that the eyes of His people might be opened to the danger which threatens His Church! It is not infidelity or superstition; it is the spirit of worldliness in the homes of our Christian people, sacrificing the children to the ambition or society, to the riches or the friendship of the world, that is the greatest danger of Christ's Church. If every home once won for Christ were a training school for His service, we would find in this a secret of spiritual strength not less than all that ordinary preaching can accomplish.
"It is faith that still finds the same path of safety. 'By faith Moses was hid by his parents.' They trusted God....Christian parent, hide your child. And where? Oh, hide him in that safest refuge, 'The shadow of the Almighty,'....Lay your child from its birth daily there in faith....Let the mighty rock of God's strength and the tender covering of His feathers be your child's ark, while still he is all unconscious of temptation or danger. With the first dawn of reason, may the clefts of the rock and the love of Jesus be the place of safety to which you guide the youthful feet."
"....The education Moses' mother gave her son during the years of his childhood was such that all the years of training in Pharaoh's court could not obliterate it. His parent's faith bore fruit in his faith when he, at every cost, chose suffering with the people of God and was not afraid of the wrath of the king. Moses saw Him who is invisible. Train the child for God and His people, and when the time comes that he must go into the world, even into Pharaoh's court, he will be safe in the power of faith of of God's keeping."
--Andrew Murray (1828-1917)
Oh, if every one of our homes was such a training school for Christ! Our children would be prepared to be mightily used by the Lord to pull down the strongholds of the enemy and to fulfill God's purposes in their lives and ministries. It is my prayer that as you teach your children reading, math, and other subjects this week, you won't neglect that which is of ETERNAL value--the teaching and training in God's Word and sitting at His feet.
"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)
"...from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Timothy 3:15-17)
"Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding." (Proverbs 4:7)
"And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful..." (Luke 10:41-42)
© Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.
Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.
We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.
[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]
"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."