[Biblemat] S:> Teaching Children Diligently
Ethan R. Longhenry
disciple_of_iesus at hotmail.com
Thu Nov 20 15:29:45 CST 2008
Teaching Children Diligently
A. Ephesians 6:4
1. The most solemn obligation of the Christian parent!
2. Recognition of great importance of raising a child in
God's teaching and admonition
B. How do we go about raising our children this way?
1. Many ways to approach the subject from the Bible
2. Much goes into raising a child!
C. One way is to consider the example of Israel
1. Romans 15:4, 2 Timothy 3:15-17
2. We gain much from considering how God worked with His
chosen people of old
D. What can Israel teach us about teaching children diligently?
II. The Command to Instruct
A. To raise children in the Lord, one must teach them about
the Lord and His ways
B. Such is a charge God makes to Israel frequently
1. Deuteronomy 31:12-13
2. Deuteronomy 6:6-9, 11:18-21
3. Deuteronomy 4:9-10
4. Deuteronomy 32:46
C. There is no escaping it: God expected Israel to teach their
children of God and His will!
D. Israel was to assemble to hear God's law
1. The Law was to be read so that Israel would hear it
2. Then Israel could teach the Law to their children
3. Remember: poor literacy-- most people would only learn
of God and His law through someone reading the Law or
telling stories of God
4. Thus, the importance of coming together to hear God's
Word so that it can be believed and communicated to
children is clear!
5. If you never assemble to hear God's word, how will you
know it and teach it to your children (cf. Hebrews 10:25,
E. To Teach is to Know (Deuteronomy 4:9-10)
1. One of the great truths of teaching is that in teaching
you better understand and master that which is being
2. If Israel were to teach its children, they would have to
know the Law themselves!
3. They would have to tell their children what they
experienced and what God said, and therefore better
understand it themselves
4. Does God not know or understand this about teaching?
Of course not!
5. But how can you teach if you do not know?
6. This is why it is so important for you to know God's Word!
F. Israel was to be constantly immersed in the Law
(Deuteronomy 6:6-9, 11:18-21)
1. It is not enough to hear the Law; it had to be remembered
2. How can the Law be remembered if it is never considered?
3. Thus God commanded Israel to constantly meditate on the
Law, discuss it amongst themselves, and teach it to
4. To think about it would make it easier to do it, and to
talk about it would serve to confirm it
5. Philippians 4:8
6. The more we think about God's Word and discuss God's Word,
the better we will know it, and the better able we will be
to teach our children!
G. Parents to Teach Children (Deuteronomy 32:46)
1. God is clear in both covenants as to whom He wants to
teach children: their parents!
2. Fathers are given the charge in Ephesians 6:4; throughout
the Law, God speaks in terms of parents teaching their own
children what God has said and done
3. Does this mean that there is no place for children's
Bible classes and the like? Far from it!
4. But the primary source of instruction about God is to
come from parents!
5. God set it up this way for a reason-- children trust
their parents for knowledge!
6. The real meaning of Proverbs 22:6
a. Often taken as (and argued regarding) an absolute
statement of truth
b. Such is not Solomon's point!
c. Solomon indicates that children are most malleable at
a young age, and thus the values that their parents
instill in them in their tender times will guide them
d. Who in here today cannot say that their values were in
part or in majority shaped by the values of their
e. Who cannot think of some nugget of instruction gained
while very young?
7. Children look up to parents-- parents, this is why what
you teach your children is so important!
8. Thus, you cannot expect the Bible class teachers to
provide spiritual instruction that will be sufficient for
your child-- even if they could, children are formed more
by their parents than by anyone else!
H. We can see from God's instruction to Israel how important it
is for parents to train their children in God's Word!
III. Opportunities to Teach
A. Yet when will we have opportunities to teach?
B. Time set aside for Bible study is good
C. God also provides Israel with understanding regarding
D. Exodus 12:25-27, Deuteronomy 6:20-25
1. Part of God's instructions regarding the Passover and
the Law involved the teaching of children
2. The main role of the passages are to teach Israel what
they should teach their children
3. Nevertheless, we gain other truths from these passages
E. Giving Opportunity to Question-- Practicing the Faith
1. We see in the passages that the children will have an
opportunity to ask questions about the Passover when they
see their parents and others observing it
2. Children are naturally inquisitive!
3. When children want to know or learn of something, they
will ask questions!
4. Again, does God somehow not know or recognize this about
children? Of course not!
5. When Israel was observing the Passover, it was the classic
"teachable moment" about God's act of deliverance of
6. Yet all of this presupposes that the parents are actually
observing the Passover!
7. If they do not observe it, what opportunity will the
children have to ask about it?
8. If it is unimportant to the parents, how will it be
important to the children?
9. The parallel in our covenant is the Lord's Supper-- the
memorial of God's great act of salvation for all mankind
(John 3:16, Romans 5:4-11, 1 Corinthians 11:17ff)
10. There is wisdom in God's commemorations!
11. How will you get the opportunity to teach your children
about Jesus' death if they never see you remember it in
the Lord's Supper?
12. How will your children learn about what it takes to be
a Christian if they do not see you practicing
Christianity, living God's law?
13. Children learn more by example than by training-- more
by what you do than what you say!
14. What are your children learning from you?
F. Answering the Questions
1. It is fundamentally important that if and when these
questions are asked, that you provide answers for them!
2. Is the answer unknowable? Explain that you don't know,
but that God does know (Deuteronomy 29:29)
3. Is there an answer that can be known, but you do not
know it? Explain that, and investigate the answer with
your child from the Scriptures!
4. Do you know the answer? Then provide it-- but make sure
that the child understands where you obtained the
information-- the Scriptures!
5. If you refuse to answer the questions, and push the child
aside, you may never have another opportunity, and you
may harden them!
6. Questions are not challenges-- they are the best
opportunities for showing what God would have your child
7. He made them that way, and charged you with taking
advantage of the opportunity!
G. We are to take every opportunity to teach our children, and
should not lead them to despair!
IV. Conclusion: The Consequences of Failure
A. What happens if we fail to teach our children the ways of
B. It will be for them as it was with Israel!
C. Judges 2:10-13
1. A generation arose in Israel who did not know God
2. How was that possible?
3. They knew that YHWH was the God of Israel, but were not
taught to serve Him only
4. They learned from the customs of the nations around them,
and followed after those influences!
D. What are you really teaching your children? What else are
1. Let none be deceived: there is no such thing as
2. Through schools, television, magazines, the Internet,
and especially peer groups, all children learn of the
customs of the nations around them!
3. If there is little instruction and practice of
Christianity, then why should there be surprise when
children go out, forsake God, and serve the idols of
4. They will get their values somewhere!
E. A sober warning for us!
F. As parents, we must teach our children in word or deed the
way of God
1. Instruction from God's Word
2. Practicing Christianity in our own lives
3. Demonstrating where our priorities lay
G. If we fail, guess what happens?
1. If we provide no instruction, they will be just like
everyone around them!
2. If we say one thing and do another, they will likely
follow our deeds!
3. If we make poor priority decisions, they will make similar
poor priority decisions!
H. Therefore, we have a solemn charge as parents, grandparents,
and fellow brethren!
I. Let us teach our children diligently of God and His ways lest
they turn aside and follow other gods!
Ethan R. Longhenry/ disciple_of_iesus at hotmail.com
Evangelist, church of Christ in Norwalk, Ohio
AOLIM: Deus Vitae/ ICQ#: 28317056
MSN Messenger ID: deusvitae/ Yahoo! Messenger ID: discipuliiesus
Matthew 10:25a (ESV): "It is enough for the disciple to be like his
teacher, and the servant like his master."
Renewed in Spirit
an interactive online spiritual publication for those seeking the Kingdom
More information about the Biblemat