TRAIN YOUR CHILDREN GOD’S WAY
to later coming to repentance, baptism and conversion. It is of critical importance that you keep this central focus in the forefront of your children’s minds, particularly as they grow through the teen years. However, you can also make young minds look forward to this excit- ing time.
But the Bible is a book of many other true doctrines, and you are responsible for teaching and re-enforcing every one of them—Who and what is God?; Who and what is Jesus Christ?; the one true Church and Body of Christ; the gospel of the kingdom of God; law, sin and grace; the government of God; the Sabbath and Holy Days; tithing; clean and unclean meats; the truth about salvation and the afterlife; the major points of prophecy; and many, many others. You must also explain that the world offers a deceptive counterfeit for each one of these, as well as all of the other teachings of God, no matter how small or insignificant such teachings may seem.
You also have a responsibility to teach your children that they must have their heart in the Work of God, and that loyalty to this purpose is inseparable from their calling. It is good to help them con- nect even their tiny amounts of tithes and offerings to this purpose.
Lead Your Children to Seek God First
Grasp this central—and all-important—understanding! As previ- ously mentioned, you represent God to your children, particularly when they are young. Just as He provides for you, you provide your children with food, drink, protection, affection, instruction, guid- ance and much more. At some point, this reliance must be trans- ferred to God. Be sure that they are on the way to understanding that God is infinitely more important than you—or anyone or anything else!
Explain to your children that God is our Provider, and He will never forsake them. Jesus taught the following in the context of seek- ing the kingdom of God first: “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? Or, What shall we drink? Or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek) for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek you first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:31-33).
Teach your children that God will always provide for them as long as they put Him FIRST!
Teaching About God, His Word and Christianity
Actively explain and demonstrate to your children how to study the Bible, and regularly do this with them. Tell them how important daily Bible study is—that God’s Word is described as a “lamp” (Psa. 119:105) that will show them how to live, and that it will guide “the path” of their “feet” toward the kingdom of God.
Similarly, teach your children how to pray and what to pray about (helping them develop a list of important subjects that they should be regularly taking to God). And again, you should be regu- larly doing this with them. Explain to them that when they are study- ing the Bible, God is speaking to them, and that when they are pray- ing, they are speaking to God—that this is literally a two-way con- versation. Teach them that to seek God through prayer and Bible study is to build a personal relationship with Him.
Be sure that you are setting a visible pattern for your children to copy and follow. Let them learn from your example. Again, pray and study with them. It is also good for them to know that you are not ac- cessible at certain times because you are privately doing these things.
Think of this as your overall goal: “That they [your children] may set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments” (Psa. 78:7).
If you do not teach your children to seek the true God FIRST— through daily prayer and Bible study—they will eventually seek an- other “god.” This is best described as their own human will. Notice: “And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious genera- tion; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God. The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle. They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in His law; and forgot His works, and His wonders that He had shown them” (vs. 8-11).
Your children do not have God’s Spirit in them, but, if you are obeying God as a true Christian, the Bible reveals that they do have it working with them. This is God’s promise (John 14:17; I Cor. 7:14), coupled with the promise that if they choose to seek Him later as adults, to the point of coming to repentance and conversion, that Spirit will come to be in them.
Learning the Truth and Correct Doctrine
As explained, God’s Word contains many truths—many doctrines. The Bible is not a book containing merely a few teachings, some of