The Word is the Foundation of the Family
Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Deuteronomy 11:19 NLT
My daughter is two. So far she has been gifted several children’s Bibles. These are picture books with only a few words each and tell the stories of Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses, Daniel, and of course, Jesus. But something is missing from each of these; Good Friday is never mentioned! And because there is no Good Friday, rarely is there a need to talk about Easter!
Now, I understand that the topic of our hero Jesus dying on the cross is going to be scary to some kids. But when I read these children’s bibles to my daughter, I pull no punches. I tell her about Jesus death and resurrection, because it’s the central event of our faith. In Deuteronomy we are instructed to teach and talk to our children about the faith. But we aren’t just telling our kids these tales to entertain them. When we talk to them about Christ, we are telling them why His life matters to us.
Heavenly father, we ask that you fix your words of Scripture to our hearts and minds. Remind us in that moment that when we talk to children we are teaching them about what is important in life, something so important that your son would dare die on the cross to restore us to you. We ask that the Holy Spirit would embolden us to reach these little ones in the name of your son, Jesus. Amen.
And the Israelites served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and the leaders who outlived him—those who had seen all the great things the LORD had done for Israel. Judges 2:7 NLT
The people served the Lord and had seen the great things the Lord had done for Israel. After that whole generation passed on, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for them.
Apparently no one had followed God’s commands to teach his words to their children and to write them on the doorframes of their houses so that they would be fixed in the hearts and minds of all the people. Unfortunately, the upcoming generation would turn towards evil and suffer as a result of the disobedience of the parents and elders in the community.
Are our children facing the same destiny as the Israelites did thousands of years ago? They don’t have to, when we humble ourselves to pray and turn from our wicked ways, the Lord will forgive our sins and heal the land. The command God gave to his people centuries ago still pertains to us today. Therefore, we read the Word of God, walk in his ways and encourage our youth to do the same so they may continue to share the Good news and be blessed for generations to come.
Heavenly Father, I pray that our actions speak so loud that our children don’t just hear what we say, but that they see the example set before them and are encouraged to know you personally and to walk in total obedience to your word so they may receive the abundant life in Jesus name. Amen.
Deuteronomy 11:18-21 “But they did the best they could.”
Speaking of our parents it’s sometimes heartwarming, sometimes heartbreaking to hear these words in light of the way we or others were raised as children. For some people these words bring up feelings of anger or loss or hurt. Why did you leave me, why did you hurt me, why you never seemed to care.
Maybe you were raised with the Word of God as your family’s foundation. Perhaps it came later in life.
Regardless of my story or yours’ we can change things with the family that we lead. We can make the Word of God to be the foundation of our families. We can introduce our children, grandchildren and the young ones of this congregation to the Savior.
The good news, the Gospel News, is that God has made all things new in the world and can make things new with our families. We can teach our children about Jesus and raise in them a faith that loves God, cares for others, heals and grows.
As the folk song says, “Teach your children well”. If you didn’t have the benefit of godly parents who raised you in the faith, commit yourselves to thoughtfully and purposefully raising your children to be the second generation, after you, who walk with the Lord. May it be said of us, “They did the best they could, and they built their children’s foundation upon the Word of God.”
Heavenly Father, help us to make your Word of Life to be the foundation of our family. Amen.
For as the rain and snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11
A boy fiddled incessantly during Bible class as we learned about Gideon in Judges 6&7. From every outward appearance, he didn’t hear a single word, much less think about it. Near the end of the hour, I singled him out. “Zachary, why did Gideon ask God to make the fleece dry?” Without hesitation, he looked me straight in the eye and said, “Because he was scared and his faith was weak – he just needed a little more help from God that day.”
God’s Word is more than a family textbook, more than a training tool; it is the very power of God. It will never return empty. That is God’s promise for you and me and our children!
Father, we praise you for the power of your Word in our lives. May we receive it and pass it on with the sure and certain confidence that it will never return to you empty. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
I really don’t like user manuals! They are hard to understand, full of confusing diagrams and even contain words I don’t understand. The result is a poorly put together item or the need to have someone else do it for me.
When it comes to raising children, do we have to rely on poorly written manuals, instinct, examples, or guides written by famous child advocates – emphasizing the world view for all things about children? We could, but thank God we don’t have to! We have a manual which surpasses all others – God’s Word! The Bible gives us wisdom, loving support, and answers to any question we might have. It’s easy to read and absolutely reliable! It can be used by parents, and all others who support parents as they raise their children. It’s meant to be used on a daily basis, accompanied by prayer!
- Here are some of the things it offers: Information about the manufacturer God himself
- Responsibility of user list of responsibilities of handler – parents and others
- Directions offers clear concise direction for child-rearing
- Tools lists tools available to parents: word, sacraments, prayer, other people, etc.
- Trouble-shooting offers help when problems occur
- End of life expectation offers guarantee for life eternal with the manufacturer
Father, Thank you for this manual that meets my every need for my life in this world and for raising the next generation. As a parent and supporter of parents help me follow its direction and listen to its guidance.
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