Thursday, September 19, 2013

You Just Need To Talk About It

There are a lot of opinions and conversations out there about the best way to reach children and teens and help them grow and develop their faith in God.  I don't think there is necessarily one right way; however, I do believe that we need to consider the current students and where they are at as far as influences and preferences.  We need to consider if our methods match what the preferences of the students are; it isn't about what I prefer when I am trying to reach someone, it is about what they prefer.  The message and the truth of the Bible doesn't have to change one bit just because we change the presentation.  In fact, the truth shouldn't change!  But one thing I know for sure, we cannot sit idly by and expect someone else to teach our children about Christ; if we do that no one will teach them and the world will gladly share their ideas with them.  Part of the beauty of the body of Christ (the church) is that we can all influence and work with the next generation to build their faith; that is definitely a gift from God.  However, as parents, if that is all we rely on we are not doing our jobs.  The primary influence for our children's faith walk is the parents and if the parents are not living out their faith or teaching their children at home, the children will notice the inconsistency.  The psalm I am looking at today spells out a clear warning of what happens when we do not teach our children about God.  Please use the link and read Psalm 78; it is a long psalm, so if you do not read the entire passage please at least focus on the first 8 verses.

The author, Asaph, opened the psalm with a reminder of the importance of teaching future generations about God's faithfulness and why we should praise Him.  He tells us that it is not only important, but it is commanded by God to teach future generations.  See what God tells us in Deuteronomy 6:4-8 (NIV):
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.   Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
 This isn't just going to church on the weekend and expecting the job to be done.  We see in these verses that it is a lifestyle that is lived out every day and talked about every day, and we also see that these verses are very clear that the primary teaching happens at home.  It is too easy to get overwhelmed by the world's temptations and turn away, so it is so important to always have God's truth at the forefront of our homes.  This really is a matter of life and death - we have to remember how important this is.  You do not have to be a Bible scholar to influence the next generation for Christ; you just have to care and share what you know.  If your kiddos ask you something that you don't know, go to your senior pastor, children's pastor, or youth pastor.  They want to see a thriving faith in your family and will want to help you.  But remember, you are the primary influence in your children's faith.

Are you living your faith out at home each and every day?  Do you understand how important this is?

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