by Pastor Keith Knight
3 John 1:4 ‘ I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.’
If your kids are being schooled: public school, Christian school, or homeschool, then you know that it’s just about time to hit the stores for the load of supplies that need to be bought for the coming school year. There are ‘essentials’ for making sure that students have all they need to accomplish what is required of them educationally. But….do we take that same approach with their spiritual education? Do we know the ‘essentials’ for our kids to come to know and love Jesus authentically?
Let’s be honest: The faith community has a range of opinions on what it means to bring our children up to know and love the Lord, and there is no shortage of arguments about which education is the best, which ministry programming in the local church is most effective, and what tactics in the home will best set up our kids to walk after the Lord.
When we talk the essentials of an education in faith, then we need to know what the means are that God has prescribed to obtaining a genuine and saving faith. A.W. Pink says ‘When faith is His gift, He gives it in His own way; and if we desire to receive it, then we must put ourselves in that way wherein He is wont to communicate it.’ Translation: If we want our kids to truly know, love and grow in Christ, then we need to make sure we are accessing God’s essentials for transferring a real and vibrant faith to our kids.
School Year Essentials for Parents: Prayer for your children to love Christ and constant exposure to God’s Word.
The first is prayer. In Ezekiel 36, God makes a promise to give a new heart and new spirit (v. 26), but many of us miss that in verse 37 God makes it clear that the prayer of Israel and inquiring for this new heart is the prerequisite. We need to be actively, daily, passionately, crying out to God to grant a new heart and spirit to our children. Prayer is an essential supply to our children’s spiritual education and ultimately, salvation.
The second is God’s Word. How would our children learn math, science, geography, and the like without textbooks? Then why do we fail to understand that God has designed us to function by receiving communication, both written and heard? God speaks through the Scriptures, and yet many children even in Christian homes have very little exposure to the reading and hearing of God’s Word. If we truly want our children to have the essentials required for faith, then we must remember ‘faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.’ (Rom. 10:17)
This year, may I suggest you make a daily practice of these essentials: Intentional prayer for your children to receive a new heart and spirit, and constant exposure to the reading and hearing of God’s Word. May we see God do great and mighty work in our kids this school year!!!