Raising them in the faith

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Christian parents bear a great responsibility in relation to their children.

As Christian parents, God has given us covenant responsibilities to raise our children in the faith. This covenant responsibility goes as far back as Deuteronomy 6:7. In Deuteronomy, God commanded His people to, “teach them (His statutes) diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (ESV). As a result, Christian parents carry the weight of the responsibility of raising godly children. This often stands in direct conflict with much of the thinking of Christian parents and how the Church today often functions.

Much of the time, the children are pawned off into various programs or functions that the local church offers with the hope that our children will just “get it.” Christian parents are to raise their children in the church, however the local church is not to have the primary role in discipling our children. After all, the text tells parents, “You shall teach them to your children diligently” (Deut. 6:7 ESV).  Because of this, God uses his people as instruments in the process of the spiritual formation of their children.

Biblically speaking, the home is the primary source of knowledge for all things, especially the instruction of our children in the Christian faith. It is in this context that a child gains the needed knowledge, not only for life but also for faith. This fact does not change whether we are speaking of the home in the Old or New Testament. Christian parents today, are responsible to teach their children the requirements of the covenant, as in the early days of God’s covenant community. Christian parents today teach the covenant that God entered with their spiritual forefathers, the stories of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and how God has fulfilled His promises through the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Parents are to call their children to faith in Jesus Christ and pray for God to draw these covenant children to Himself through faith alone in Christ alone. In His command, God has placed a great responsibility upon parents to catechize their children and to help their children develop and grow in the faith. This does not mean our children will believe the gospel. However, godly parents have always been called upon to teach the faith to their children, as well as to exercise right actions, attitudes and relationships before their children.

God’s purpose for parents is for us to honor him, as we teach our little ones how to love God completely and, in the process, raise generations of godly children. God’s plan from the Old to the New Testament is to create a people for Himself and unite them in Jesus Christ. This is the reason that the Christian home serves as the parent’s primary source of evangelism.

Christian parents speak of and teach the good news to their children who in turn teach and raise their children in the faith and so on and so forth. May we, as Christian parents do this for the glory of God and the good of our children.

Tim Scott is the pastor of Milton Baptist Church.