Father in the House (2)

Some Key Texts: Gen.18:17-19; Deut.6 and 11; Judges 13:8; Eph.6:4.

Be watchful,
Stand firm in the faith,
Act like men,
Be strong.
Let all that you do be done in love.

(I Corinthians 16:13-14)

1. The education of Christian children should be Biblically centred and based. The academic subjects like Maths, Science and English are important, but secondary.

Why? If a child grows up without the centrality of God and His Word, (both at home and at church), what use are academic subjects to him? True knowledge and the Bible are not incompatible, for they actually harmonise. The Bible prepares children for all book-work and knowledge.

2. Don’t ask and expect your children to believe and accept the Bible, without your example and modelling before them, of obedience and faithfulness, at all times. They are entitled to it. (See I Cor.11:1; Phil.4:9; II Thess.3:6-10.)

3. Ask each of your children, by the age of 15-16, to try and master two substantial O.T and N. T. books, such as Deuteronomy and Matthew. They could take family devotions 1 day a week for a year or two, sharing their thoughts with the family. This gets them thinking Biblically.

4. In their teens, get them to study the lives of famous Christians (and there are many), and have them choose one they can write a paper on, for their own edification and the family’s encouragement.

Christian leaders such as St Patrick of Ireland, Augustine, Stephen Langton, Luther, Calvin, Knox, Rutherford, Wesley and Carey. Political leaders such as Alfred the Great, Patrick Henry, William Wilberforce, William Gladstone, Margaret Thatcher.

Scientists such as Boyle, Faraday, Kepler, Maury and Mendel, and military leaders such as Cromwell, Lee, Jackson and Montgomery. Artists like Rembrandt and Durer, musicians like Bach and Handel, and others like the Wright brothers and Colonel Sanders. And famous Christian women, such as Florence Nightingale, Elizabeth Macarthur and Elizabeth Macquarie.

5. Try and identify God-given talents each child has, which can be nurtured and encouraged for their future (Judges 13:8).

6. Encourage them in personal habits of discipline, industry and thrift (Gen.22:6; Joshua 3:1; Mk.1:35), and reward these things (Luke 16:10). Jesus in the Parable of the Talents (Mat.25:14-30), called the lazy worker “wicked.”

7. Take your children and do things with them. Discipleship requires time, one on one (Mk.3:13-14). Children are individuals.

8. Encourage their planning and saving for their future: The wicked plot, but the righteous plan.

Conclusion:

The education of children for God is the most important business done on earth. It is the one business for which the earth exists. To it all politics, all war, all literature, all money-making, ought to be subordinated; and every parent especially ought to feel every hour of the day, that, next to making his own calling and election sure, this is the end for which he is kept alive by God-this is his task on earth.

(Dabney, circa 1890) quoted in Bruce Shortt, “The Harsh Truth about Government Schools,” 2004, p.356.