So what’s the missing word here?
dad and mom?
their financial stability?
their scholastic achievement?
Psalm 78:4-7 (ESV) states:
We will not hide them from their children,
but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.
He established a testimony in Jacob
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
to teach to their children,
that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,’
so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments.
In his sermon, “Raising Children Who Are Confident in God,” John Piper makes some of the following observations about the text:
- All Christian parenting and Christian education begins with God. There is One ultimate, unchanging Reality, namely, God…If there is one memory that our children should have of our families and our church it is this; they should remember God. God was first. God was central. There was a passion for the supremacy of God in all things.
- God has testified and God has taught…And we have that testimony and that teaching in a book, the Bible. The Bible is the way God, the ultimate and all-important Reality, reveals himself to us with clarity and authority today. If God is more important than anything, then the Bible is more important than anything but God. The implications of this for parenting and New Covenant guardianship are staggering…It means the Bible will be the sun in the solar system of all that we teach our children.
- The aim of all true education is to deepen and broaden confidence in God. This is what keeps learning from leading to pride—or should keep learning from leading to pride. All true learning, all true knowledge reveals that we are dependent on God and must depend on him or perish. Knowledge that leads to self-sufficiency rather than dependence on God is not true knowledge but flawed knowledge.
- The aim of all knowledge is confidence in God. Hope in God. Trust in God. God is the beginning and the goal of all education.
- But there is one final stage in our calling as parents and church toward our children…When our children are confident in God, they will follow the commandments of God. Outward obedience will not be legalistic conformity to external pressures and expectations. It will be the fruit of internal confidence—not self-confidence, but God-confidence.