Here are some great questions from Pastor David Michael:
Are we as intent on imparting the Gospel to our children as helping them with their math homework…or getting them to sports meets or music lessons? Does Sunday school or soccer take priority in our homes? Do we push them toward the world, or toward the Word? Do we take more pleasure or put more effort in our children’s achievements, or their spiritual development?
John Angell James, an English pastor in the 1800s asks a piercing question:
“What then, my children, are all worldly acquirements and possessions without piety?…Original genius, a vigorous understanding, a well-stored mind, and all this adorned by the most amiable temper and most insinuating address, will neither comfort under trials of life nor save their lovely possessor from the worm that never dies and the fire that is never quenched. O! no: they may qualify for earth but not qualify for heaven.” (The Christian Father’s Present to His Children, copyright ©1993, page 41)
Do we diligently strive to live the Gospel before our children? Do we lift up Jesus as our greatest treasure and His kingdom as the pearl of great price?
If we do, we must not only live the Gospel before them, but give them a firm grasp of the Gospel. We must deliberately teach them the facts of the Gospel:
- What is the problem?—Why do I need salvation?
- What did God do through Christ to solve that problem?
- How do I benefit from what Christ did?
- How did God bring me to the point where I was willing to obtain this benefit?
But we also want them to embrace the Gospel like the treasure in the field or the pearl of great price. The ultimate aim is that our children will delight the Lord forever.
We cannot incline their hearts to the Lord, but we can put them in the path of blessing—we can surround them with the means of grace.
(A Vision for God-Centered Worship in the Next Generation, copyright ©2011)