We homeschooled our children all the way up to the time they entered college. As I was discussing it with someone one day, I mentioned that we were a Christian homeschool. In response, I heard the word “indoctrination” cross their lips.
I simply replied that I had a right to brainwash my children if I wanted to.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Call it what you will – training, teaching, indoctrination, or brainwashing – God gave parents the responsibility for the job. I intended to be sure that it was done right. We need to remember that just like children cannot be left to figure out right from wrong, they also cannot be left to figure out what to believe about God.
Training up children is more than teaching them facts, laws, and morality. Training up children includes teaching them about God, the gospel, and what it is to have a relationship with Jesus. It includes heart knowledge when applicable, and it also includes assisting them in a move from reliance on parents to reliance on God. It’s all about teaching them to have faith.
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
The best way to teach about faith is to read God’s Word to your children. Others may assist you in this task, but you cannot delegate the responsibility of seeing that it gets done. And by the way, it makes a bigger impact when you do it.
We taught our boys to read by the time they were five years old. I made a special point of doing this simply because I wanted them to be able to read the Bible. You may have heard me say in jest that I taught the youngest to read in self-defense. Every time I sat down, here he came with a book. The truth is that I wanted him to be able to read God’s Word for himself also.
Another way you can teach children about faith is to let your faith in God be the example. Children learn best how to practice their faith by watching their parents. If you attend church, they will be more likely to attend as they get old enough to make their own decisions. If you spend time in the Word, you relay to them through your actions that is it important. If you pray with them, they learn to pray.
Since it’s the parent’s job to train up the child, faith comes by hearing, and it’s a good idea to be the example, I encourage you to read the Bible aloud with your children. Consider creating a time of daily worship as a family. Share your prayer requests, and talk about answered prayer.
Today’s challenge is to look at your faith walk. What example are you for your children or the other young folks in your life? Are you different from the world? Do they see you live out your faith? Do they see you give God praise?
Every child needs to see faith lived out in the life of another. That’s how they come to know it is real. How can you share your faith in a way that the reality of it touches a child today?