How to start teaching children the ways of God

Simon Ifeanyi Ezeh

Pro 22:6  – Your child will surely be the way you trained him.

Isa 55:10,  Matt 24:35, Mark 13:31, Luk 21:33, and Isa 55:10 – All these five scriptures emphasize the infallibility of God’s word.

Lk6:46-49 – It’s the application of God’s word that saves, not just glib confessions.

This article is a parents’/teachers’ guide for teaching the Word of God to children since it’s observed that most parents don’t know how to go about it while others think it’s not necessary.

However, the Word of God is full of wisdom for both life and parenting and should be used as a sort of tour guide for both easy and difficult conversations.

The good effects of these Bible studies with our children may not be immediate but they (as seeds sown in their hearts) would surely be seen later in their lives.

Even the teachers are not immune to the effects of the Word of God as they teach it to kids; they also assimilate some of the contents of their own teaching.

The above scriptures assure us that the Word of God can never fail and that kids raised with the sound foundation of God’s Word would be sustained by the same through life.

Applied words of Jesus Christ to our daily lives will form that foundation that can stand against all frustrations, temptations, and attacks directed to us from men, forces of nature, and Satan. What better foundation can a child have than that? Every other foundation: academic excellence, material prosperity, social and political leverages, physical health, etc. will fail at the appropriate time.

The same applies to any other doctrine that seeks to reveal the ways of God apart from that which Jesus Christ delivered to us in the scriptures.

All such doctrines opposing the doctrines of Christ will not stand the stress test which must come in the form of marital and job frustrations, health challenges, persecutions and contradiction of men, lack, ostracism, direct attacks from Satan and his agents, loses, death of close relatives and loved ones, seemingly mysterious occurrences around us, etc. It’s also important we mention that some of such opposing doctrines are also in the Bible. So, it’s absolutely important we know and understand the gospel as preached by Jesus Christ and use His teachings as the acid test for accepting or rejecting other teachings we find in the scriptures and elsewhere.

Pride and Humility

As in Jas 4:6, God is opposed to the proud but very favourable to the humble. Simply put, humility is to accept, imbibe and uphold God’s perspectives about life and those perspectives are clearly stated in the doctrines of our Lord Jesus Christ as in His parables whereas pride is rejection of God’s perspectives as given by Christ Jesus. The need for early inculcation of the virtue of humility in our children couldn’t be over emphasised.

Not to do so is to set them on collision course with God. Although children see this world as perfect, we know it’s far from perfect but failure to expose them to those issues with the world for which we need God is perhaps the worst offence we could ever commit against our children. The need to prove our humility to God and to overcome the lie of self-sufficiency are the fundamental reasons for prayer.

The scripture in James 4:6 is a great starting point for us all in understanding the danger of pride. Every small step taken towards humility is on the contrary a great step taken away from positioning oneself against God.

I believe the only reason we fight in this life is pride. Either we are proud for being of great means or we are proud for being well leveraged in the society, or we’re just unable to humble ourselves and take the shame of not retaliating, so we are motivated to fight.

There are also misguided individuals who fight ostensibly for God because God couldn’t fight for Himself, they think. Even if the cause is godly, the only way we are allowed to fight is in prayer because God is a spirit and his ways are spiritual, not physical as Jesus says in John 4:24.

Those who have gained this world, having a lot of vital contacts with the who is who in the society are quick to fight but those who have lost out in this world, the materially poor who have no access to the powers that be are not usually inclined to fight since they clearly don’t have the means.

Of course, we know from Jesus Christ that those who gain this world have lost the kingdom of God: it’s an automatic ‘either-or situation’. A combination of the stories of Lazarus and the rich man in Lk 16:19-21; the rich young ruler in Mk 10:17; and Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Lk 6:20 is sufficient to explain this thought. If we consider Jesus’ words in Lk 6:20 and Lk 6:24, we would understand that God is naturally biased in favour of the poor, all the time.

Luk 6:20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed, be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.

Luk 6:24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.

It’s better to be poor than to be rich materially as Jesus expressed in Lk 6:20 because the poor is always in need of things: food, shelter, clothing, friendship, etc.

God created those needs because He wants to draw us to Himself since for every need we have, we are expected to call upon Him not just to ask for those needs but to ask for the coming of His kingdom where there won’t be any such needs as we have here on earth.

That makes a lot of sense because if we eat now, we would get hungry and have to eat again later; if we buy some article of clothing now, it would be worn out in no time and we would need to buy another one and the vicious cycle continues ad infinitum.

Whatever fulfillment or satisfaction we have is simply illusory as there can be no real satisfaction or fulfillment on earth. We are to teach these things to our children and not only be concerned with their academic performance or excellence in life.

That is important but definitely not to be compared with the values of God’s kingdom. They need to know that the reason for any kind of lack in this life is for man to turn to God and ask for His kingdom where there is no lack of concerns whatsoever.

Whatever we have on earth is for a very short time but eternity with God is endless. That’s why we find that all the places in scripture where Jesus proclaimed blessings, it was never in a material sense.

So, as we strive to let our children know the truth, we should also ensure we imbibe and uphold the truth if we must make the right impact on them.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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