by Brandy Webb
I hear people complaining a lot about how crazy our world is becoming, and how much they worry about what it will be like for the next generation. Well, how about instead of complaining, we take action. We can combat against the sin of this world by teaching the next generation how to conduct themselves, good character traits, how to treat others, to love God, that the world doesn’t revolve around them, and that they are not entitled to anything. It is our job to teach them, not society’s job.
Moses realized how important it was for the older generation to teach God’s truths to the younger generation. He tells them in Deuteronomy Chapter 6 and again in Chapter 11 (6:7; 11:19) to talk about God’s commands, truths, and loving God to the children “when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
In other words, teach your children God’s Word every day. No excuses. If we diligently follow what Moses told Israel, we may have a chance to at least prevent one child from being sucked into the sins of this world. And if each of us is able to help one child, that makes for a lot of saved children, and those children can grow up and help another generation. Then, there will always be a remnant of believers on the earth.
It is a battlefield out there. We have a lot of competition vying for our children’s attention. We don’t fight against “flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph 6:12, NASB). Satan is seeking to devour as many of us as he can, and the one way to fight back is to arm our children and ourselves with God’s Armor. However, the only way our children can learn this is if we teach it to them. And, when I say our children, I’m not meaning just our flesh-and-blood children. We are a body; therefore, “our children” means all of the children we come in contact with.
There are many moments daily that can become teaching moments. However, these moments require us to stay alert and look for them. Car rides for my children become great teaching moments because they can’t get away from me. They are stuck in a confined space, and the only thing they can do at that time is listen to what I have to say. And obviously I like to talk a lot.
Seriously, though, we must teach the next generation instead of complaining about them. Share your stories with them, especially the stories where you learned from consequences of your own actions. Be honest when talking about your past, given you must take into account age and maturity level of the child. But they need to see that even if they make a mistake there is hope, forgiveness, and redemption. Plus, our honesty about our own mistakes may prevent them from making the same mistakes. I don’t think any of us would want a child to repeat our mistakes. It is by far easier to learn from someone else’s past instead of living a life of hard knocks.
Share your testimony of faith, so that they can learn about faith in action. This one is very important. Reading the Bible to them is great and needs to be done; however, for a child biblical persons are almost like fairytale characters. So, if we share with them our stories where God intervened for us, miraculous moments, those small times where we know God was “speaking” to us, etc., they can see that God still interacts with us now and that He is real. This is important because sometimes it is hard to hold onto your faith as you get older and are bombarded by all the skeptics of this world. When you can draw on a real memory from your past or a story told to you by someone, it helps to destroy the seeds of doubt that the skeptics try to plant inside you.
Therefore, let us work on being good teachers to our children because they are also part of His body, and they need to be equipped to grow in righteousness and to know how to walk along the narrow path.