Deuteronomy 6:5-9; Proverbs 22:6
Jesus said in Mark 9:37 “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me.”
Last Sunday we had child dedication service and two children were dedicated. Before the dedication, we looked at Deuteronomy 6:5-9 and Proverbs 22:6 on bringing up children. In God’s church, parents and “significant others” (church members) are entrusted to bring up children in the way of the Lord. Children are God’s gift to parents (Genesis 33:5; Psalm 127:3).
When faced with the spiritual upbringing of our children, we sometimes are tempted to take the position that crèche and Sunday School teachers are specially trained and thus we leave this to them. However it is good to take heart from Deuteronomy 6:5-9 that we as parents have the primary responsibility to teach our children to love God and obey his commandments. This is reaffirmed in the greatest commandment in the New Testament in Matthew 22:37-39. Matthew 22:37-39 teaches the crucial first principles of parenting. We are to teach our children to (a) love God, (b) love others, and (c) love oneself.
Deuteronomy 6:7 asks us to “impress them” on our children. Konrad Lorenz, an Austrian ethologist, demonstrated the principle of imprinting, that is, the first three years of a child’s life are the most important; the younger a child is, the more impressionable they are and things taught to them when they are young will serve them into adulthood. The bible already taught us this in Proverbs 22: 6 “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it”. Thus we train our children from young to love God, love others, and love themselves. Galatians 6: 2, 5 asks us to train our children to carry their own load (things that they can do for themselves) and we carry their burdens (things they cannot do for themselves).
We also train our children in teamwork. We also ask God to show us the way to develop our children’s unattractive traits into useful qualities (eg from reckless and foolhardy, to being brave and courageous; from being a daydreamer and dawdler into being creative). Train our children too in good manners, chivalry and to serve (both at home and in church).
The training of children is by the parents and supported by “significant others” (church members) in church. We are also part of God’s church universal; thus we are also “significant others” to children in other parts of the world, especially to those who are in need or are orphans. God bless.
Pastor Boo Teong