How can parents rear children that love God? How can they make sure their kids will love the Bible? What can parents of children of any age do to help their children love the Lord?*
I’m going to address this post to mothers, but these principles are for every parent.
God gives us one of the most practical outlines for child rearing in the “second law,” the Book of Deuteronomy: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
Mom, do you:
- Love God with all your being? Can your family see the fruit of the spirit in your life? But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23). Are you loving? Do you have joy and peace? Are you patient with your kids? Are you gentle and good? Do you evidence your faith? Are you strong and controlled? If so, your kids will notice.
- Have God’s Word—the Bible—in your heart? Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee (Psalm 119:11).
If not, what can you do to love God with all of your heart, soul, and might? Do you know Him as your Savior? All spiritual life begins with the Giver of Life. Jesus said, I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10b). He wants to save everyone. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:16-17).
What can you do to have God’s Word in your heart? Read it. Love it. Study it. The Bible is transformative. It will change you and your family!
Mom, are you teaching God’s words to your children? Do you teach the Bible? Do you quote verses with them? Are they memorizing Scriptures?
A while ago, I was counseling a young mother. She told me her salvation testimony. She said that the verses she memorized as a young girl stuck with her and continued to speak to her. She then gave her heart to the Lord.
The Bible is living, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). The Bible is the only Book in the world that actually is used by God to work in hearts. It will work in your heart, and it will work in your children’s heart. No other study in the world yields such results! We’re supposed to teach it to our children diligently!
That’s not all! The Bible says a parent should talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. That sounds like the parent is impacting his child with the Bible all day long! The child’s “schooling” is to be done all day, with a biblical worldview. Parents can share the Bible principles with their children.
Johnny should know that he doesn’t hit his sister because the Bible says, And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32).
Susie should know that a young lady should speak kindly instead of shouting because the Bible says that, for the Virtuous Woman, She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness (Proverbs 31:26).
Both Johnny and Susie should expect to work for a living because the Bible says, that if any would not work, neither should he eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10b).
They should know not to steal, lie, or covet because of the Ten Commandments.
Do your children know their Bibles?
Do they know Jesus as personal Savior from sin?
Are your kids being taught the Bible day in and day out? Are they hearing it from their parents?
If we wish to reproduce strong, young Christians, we must be strong Christians. If we wish to rear children to love God, love the Bible, and be in Christian service, we must bring them up in the love of God and the Bible and also be actively serving God.
The old saying, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” applies to Christian parents, too. What are you teaching your children?
Do you want them to be like you? They will be!
*These helps don’t guarantee the young person will ultimately love God and always follow the Bible, but they will give your child a great life foundation. His adult decisions, of course, are his responsibility.