The Encourager

The Encourager

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Parents should teach their children about Worship

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Parents Should Teach Their Children… About Worship

by B. G. Echols

The purpose of all education is competence. In many fields we may rely on the state. Few Christians, however, would feel comfortable with the state’s teaching of the subjects regarding bringing up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Thus, parents must fulfill their responsibilities, or the children may never learn.

To worship refers to actions by which one expresses his devotion and reverence to God. Worshiping God is specified acts performed with the proper attitude. Thus, the first learning will come to the child by the example of the parents. This example will be reinforced and supplemented by Scriptural teaching.

The importance of worshiping God should be seen in the parent’s diligence. Those who arrange their schedule to be present for every assembly are showing the necessity of worshiping. Parents who compromise and allow special events to interfere, or who plan vacations where it is impossible to worship, have a hard time finding words to overcome their example. Having established the importance of worshiping by their example, parents must then use the Scriptures to show that faithfulness is based on love for God and Christ (John 3:16; 1 Cor. 11:24-25). They can also stress the responsibility they feel toward their brethren (Col. 3:16).

To worship God in truth, we must worship Him in spirit (John 4:24). If the parents get settled and ready to worship before time to begin, a sense of respect is created. They must establish at an early age a standard for the children to follow. Grandparents also need to be careful how they behave toward the grandchildren. They can undo much of what the parents have sought to impress. At early ages children may need quiet toys to occupy them. This should last only until the children can be expected to participate. Young parents have the most difficult time being able to worship and keep their children from disturbing. It is when children are young and have to be taken out that some of the most effective lessons on behavior can be made clear.

Praying to God is seen every day by children of Christians. It is there the child learns his first lesson about prayer. It is impossible to teach about prayer without teaching about God, His care and concern for us, His ability and desire to help us; and our need to give Him thanks for all the things he has given us (Eph. 5:20). When prayers are offered in public, it should be made clear that the man is leading us. Thus, we should listen to every word and join our thoughts to his. The power of prayer, public and private, should be made clear (James 5:16).

Most children love to sing. They join in the singing at an early age. Some hymns regularly used are simple enough for children to learn even before they can read. Parents who sing hymns at home can help their little ones learn the songs. When children are able to read, they should be trained to get their books and sing. It should be made clear that singing is “to the Lord” (Eph. 5:19). While we should do our best,

God’s concern is not how loud or how well we sing, but if we are singing with grace in our hearts (Col. 3:16).

Children must learn that God merits our sacrifice. The work He wants done in the world requires our giving to Him. Since God always gives instructions, he has done so regarding our giving (1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-8). As soon as children have any money that is considered theirs, they should be instructed and encouraged to begin giving to God.

It seems the Lord’s Supper is the most intriguing part of the assembly to little children. It is hard for them to grasp the idea of a remembrance. The wise parents may find an explanation suitable for the age of the child while explaining that the parents are giving reverent thought to Christ for what He has done (1 Cor. 11:24-25). To children not responsible, it should be made clear that they have no need to eat, but will when they obey the gospel.

Since children mature differently, it is hard to say when each child should be expected to listen to the readings and sermons, but I fear many parents do not begin soon enough to expect their children to listen. To encourage the children, parents may ask specific questions about the lessons. They should always answer the questions children have. The same stress on learning should be given as was given to Timothy (2 Tim. 3:15).

I have seen babies once brought in their mother’s arms grow to be leaders in all aspects of the assembly. I have seen little girls grow up to become caring and diligent mothers. Sadly, I have seen little ones grow to be of no value to the Lord. Many factors have entered into the decisions these children made. Nevertheless, good parents give their children both good examples and good teaching.

edited, The Preceptor, April 1996

Parents Should Teach Their Children about Christ

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Parents Should Teach Their Children…About Christ

by Daniel H. King

 

Moses instructed the children of Israel to “teach diligently” their offspring the truths set forth in the law (Deut. 6:6-7). When Israel did this, she was successful in raising a generation that knew the Lord and obeyed his law. But when they were negligent, the following generations suffered not only from ignorance, but also from the wrath which God poured forth upon a disobedient people. There is much for us to teach our children, and in doing so, we must not omit to educate them as to the nature and offices of Jesus Christ.

 

1. Jesus Christ is the Divine Son of God. The Old Testament, in predicting the coming of Jesus, said of Him: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin shall conceive, and hear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Is. 7:14). His prophetic name was “God with us.” This is neither incidental nor accidental. In the prologue to John’s Gospel, the apostle said that the divine Word was God and came eventually to dwell among men: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that hath been made… And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us…” (John 1:1-3, 14). We must instruct our children that the One whom we love and worship is not a mere man, however brilliant or revolutionary, but God in the flesh!

 

2. Jesus Christ is the Lord. Because he is the divine son of God, Jesus must be viewed as the Lord of our lives. Listen to the apostle Peter’s conclusion of his sermon on the day of Pentecost: “Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified” (Acts 2:36). Too often these days, people look upon Jesus with adoring eyes, seeing him only as he is portrayed in pop culture, as a great teacher, iconoclast, revolutionary, proponent of the ideal of love and compassion, etc. The Bible impresses us with Jesus’ position as Lord first, and everything else afterward. This is to say, that everything else that Jesus may have been, is secondary to the fact that He is Lord of our lives: “Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name; that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things on earth and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9-11). We must not neglect to teach our children to honor the Lordship, in this world and in this life, of the One before whom we shall all bow when eternity dawns.

3. Jesus Christ is their Savior. One of the most beautiful words in any language is the word “savior”, especially when you are in need of one. Listen to the “Rescue 911” stories about dying victims rescued by the men and women of the paramedical profession in concert with the doctors and nurses of the emergency rooms. The rescued have never seen a sweeter face nor heard a more melodious voice than that of the rescuer. “He (or she) saved my life,” they always gratefully intone. Spiritually speaking, few people today recognize their true condition, namely, that they are in the direst need of spiritual rescue. They need a savior. And there is only one. When Jesus Christ came into the world, he came to perform a task which only heaven’s love and his perfect and pure sacrifice could accomplish. None other could do it, so God gave him a name which evermore associates him with salvation: “And she shall bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name JESUS; for it is he, that shall save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). The name Jesus in its original (Joshua) means, “Jehovah is salvation.” We need to teach our children that when they reach the age of their accountability before God, their failures and sins, even the vilest and worst of them, may be forgiven through the name and by the blood of the One who is our Savior: “And in none other is there salvation: for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

 

4. Jesus Christ is their Mediator. Prayer is important in the lives of the saints of God. It is endemic to the human condition that we all meet significant challenges in our lives, that we encounter sickness, pain and ill health, that we sustain losses and bear the ordinary but sometimes overwhelming burdens of everyday life. Eventually we all succumb to death. We need a friend at such times as these. And often the world does not provide us with the kind of friend we need. “But you don’t understand…” we are tempted to say to our earthly friends, for they may not have experienced precisely the same things we have known. We appreciate their help, but recognize their limitations. Scripture sets Jesus Christ forth as the ultimate friend in times of such need as these: “For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5). Possessed with the perfect knowledge and understanding of God, and having known the vicissitudes of the human condition, the Lord Jesus is perfectly suited as a mediator between men and their God. Think of what the Bible means when it suggests the following: “For Christ entered not into a holy place made with hands, like in pattern to the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear before the face of God for us” (Heb. 9:24)! Consider the implications of that! He now serves in the capacity of mediator on our behalf “before the face of God”! We need to teach our children this magnificent truth.

 

The Preceptor, April 1996

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