Teach Your Children Well
Radical changes must occur now in our families, our Churches and our country in order to ebb the tide of wholesale dis-regard for all things Biblical. Jesus Christ was radical in his teaching and so should we! Remember…it starts with me!! Our lack of Biblical knowledge in America is beyond frightening and is responsible for most if not all of the maladies that we suffer! It has affected our education system, health care system, our work and political ethics, our monetary system, our sexual view points, our marriages, our family structure, our military, our misunderstanding of our true worth and most important is we have forgotten on how it protects our souls from the evil one!
Let us start right into God’s word in this article so you can see the absolute power contained in the words contained in our Holy Bible!
New International Version (NIV)1984
The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Accents added for effect) 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Do you see verses 16 and 17 above tells us if we are armed with just the word of God we can extinguish all the arrows of the evil one. God was “texting us” long before we coined the phrase. And do you recall when Jesus was tempted 40 days and nights early in his ministry on earth, he also relied strictly on God’s word to combat the devil himself.
But do not forget… the Devil also used God’s Holy Word to try and confuse and distract Jesus. Of course Jesus even after fasting for 40 days was able to defeat the Devil and go on to do his Fathers’ will. Could we?
We all need to regularly “work out” our minds by delving into the Holy Bible daily in order to strengthen us and to in turn teach our children the same truths with them at an early age and for always. We should be so mindful of our consequences if we neglect to teach our children the only education which will carry them into ‘Eternity’!!!
Do not be lazy and strictly rely on your favorite TV evangelist and leave your own Bible unopened as many of them are not teaching the whole and complete truth of God!
I am sure you would not be surprised to know many so called Holy Men of today use The Holy Bible incorrectly or out of context to further build up their egos and monetary gains. The Bible warns us to constantly be on guard and test all things against the teachings of The Bible.
One good example of this is Joel Osteen Ministries which has become the largest “Church” in America….yet he admits he does not teach on all aspects of the Bible and his sermons are more positive motivation then full Gospel teaching. There are so many more and I ask you to go to the Christian Research Institute at equip.org by Hank Hannegraff to look up the many more of the false teachers in America.
The data in America already shows how my generation, the so called ‘Baby Boomers’ (Born 1949-1963) have completely and unashamedly discarded the teachings of our Holy God and through our actions have influenced our children in very negative ways. But why have we dropped the ball? Why have the ways of this world influenced us so much more dramatically than just the generation before us?
Not an easy answer I can assure you! But the main reason is simply this…we have not taken the immense amount of time it takes daily to meditate and pray on The Bible every day and honor him in our lives by our actions through faith. Why not? …well how many of us today have taken into our hearts the loving commandments to help us discern the gross objections we give to God every day as well as the truths of Heaven and Hell and I clearly believe we no longer Fear our Holy Gods’ judgment.
When is the last time you meditated, studied and prayed over the meaning of God’s Ten Commandments? It takes dogged determination and discipline as anything important to improve our lives requires! How many of us can even recite the Ten Commandments off the top of our heads? Do you realize these moral laws are stamped in our souls and this is why humans are the only species who have courts of law?
Do you realize even lying is a sin. Or stealing which can come in so many forms like being lazy at work or not paying the right amount on your taxes.
Or how about Jesus telling us in Matt 5:28
28 But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
That is right, even if you just think about sex with someone, you are committing adultery. Or how many of you recently have fallen into the habit of saying “OMG” at the slightest drop of a hat….God says to you:
Exodus 20:7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
See the warning that follows “for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses my name”
Take seriously the warning from Jesus himself:
Matt 12:36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
The simple truth is if you do not believe you have an illness, you will not seek a cure! We all suffer from rebellious nature of sin. So by confessing the sins to our Holy God, accepting the salvation of Christ crucified and believe on that truth (The Cure) you are on the road to recovery…then you will understand by repenting (changing) your ways will we all move back to a focused life with The Father , Son and Holy Spirit.
So start today by reading Exodus Chapter 20 every day and you will be begin to see how far we each have strayed from the teachings of a righteous and Holy God. But beware….if your heart is not humble and your mind is not open because we all have this terrible illness of sin, you will never seek the cure…and all is lost…forever! For you and your children and your children’s children…
See below the exact words of the first time God put these commands together. And also note that when you keep all the sentences in context to the original texts there are so many powerful words and warnings to help reinforce the importance of these laws:
Ex 20:1-17 NIV 1984
20 And God spoke all these words:
2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3 “You shall have no other gods before me. (Commandment #1)
4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand [ generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments. (Commandment #2)
7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. (Commandment #3)
8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Commandment #4)
12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. (Commandment #5)
13 “You shall not murder. (Commandment #6)
14 “You shall not commit adultery. (Commandment #7)
15 “You shall not steal. (Commandment #8)
16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. (Commandment #9)
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” (Commandment #10)
Now once we have disciplined our knowledge of the wisdom of the Bible, then we can start teaching our spouses and our children!
Now I remember as I’m sure still many of you do in my age group many good meaning Dads and Moms taking us to Sunday school at our local Churches on Sunday. I’m sure they felt that the Church was much better prepared to handle something as important as God’s teachings instead of themselves. How great that The Churches across our land organized and recruited so many well intentioned men and woman to volunteer their time and talents to study a lesson during the week and then teach to their neighbor’s family in their local community.
But most Sunday Schools begin at 5 years old and many experts will attest that children by that age children will already gained tremendous knowledge. See Below:
Growth and Development, Ages 2 to 5 Years – Topic Overview
How does a child grow and develop between the ages of 2 and 5?
The ages between 2 and 5 are often called the preschool years. During these years, children change from clumsy toddlers into lively explorers of their world. A child develops in these main areas:
- Physical development. In these years, a child becomes stronger and starts to look longer and leaner.
- Cognitive development. A child this age makes great strides in being able to think and reason. In these years, children learn their letters, counting, and colors.
- Emotional and social development. Between the ages of 2 and 5, children gradually learn how to manage their feelings. By age 5, friends become important.
- Language. By age 2, most children can say at least 50 words. By age 5, a child may know thousands of words and be able to carry on conversations and tell stories.
- Sensory and motor development. By age 2, most children can walk up stairs one at a time, kick a ball, and draw simple strokes with a pencil. By age 5, most can dress and undress themselves and write some lowercase and capital letters.
Each child grows and gains skills at his or her own pace. It is common for a child to be ahead in one area, such as language, but a little behind in another.
I remember very well from an early age all the way to my confirmation how many hours I spent at our Church on Sundays learning the many memorable Bible passages and the great stories of the Old and New Testaments. Like The Creation, Noah’s ark and the flood, the parting of the Red Sea, Jonah and the big fish, Christmas with baby Jesus, The Shepherds and the Wise men and of course the wonderful story of Easter.
But all the wonderful Church Sunday Schools across America are only meant as a backup to the parents’ early and continuous teaching and initiative. By age 5 it is already too late to be giving the foundational truths about our Holy God and the universe which we occupy and this is where I believe we need the greatest improvement and help. Especially once each of us take the learning and meditating daily into God’s word seriously into our own lives.
We should not turn over the most important lessons and teaching about our Lord and Savior to mere strangers to our children no matter how well intentioned they may be. Trust and belief in what the parents tell a child are so much more credible to that child at these ages.
Now when they become teenagers when they no longer think their parents even have brains… …that would be a good time to hand them over to strangers… lol
Matt 18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 He called a child, had him stand among them, 3 and said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn around and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven! 4 Whoever then humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes a child like this in my name welcomes me.
See God knows that little children actually believe so much easier and so much more completely than we “adults” do.
Matt 19:13 Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them.
14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.
I also believe deeply that a child will learn so much more from his/her Dad and Mom at home where the child is safe and comfortable. Sunday School is again just a reinforcement, but the foundations in the little child’s mind in Christian teaching should already be strong in their minds and hearts before the child is taught further in their local Sunday School.
18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the Lord swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.
The saddest statistic I just heard recently that in our American schools across our nation, the number of shootings in our schools equals the numbers of weeks each year our schools are open for class. And the frequency of them is rising every year. And have you noticed that once the innocent lives are taken from us, the shooters in most cases take their own lives. Please… I need a moment to dry my tears…..
And immediately the fingers looking for blame get pointed all around when the hard truth it is all of our faults………we must all wake up to the devastation we have let come into our hearts and into our families. We cannot wait any longer to understand we have let the sin within us go pretty much go untethered! Our children must be taught the moral laws of God from a very early age and balance that teaching with the gospel of Christ which if heeded by us all, will save us and our children for time in eternity with God!
We must teach them about the unimaginable value God places on each of his children that he sent his only Son to redeem their lost souls from the moment they are born into the heavenly realms when they die. Either by shootings or accidents or illnesses.
Since most of us “adults” do not spend any time in the Holy word, I know so much of this may seem foreign to us. We must start purging the cultural “norms” from our own minds first before we can properly and appropriately teach our children. It is just like when you get the pre-flight instructions on an airline flight. You are instructed in case of loss of cabin pressure to first put the oxygen mask on yourself, then to put the mask on the children. Otherwise you both may perish…….
We also have to stop allowing ourselves and our children to be bombarded all day long from TV, internet and even their cell phones for inappropriate material that will corrupt your mind and theirs to the point you will not even realize the absolute filth that we have taken into our homes. This has been going on for decades and we should monitor and teach to protect our families from all the awful information coming into our children’s’ hearts and minds!
I am not talking about putting our children in a bubble so they do not see all the sadness in tears in our world, but to be taught through loving and respectful Christian Dads and Moms that some days we will experience extreme happiness and joy, but also times of complete sadness and hurt. They are all part of our human experience. God is in complete control and all things are under his authority. But our rebellious and sinful nature brought darkness and judgment upon ourselves!
Luckily for me in 2008 I made the decision to start to read the Bible for its worth as Hank Hannegraaf would say and I did make the conscience decision to get rid of all the sexual material I had acquired and stop searching for inappropriate material. See, this is what I mean as I know from first-hand experience that it is very easy to stray from God’s protection and precepts. But you can start today as I did to make a humble confession to Jesus Christ and he will forgive your sins.
My eyes were only finally opened with discernment for the world around me when I truly started to read the Bible daily from Chapter one, verse one right through till the end of this amazing book. Only then was my heart and mind opened to the terrible disdain God has for our sin and the real question is….why would I keep rebelling against my Holy God and not make a stand and get on the right path to obey my Holy benefactor!
Then I began to listen to local Christian radio everyday instead of the usual stuff. It opened a whole new world to me as I was able to listen to some great Bible lessons right on the radio. This in turn led me to some of the great Bible ministries on-line which allowed me to download podcasts right to my phone and play them back at my leisure. Technology can be an incredible learning tool. I then began to do something I had never done before and that was to start reading other books on the same subjects contained within these pages.
They just reinforced what I already knew….we as a Country have falling so far from the founding fathers loving vision for America. In the 1700’s and 1800’s the book most quoted by our founding fathers and men of education was the Bible. Remember the definition of Marriage from the Webster’s dictionary in 1828. Now the Bible is the most censured book in America!
But the Bible also shows us that it is never too late as civilizations’ can see the error of their ways and ask for humble forgiveness from our gracious and Holy God and like the city of Nineveh and the Roman Empire under Constantine, God through his unending mercy can reverse course on his intended wrath.
Take advantage and make a conscience decision to start using the internet as one of the best places to search the truth of God’s word. Just put any Bible verse in your search engine and you will get terrific commentaries to help you understand a Bible verse that may be confusing. I do recommend getting a good study Bible as your own and start marking it up with your favorite verses of words of wisdom and strength that speak directly to your heart!
Certainly God understands the uniqueness of each person he created and this is why the Bible contains not one gospel book telling of Jesus Christ life, but four as it beautifully reflects how each of us respond slightly different to the same experiences. Makes my heart smile to know that God takes so much careful loving effort in revealing his ways to us!
There are so many factors which has caused life in America to slowly de-emphasis the importance of learning and meditating on God’s Holy word every day to better equip us for life in this world and for the most important goal- life eternal with God in heaven. Yet the word tells us;
Psalm 78:3-8 Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us. We will not conceal them from their children, But tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That they should teach them to their children, That the generation to come might know, [even] the children [yet] to be born, [That] they may arise and tell [them] to their children, That they should put their confidence in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments, And not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not prepare its heart, And whose spirit was not faithful to God. For I have chosen him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice; in order that the LORD may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.”
Deut 6:6-9 “And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. “And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. “And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Psalm 145:4 One generation shall praise Thy works to another, And shall declare Thy mighty acts.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline will remove it far from him
Ephesians 6:4 And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Rom 1:20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
Do you see that warning….”without excuse”.
Knowing God exists can come to us in many ways, First by experiencing the incredibly complex and magnificent world of nature all around us, then realizing our consciences of right and wrong are already formed and implanted into each of us (and not my accident), and then we can complete the transformation with opening our hearts and minds to the full revelation of our loving, merciful and Holy God! Now, open your Bible, read it on your tablet or smart phone and start passing it around to all who will listen!!
I will now end this article with the same paragraph I started with….
Radical changes must occur now in our families, our Churches and our country in order to ebb the tide of wholesale dis-regard for all things Biblical. Jesus Christ was radical in his teaching and so should we! Remember…it starts with me!! Our lack of Biblical knowledge in America is beyond frightening and is responsible for most if not all of the maladies that we suffer! It has affected our education system, health care system, our work and political ethics, our monetary system, our sexual view points, our marriages, our family structure, our military, our mis-understanding of our true worth and most important is we have forgotten on how it protects our souls from the evil one!