“And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim” Judges 2v10-11
Why did the new generation of the children of Israel in the promised land not serve God. Why did they turn to idols and not even know what God had done for previous generations? The buck stops with parents. These parents did not pass on the ways of God to their children.
“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 6v6-7
If we are not inculturating our children in the ways of God, they will be inculturated by society.
Many teenagers today are adopting the idols of the world around us. We see this through the things they see as important and the values they reflect. The blessing of God has not been taught diligently to our children when we sit, when we walk, when we lie down and when we rise up.
So what is the purpose of this wonderful thing called “the family”?
The family is God’s institution for teaching our children. The family is to glorify God through being the primary learning community for a child.
- The church cannot replace parents – the church should equip you to do your job
- The state cannot replace parents – but should protect you while you do your job
- The school cannot replace parents – but should support you while you do your job!
The family is the primary: theological, sociological, and redemptive community for our children.
What does it mean to be a theological community – what does that look like in a family?
Theology is the study of God and God is the ultimate fact that defines and gives reason to every other fact. We cannot learn about history, science, maths, finances, relationships, purpose; – anything, without God. There is no knowing that doesn’t begin with knowing God – of knowing the person, the character and ways of God.
Our children are created to be revelation receivers. Just like us, they can never understand by research and experience all the things they need to know. We need the Bible to understand all things. God defines the nature and purpose of life.
Being a theological community in the family this doesn’t mean our days are filled with selfish little sermons. Rather our days should be filled with hundreds of moments of wonder and worship.
If you look at the tip of your finger and see the delicacy, intricacy and effectiveness of its design.
If you look around you at the way bread is made – the intricacy of the yeast process that God designed – how it goes from flour and water to the unappetising dough ball to the rising of the loaf and then baking into a beaufiful brown crusty loaf.
If you look at your life, how your body is so wonderfully made, how people are made… every moment can be a moment of awe, of worship and of wonder.
“And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.” Isaiah 6v3
Our children are hard-wired to live for something greater than themselves. As we see the blessing of God and wonder at His creation around us and His goodness, we are developing in our children an awe of God – of His wisdom, His glory and His faithfulness.
We need to live in awe of God. We need to raise children who are in such awe of God that when we sit down together to read the Bible they are in awe of God and their hearts are so ready to listen to and receive His Word.
As parents, it comes down to this – you can’t pass on what you don’t have! Let your life overflow with joy in Christ and with awe and wonder at His creation and it will spill over into the lives of your children.
This is the theological community that the family should be.
Summary of the teaching of Paul Tripp from his Parenting Series Episode 1 – What is A Family?
We are so enjoying this awesome parenting series! Preview here
“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” Psalm 119v130