Written Word

As a Christian, I should teach my children

The end of another year is upon us and we face 2012. This would be a good time to reflect upon our life and see if we are making a difference in our world. For some the past year will have seen the passing of dear friends; this can serve as a timely reminder that one day we will die. And what will our life have counted for? Will our light have shone brightly, will our salt have been felt, will our example have impacted others, will we have left a worthy legacy to those who follow, will we have made a significant difference to others?

So where do we start? We could begin by looking at our family and reflect on whether we are following God’s instructions given to the Hebrew fathers, instructions that were designed to shape the lives of their children: “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit down and when you get up.” (Deuteronomy 6:7-8) Are we talking with our children about the Lord? Are our children learning the ways of God from us? The fathers were also to remind their children of the meaning of the exodus from Egypt: “And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.'” (Exodus 12:26) This remarkable story of God’s involvement in delivering a people from slavery to the Promised Land was to be told again and again lest anyone forget. Do we have a story to share; do we tell of how God delivered us from darkness to light? Do we tell our children about our conversion to Christ and what he means to us, thereby creating a holy desire in their hearts for the saviour?

It’s easy to get busy, to over-schedule ourselves, leaving us neither time nor energy to do what we know we ought to do. That is why it is important to have a disciplined, structured life that will ensure we do not neglect our spiritual growth. Setting a time each day to read God’s word, to allow him speak to us, will shape our life and conform us into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ. Hearing the voice of God each day will have a profound effect upon us: our outlook on life, our values, and our priorities will reflect the will of God. We will live our life with a divine purpose. The rich truths of scripture and the wonderful insights gained from the daily reading of the Bible become part of the story we can share with the next generation. And long after we have been taken home to heaven, the life we lived on earth will still be having an influence. This is the testimony of scripture: “We will not hide them [the teachings of God] from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done… so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.” (Psalm 78:4-6) A godly life is a legacy worth leaving.