Matthew, Mark and Luke all tell the story of a group of moms (parents) who heard Jesus was in town. These moms wanted their children to meet Jesus. They wanted Jesus to meet, touch and bless their children. So they went.
They didn’t just happen by and see Jesus on the way to the market. No, it was intentional. All three writers point out, “They brought their children to Jesus.” They did it with purpose. They probably had some laundry to do or some groceries to go pick up. The kids might have wanted to stay home and play with friends, but instead they took the time to go where Jesus was. It was that important.
These parents could have said, “We go to temple. That’s good enough.” Or: “Our kids go to a Bible class. They will learn what they need to know from their teacher.” Nope. They knew that, according to Deuteronomy 6:5 (NIV), that they were to teach their children to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” This wasn’t a suggestion it was a command.
As you read further into this chapter it says, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children.” Does that mean take them to church? Sure, but the passage is much more specific.
Talk about things of God:
- when you sit (hang out around the house).
- when you walk (anywhere you go: the ballpark, the store, riding bikes, etc.).
- when you lie down (relaxing in the evening and getting ready for bed).
- when you get up (at breakfast, while brushing teeth, driving to school).
Have reminders of God all around you, anywhere you go: your car, your house, your room. Use teachable moments to point your children to God’s Word and truth. Notice things in God’s creation to remind them of God’s love and power and strength.
We know that Solomon told us to train up our child “in the way he should go, even when he is old, he will not depart from it”
(Proverbs 22:6). This doesn’t promise us that our children will never stray or will never walk away from our teaching. But what if we don’t train them, then what? There is a saying, “If we don’t teach our children, someone else will.”
Yikes! Don’t let that happen. Your child’s eternity depends on it.
State Missionary Patty Burns serves as the Vacation Bible School strategist at the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions. She may be contacted at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 312, or (334) 613-2312, email@example.com.