Bring Them Up
“Bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6.4 CSB) Parents would cherish more instructions, but we are left with the blessing of flexibility. Yet, one overriding command remains: train them in the instructions of God. We should be teaching them; and through commitment to Him in our own lives, showing them, how to be God’s children.
Ok. So…what should we be teaching our children about God. Who He is, what He expects, what His Word tells us... But we must deliver it in a way that they can receive it. We do not expect an elementary school student to do calculus. Nor should we expect children to be able to argue the more difficult things of scripture. Like what? In the late 300’s A.D. there was deep discussion and disagreement, by the best minds in the church, about how human Jesus could have also been God; a study on John 1.1ff among other verses. The concept of God being three and one is still baffling to many! And rightly so; if God were comprehensively understandable to mortal minds, He would not be the God He is! God is beyond comprehension. His exact nature is too much for the brightest mind, and best theologian, to fully appreciate.
Therefore, what “training and admonition” do we deliver to the children? Jesus taught in parables. In Matthew 13 Jesus advises His disciples that some will understand, and some will not. Explaining salvation to Nicodemus, in John 3.12, Jesus tells him that the explanation has been made relatable so Nicodemus can understand, because he could not comprehend it otherwise. Likewise, we should deliver explanations that are understandable to the receiver. Did Jesus deceive Nicodemus by not giving the fully transcendent explanation? No- Jesus gave what Nicodemus could receive.
Some matters of scripture are deep and require a firm foundation to build upon before they can be understood. Looking at apostolic letters to the churches we can see there is plenty about love, Jesus as Christ, and brotherhood that we can teach the youth until such time as they are able to comprehend weightier matters. When that time comes, we should be fully prepared to answer with the best information we can. May God bless His Word to His people!