Our current series of studies in Ephesians has reached the section that deals with children and parents. It is particularly challenging. Paul warns fathers not to provoke their children to anger, but to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. As Christian parents, we are to model Christian behavior for our children by walking in humility, gentleness, patience, and love—and by forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgives us (Ephesians 4).
It’s important to remind ourselves that our children do not enter the world in Christ, but in Adam. They are, like us, marked by sin and in need of a Savior. They’re also in need of the Commandments as an expression of God’s perfect plan for how life is to be enjoyed so that “it may go well with them” (Ephesians 6:3).
This means that beyond the piano lessons and the soccer practice and the academics, we need to lead our children to Christ and to take seriously our role as lifelong teachers of what the Bible says and why it matters. Proverbs offers encouragement: “When I was a son with my father, tender, the only one in the sight of my mother, he taught me and said to me, ‘Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live’” (Proverbs 4:3-4).
Fathers, in this month of Father’s Day, let’s ask God to enable us to trust His Word and give us the courage to live out our faith each day as we lead our families. We can’t make our children love the Bible, but we can teach them to read it and discover that it is a lamp to their feet and a light to their path.
One of our resources this month, Exploring the Bible, offers assistance along these lines. It’s an interactive book that will guide your children through the Bible using selected verses and stories so that, in a year’s time, they’ll gain a better understanding of God’s plan for salvation. It’s a good start for young ones and a good study for the older ones.
With my love in the Lord Jesus,
P.S. You can find the studies on parenting from Ephesians online at truthforlife.org by searching the title, A Word to Fathers. Our current series, Belief and Behavior, also explores what it looks like to put God’s instruction into practice in our daily life.
Topics: Letters From Alistair Begg