The Great Commission in Matthew 28 says, “All Authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, having gone out, make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to keep all that I have commanded you.” (author’s translation)
The mission, the task, and the responsibility are clear to every Christian. Christians are to make disciples, and one of the pieces of making disciples is teaching. This is a responsibility that falls on us as followers of our King Jesus. It is a responsibility that ought to weigh heavy on our hearts. Everyone who dies apart from Christ will not have eternal life. This includes our very own children.
I am a dad to a little two-and-a-half-year-old boy named Seth. It still seems odd when I say that I am a dad, but being a dad has been awesome! Being a father has brought great joy into my life. Seth is truly a blessing from the Lord to me and my wife Emily.
It is a burden of ours to see Jesus impact our son’s life, and it has been a burden ever since we first realized Seth was inside Emily’s belly. I remember how excited we were on the day he was born. We were so happy! He is such an amazing gift from our Lord who has shown us much grace. Now, I look forward to see God shed his grace on my son and give him the new birth that leads to eternal life. We pray often that Seth will be a bold follower of Christ.
So, what is mine and Emily’s part in seeing our son come to know our Lord? I believe you see it in the Great Commission from Matthew 28. We are to make disciples, and key piece in making disciples is teaching. We must teach our little ones all that Jesus commanded and all that Jesus has done. Emily and I are to teach Seth to love the Lord with all his heart and love his neighbor as himself. We are to teach him everything we can possibly know about Jesus. We are to teach him constantly and point him to the Author of life.
One of my favorite passages that apply to our parenting comes from Deuteronomy 6. The Israelites receive what is famously known as “the Shama.” Shama is actually the first Hebrew word in that passage, hence how it received that title. The passage reads, “‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.’” (ESV)
God’s word not only says here that his words should be on our hearts, but also that we are to diligently teach them to our children. Everything that the Lord Jesus has said and given to us through his word must be taught to our children. We should teach them this not simply once or twice, not only on Wednesday nights or on Sundays, but we must teach them as we sit with them at dinner, as we play with them, as we watch television with them, as we walk to the park, as we go to the store, as we kiss them good night, and as we greet them in the morning light. We must teach the words of our Lord to our children.
Our children are much too important to forget or be too tired for. We must teach them of our Lord who was slain for us. We must teach them of the One we love, because he first loved us.
Grace and peace,