Read Psalm 78:1-72
We will not hide them 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. Then they
would put their trust in God and would not forget
his deeds but would keep his commands.
I realize my title is a bit negative, but I have a deep concern that we have been in a fifty year or so cycle of parental neglect. I am not just talking about our culture; I am speaking of the church. Christian parents have been neglecting one of the most basic and important roles that God calls a father and mother to play in the lives of their children: Teacher.
You see, the better we become at doing church, the more parents have abdicated their duty to teach their own children the sacred things of God. We have turned that over to the children’s pastor, or the youth leader, or the small group mentor. Not that I have anything against those people—those are roles God calls people to serve within his family—but frankly, pastors and mentors have not been called to the primary role of instructor in your child’s life—you have! They are only there to assist you and compliment the spiritual foundation you are laying down.
The psalmist calls us to pick up the mantle and begin to teach our children well. So well that when your child comes of age, they will not refer to “the God of my father,” but will exclaim, “my Lord and my God.” You see, God doesn’t want to be your child’s grandfather, he wants to be their Heavenly Father. That is less likely to happen if you surrender your teaching role to another.
Likewise, you are called to teach them the things of God so well that not only will they continually remember the mighty acts of God, they will know in no uncertain terms that it is now their role to pass the sacred things of God on to their children, who will in turn pass it on to their children, and thus, a perpetual cycle is established where “the next generation would know.”
This is a lengthy psalm, but I would suggest it provides the core curriculum that must be mastered in every godly household if the Christian community is going to multiply a godly heritage throughout Planet Earth. Within it you will find History 101—the mighty acts of God among his people. (Psalm 78: 12-16) Following that is The Law of Cause and Effect 201—what happens when God’s people rebel. (Psalm 78:18-21) Then there is Ownership 301—God’s sovereign choice gives him the right to place demands upon our lives. (Psalm 78: 68) And finally, we reach Class 401: Living On Purpose—honoring God by living a life of integrity and skill (Psalm 78:70-72).
All your child needs to know can be learned in Psalm 78. Recess is over—time to get to class!
“It is easier to build a boy than to mend a man.”