In 3 John verse 4, the apostle John said to the congregation, “no greater joy do I have than this: that I should hear that my children go on walking in the truth.” The children that the Apostle John referred to here was the Christian disciples. Yet, parents can absolutely echo these sentiments as they pray and lead their children to be God fearing adults.
But how do we train our children to become said God-fearing adults? Is there a simple “formula” to raising children?
Actually, there is.
The formula to raising God fearing adults.
The answer is found in Deuteronomy 6:6-7.
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.Deuteronomy 6:6-7 NIV
There are two parts to this formula. The first, these words must prove to be on YOUR heart. We cannot expect to raise them to worship God without having God's word on our own hearts. But how do we do this? There are many ways, like
- Regular bible reading
- Meditating on what we read and how it applies in our life.
- Praising God when we can
- Taking examples from creation
- Paying attention to how listening to God's word benefits our lives and our family life.
The second part of the formula involves instructing our children- every chance they get. When we sit in our house, for example, at family dinners, when we walk on the road, when we are out, when we lie down, we can make it a part of our kid's bedtime routine, and when we get up. We can have a spiritual routine in the morning before the mundane parts of life take over.
That seems like a lot of work. Does it need to be?
It is work. It’s a commitment. But it is worth it. One way in particular I absolutely love is instilling the love of God through creation. The reason for this is we can see the truthfulness of Revelation 4:11. We see that God is worthy of our praise and worship because of everything he created. We don’t need to have exotic vacations or live-in tents to do this. Mind you, these are great ways to see different creation absolutely. But it can be a simple hike, a campfire in our backyard, a drive in the car. When we see the beauty in creation, and the complexity of life, we are moved to praise God for all he has done.
What are the benefits of using our time to instruct our kids about God?
There are so many! But of course, they can be summed up in the opening scripture in 3 John. Nothing can bring us a greater joy than for our kids to grow up and fear God.