“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Hello CrossTrain families and grace to you from Family Ministries! We are excited to begin a regular message for encouragement and for training to help our families in creating a Jesus and gospel centered house and to raise children to know the word and to teach the word. Jesus has commanded that we go and make disciples and through his word we find that there is no one to whom we are more responsible to share the gospel than our own children. That means that by His providence, YOU are the most important person in your children’s lives when it comes to planting the seed of the gospel and nurturing it to fruition.
As tremendous as this responsibility is, it is certainly a weighty one! But rest assured, he has prepared each one of us through the power of the Holy Spirit and truth of the Word to complete the task. So often we can take for granted the simple, yet powerful truths of scripture. Let’s contemplate Romans 10:17 for a moment. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” Marinate on this a little more. All humanity from Adam to Abraham to Paul has been saved by grace through FAITH (Ephesians 2). And how do we obtain this faith? By the gift of the His word! The truth of the Gospel as found in His written word brings about the Faith in Jesus and his work that saves us.
So what would we do if we actually believed this? That the word of God, through a miracle of the Holy Spirit, brings about Faith in the Son of God to bring us to salvation? If you ask me, we’d IMMERSE ourselves in this word. And as fathers and mothers, we would stop at NOTHING to pull our children in with us! I say this all as strong encouragement! In the context of the saving call of the Gospel, we are told in John 10 that the Lord’s sheep hear His voice and follow Him… and he does not lose a single one; none can snatch His sheep from His hand! We are the vessels through which God shares this message.
As we move forward in our new space and a focus on our purpose as a local church, let’s do the same in our families. I want to encourage each family to find ways to make daily reading of the Bible an absolute priority. This must start with us as the examples, but is something need to teach our children to emulate. Try finding a particular time in the day that works well so it is simply habit. First thing in the morning seems to work great, as things always come up throughout the day competing for our time. Read along during breakfast, on the way to school or practice, or even all read together as you wrap up dinner time. Incentives work great too! Im not embarrassed to say I’ve offered monetary rewards for consistent reading! Lately it’s helped to tell them that if they have time to play video games, then they absolutely had enough time to read the word!
A lot of us have children who may not be of reading age yet and some children who are. Bring them onto your lap as you read your own bible. You cannot “over-help” your kids to begin to learn to read their bible and make it a habit to be in the word. This is also a great opportunity to start teaching discipleship and to have the older sibling read to and teach the younger. Also try doing the same readings as your children and discuss what each of you took from it. It’s incredible how much you may see the Holy Spirit reveal things to your children you had not yet seen. No matter what works best, simply find some way to DAILY be in the word with your children and develop their own habits to do the same. Some days it may be one verse, some days a chapter, some days more, but just start with something small. We MUST start somewhere!
Over the coming weeks, expect to receive more examples and suggestions on how to intentionally teach your families the Word and to disciple them. Let us take these roles seriously but be of good courage! Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. So may we train up our children in this way that they may not depart from it. I pray right now that the Holy Spirit would fill parents with boldness, courage, and wisdom with a sense of urgency to teach their children the word and how to daily be in it. I pray that God would give us hearts that make what he has to say a priority. I pray that God would grant every one of our children repentance and faith in Jesus Christ and understanding of the absolute truth in his word and that it would serve as a way to shield the from the barrage of attacks that the enemy has in store. Finally, I pray that God gives peace to the hearts of the parents, that they would rest in the work already completed by Christ and rest in the goodness of God and his absolute sovereign power to save sinners. Lord God, make us obedient to your call, all to the Glory of your name!
Still having a hard time figuring out where to start? Try utilizing the new kids sermon notes pages that are available to all kids on Sundays. Discuss with your kids some of the things they wrote and pick a scripture that ties into their notes or questions. These “kids sermon notes” are meant to facilitate conversation among your family and to help you find ways to shepherd your kids.
All to the Glory of God-