Religious Instruction – The Responsibility of Parents
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: and thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”
“That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children.”
Parents who fear the LORD are lovingly reminded by the above portions of the Word of God of their solemn responsibility in instructing their children in the Bible.
Children should be encouraged to read the Bible daily, and parents should seek the help of God in both teaching and talking about the Word of God.
Instruction in the Scriptures by faithful pastors and teachers does not exempt parents from their responsibilities in teaching their children, especially as there is so little sound doctrinal instruction in our day.
These words are written with deep concern over the young people in these days when evil and error abound on every hand.
Generally in Britain parental control has broken down and rebellion against any kind of authority is rampant.
But in professing Christian families there has been a falling away. A solemn accountability is laid upon parents to bring up their children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)
How many still count it their greatest happiness: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” (3rd John 4)?
But there must be confrontation at times. Children have a carnal, fallen nature and parents need again and again – IN LOVE – to confront their children with the truth: what is right; what is wrong; what is allowed; what is not permitted; and why. One vital thing, in these busy times, is for parents to devote time talking to their children, listening to their children – and not be afraid to advise, warn, and say, No.
We believe there has been a falling away here, even with godly parents. “We cannot give them grace,” is a commonly heard expression. “We can only pray for them,” is another. True, prayer is the vital secret, as enabled, at the blood-sprinkled mercy seat – but there is no place for the “only.” A good and gracious example on the one hand, and the constraining and restraining (of truth) on the other hand, are equally commanded. May the LORD deliver us from a spirit of fatalism – the sacred truth of God’s decrees being made an excuse for our indolence.
C.A. Wood and B.A. Ramsbottom
“Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”