Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Some Thoughts About Deuteronomy 6 & Psalm 78

Children's ministry matters because children matter. God gave very specific directions to parents, grandparents, and to His people in general about how important it was for them to love Him and then pass this love for Him to their children. 

I'm a grandma. There is nothing more important to me than to know my dear grandsons will grow to know and love God with their whole selves. When I look at the world around me it can be frightening, as there are so many messages woven into nearly every aspect of life telling children they can believe in God or not and they can believe in anything they want because all religions are the same. When we look at the world we see the results of choosing to do whatever you want and accepting eastern religions over the truth of God's Word. It is heartbreaking. If I forget to look to God's Word I can feel anxious about the world my grandchildren will grow up in.

However; thank God, His Word gives us the blue-print to follow so we can raise our children to know and love Him! We need to know the Lord is our God and He is the One and Only God. As parents, grandparents, and believers we need to teach our children, grandchildren, and the children in our ministries, despite what they hear from the world around them, they do need to know the Lord is our God and He is the One and Only God. God goes on to tell us to be sure we love Him with our whole selves. If our children see we aren't serious about loving God with our whole selves, then why should they? We need to model what it looks like to live a life where God really does have first place in our life. Intentionally plan to model this by involving your children in at least one service project.

God said to be sure His commands were in our hearts. We need to live God's Word, not just know about His Word. If we live God's Word our children will learn it as they watch how we live. As parents and grandparents we need to talk about God's words at home, as we live our everyday lives from the time we wake up in the morning, throughout the day and when we go to bed at night. We need to watch for opportunities to connect our day-in-day-out lives with God's Word, so our children and grandchildren see what it means to know the Lord is our God! 

But we must not stop with only teaching the "whats" of our faith. We must teach the "whys" as well - at home and at church. If we do not teach children why they are able to believe, ever growing numbers of them will turn away from their faith. 

These are very specific instructions for parents and grandparents - the church needs to be prepared to support and encourage as well as equip parents and grandparents as they intentionally love God and live His Word in their everyday lives before the eyes of their children. We can do this by providing opportunities for parents and grandparents to participate in classes and discipleship groups, so they grow in their walk with God and by utilizing unified curriculum with the children in our ministries. A curriculum with a unified scope and sequence means all ages of children learn the same Bible lesson the same week - parents and grandparents can then continue the learning at home by building on those lessons all week long! And, use Anchored to teach the "whys" as well.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 - Israel, listen to me. The Lord is our God. The Lord is the one and only God. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your strength. The commandments I give you today must be in your hearts. Make sure your children learn them. Talk about them when you are at home. Talk about them when you walk along the road. Speak about them when you go to bed. And speak about them when you get up. Write  them down and tie them on your hands as a reminder. Also tie them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses. Also write them on your gates.
There are very specific instructions for parents and grandparents in God's Word when it comes to teaching our children, but there are also specific instructions for God's people as well.
Psalm 78:1-7 - My people, listen to my teaching. Pay attention to what I say. I will open my mouth and tell stories. I will speak about things that were hidden. They happened a long time ago. We have heard about them and we know them. Our people who lived before us have told us about them. We won't hide them from our children. We will tell them to those who live after us. We will tell them about what the Lord has done that is worthy of praise. We will talk about his power and the wonderful things he has done. He gave laws to the people of Jacob. He gave Israel their law.  He commanded our people who lived before us to teach his laws to their children. Then those born later would know his laws. Even their children yet to come would know them. And they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God. They would not forget what he had done.  They would obey his commands.
We need to listen to God's Word and then pass on the truth of His Word to the children, so they will be able to do the same for "children yet to come". We have to be sure we don't "hide"  God's Word and the amazing things He has done from our children - we need to tell them "what the Lord has done that is worthy of praise" and "talk about His power and the wonderful things He has done" . . . and then most importantly, show by how we live we truly love God and His Word! 

We need to be sure we are teaching and intentionally living God's  Word before the eyes of the children in our ministries. Children watch everything we do . . . they may not always listen, but they always watch what we do. We want our children, grandchildren and the children yet to come to know God's Word and put their trust in Him. We want them to remember and choose to obey Him. They will be the ones who will one day be the parents, grandparents, and leaders in the church who will tell future generations about God. Let's be sure we live God's Word and show His love in all we do. Let this be the motivation which guides all we do in Children's Ministry!

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